Hemp Plant, CBD Plant: Is there any difference?

Soft Secrets
04 Jul 2020

You've heard about all these different names but you are not entirely clear what is what.

A lot of people might get confused by cannabis terminology. While we do have a hemp plant, there is no such thing as a CBD plant. Long story short: CBD oil comes from hemp plants, and it’s not something that’s going to get you high.

In general, there are two species of cannabis‒hemp and marijuana. These two species within the cannabis genus contain cannabinoids, which are chemicals that have various effects on the body. The most well-known of those cannabinoids are THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or Cannabidiol.

THC is the cannabinoid that gets you high. Usually, marijuana leaves and flowers contain 15 to 20% THC, but CBD oils from hemp only contain around 0.3%. Thus, hemp and CBD oils that come from hemp will not get you high.  So, now you are in the clear: it's not exactly a CBD plant, stick with saying hemp plant.

Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana

Cannabis is a term that denotes the genus of plants that belong to the Cannabaceae family. There are three primary Cannabis species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. The three mentioned classes are scientific classifications. 

Hemp and marijuana are also considered as cannabis species, though they are not scientifically acceptable nomenclatures for cannabis. These two terms are used for ages and it's normal they prevail the public discourse. Keep reading to further understand the differences between hemp and all things related to it.

What is Hemp?

Hemp has been used for over a thousand years. You might be surprised to know that it was also used in the United States during World War II, for manufacturing uniforms, canvas, and rope. Today, hemp is used in a wide variety of products like textiles, clothing, paper, insulation, and biofuel. Perhaps you already own a backpack that is made of hemp. While hemp seeds can be eaten raw, it can also be squeezed into a liquid form and used for making shampoos, soaps, or body lotions.

Hemp is described to be a non-intoxicating form of cannabis, harvested to be used as products. You can even utilize hemp as a natural building material.  Archaeological evidence suggests that hemp was among the first crops cultivated by humanity. Hemp has also been the catalyst for many of humanity’s early inventions as it provided resources for necessities such as food, clothing, housing material, and more. With thousands of different ways of how to use hemp, it is one of the most potent natural fibers you can find on Earth.

What Is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical from hemp. It is a substance generally used in items like cannabis oils and edibles as it brings about many medical benefits without causing a person to “fly” into another dimension. It contains around 0.3 percent of THC; thus, it does not have any psychoactive effects.  CBD is now legally used as a medication for epilepsy, in the form of Epidiolex.

It is also used for Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, and an array of other medical conditions, although more clinical trials are pending to determine the effects of CBD on human health comprehensively. The good thing about CBD is that it offers pain relief without altering brain function, and has several other enhancing effects on your health.

Hemp or CBD plants: the basics

Hemp and CBD may come from the same cannabis plant species, but you could distinguish the two based on several aspects.


In terms of composition, hemp is a cannabis plant that is used to create products. CBD is a chemical compound derived from hemp that is usually used as an oil for relaxation and medical purposes.


In terms of legalization, hemp farming is accepted worldwide because of its multiple purposes. However, not all states or countries approve the use of CBD, besides its highly praised medicinal properties.


Hemp can be cultivated as a plant, but CBD is a cannabinoid chemical substance that is harvested from hemp. CBD can also be extracted from marijuana plants, however, due to legality matters, cultivators may prefer hemp for CBD produce. Almost any cannabis plant will contain at least a trace of CBD. In hemp, CBD is found in the upper part of the plant. 


Hemp and CBD are being used differently. Hemp is used in creating products like food or apparel. The hemp plant is also a source of CBD; once extracted in the form of oil, CBD can be used as medicine for pain and other conditions. That pretty much sums it up. Hemp is a cannabis plant, and CBD is a chemical found in cannabis. We may refer to a hemp plant as a CBD plant, nevertheless, the two may be the same. 

Do I need to be cautious with CBD products?

The world is continually changing, and the use of CBD has become legal in various parts of the world. Cannabis legalization has encouraged more people to use CBD as a treatment for various medical conditions. However, there are a lot of products that contain CBD and which can be ingested as edibles. These products can be bought online in dispensaries. 

CBD products are generally safe for consumption, even if you are no fan of weed smoking or anything that has to do with it. Where it pays to be cautious is when buying cannabis products. It’s good to make sure that they are legitimate. Some companies may take advantage of the fact that CBD comes from hemp. There are some counterfeit companies that what they do is add hemp seed oil to cannabis to create a product similar to CBD.

They do this simply because hemp is much cheaper than CBD. In that way, they can make more profit than using real CBD in creating cannabis products. Beware of companies that create these counterfeit products and make sure that you are buying legal and genuine products from trusted sites. It would help if you can look for a delivery service in your area or rely on a brand that has solid reviews from other consumers.

Usually, delivery services can ensure that each product they cater to is legit. Or, you can just keep your eyes open and read the label when you view cannabis products you may want to purchase. The label describes what plant or strains were used for the product.

Many chemicals may come from cannabis plants, and each has its uses and benefits despite being interchangeably used. It is vital to check the labels and ingredients of the cannabis products to make sure that they are not interchanged.

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