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CBD and Hemp: Get To Know The Differences

Posted by Tom Lingeman on

Two people pushing giant blue outlined puzzle pieces together.

CBD and Hemp: Get To Know The Differences

Over the past few months we have written about the wonders of hemp and the environmental/economical impact it holds for our future. However, we failed to answer one major question: what is the difference between hemp and CBD?

This difference is important to know, considering the two words are ubiquitous in our society. It now seems like everyone is trying to sell CBD and everything is going to be made from hemp. 

With dominating keywords like these two, it is easy to merge them together, believing they are the same. Even though hemp and CBD are similar, they are not one in the same. So, let us take a brief slice of your time and explain the most important differences. 

A hemp plant next to the many products it can produce.

Understanding The Term Hemp

Hemp is a non-intoxicating variant of the Cannabis Sativa plant, marijuana or weed if you will. Hemp can be labeled as non-intoxicating because it contains less than .3% THC. Humans have been domesticating this plant for centuries, the first recorded use of hemp can be traced all the way back to 8,000 BC. 


I want to make this clear too, in many circumstances hemp is often referred to as industrial hemp. Don’t worry, there are no differences in the meaning of these two words; We only favor the term ‘industrial hemp’ due to the way it’s widely grown, manufactured into products, then sold.

Hemp comes in three major forms: hemp seeds, hemp stalks, and the hemp flower.

Hemp seeds is what we need to create hemp oil, arguably the most important product of the plant.

The hemp stalk is rich in fibers, which is needed for plastic and paper production.

Finally, the hemp flower. This is where CBD comes into play. 

A close-up of the CBD flower.

Understanding The Term CBD

CBD is a phytocannabinoid, short for cannabidiol. It is why you are here right now. It is the hottest trend in health since penicillin (for legal purposes I have to state that CBD cannot cure infectious diseases, unlike penicillin). 

Here is the most important thing to know: it is non-intoxicating, it will not get you high if you use it. Once again, this is because your average CBD product contains less than .3% THC. I say average because some CBD products contain 0% THC, but we can discuss those differences at another time. 

 How do you get CBD? It’s simple! CBD is a naturally occurring compound that is extracted from the female hemp plant. Through this extraction process we can create the beloved CBD oil, the medicinal ingredient to all CBD products. 

Signed documents still locked up with keys in the lock.

Are Hemp And CBD Both Legal?

CBD, yes. Hemp, kind of. 

CBD is 100% legal. You cannot get arrested for purchasing or owning CBD.

There are no restrictions on how much you can buy and unfortunately, there are no restrictions on where you can buy it from. This has created an abundance of faulty CBD products. Products that are mislabeled as wonder-drugs, contain very little amounts of CBD, or none at all. 

Growing hemp in America is...complicated. The 2018 Farm Bill made the growing of hemp legal in our country, but with serious restrictions. Individuals and businesses cannot just freely grow the crop whenever they may please. 

Here are the three major restrictions on the growth of hemp;

  1. It must contain less than .3% THC
  2. One must device a plan that needs the approval of your state’s governor and chief law enforcement then sent to the secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture; this is the process for obtaining a license to grow
  3. Punishments were set in place to those who do not follow the rules. Some violations include growing without a license and growing hemp that has more than .3% THC. A pathway for said violators to become licensed was established, so were felony charges for repeat offenders who continue to ignore the laws.



The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While research has shown that CBD has the potential to help provide beneficial outcomes for several complaints, it is advisable to seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider when you have questions regarding any medical condition and when starting, augmenting or discontinuing any existing health routine. 

FDA Disclaimer: Any statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No products produced, manufactured, marketed, or distributed are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any supplements or botanical extracts. If pregnant or breast feeding, consult with your physician before use. For use by adults 18+. Keep out of reach of children. 


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