Hemp vs Weed vs CBD: The Quick Guide

As marijuana becomes more widely accepted, you’re probably hearing a lot about weed. But what about other forms of the cannabis plant, like hemp and CBD? 

Hemp, marijuana, and CBD all come from the same place — the cannabis plant. While these three are related, there are still key differences between them, especially when it comes to the law. 

Let’s break down the differences between hemp vs weed vs CBD, from legal definitions to unique effects and uses.

Hemp vs Weed vs CBD 

What’s the difference between hemp vs CBD? What about hemp vs marijuana? 

There’s one simple answer. In 2018, legislation defined a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC as legal hemp. Anything over the 0.3% limit is classified as weed, also known as marijuana. CBD can be derived from both marijuana or hemp — as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC. THC is also known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant.

Let’s take a closer look at what sets each one apart. 

What is Hemp? 

Both cannabis and hemp are derived from the cannabis plant. While marijuana has been developed over time to cultivate certain cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, hemp is developed differently. 

By law, the term “hemp” refers to cannabis that contains 0.3% or less of THC by dry weight. Due to the low THC content, hemp is completely legal and non-psychoactive. 

CBD products can be derived from hemp, but hemp is also used to produce products like textiles, paper, hemp milk, and more. 

What is Weed? 

When it comes to hemp vs marijuana, the defining factor comes down to THC. When people talk about “weed,” they’re usually referring to marijuana — which has more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Strains can be bred to contain more THC or CBD. 

Due to the intoxicating “high” it can produce, marijuana is highly regulated in the United States. As of 2024, recreational cannabis is legal in 24 states, with even more states allowing it for medicinal use. 

What is CBD? 

Compared to the most popular cannabinoid, THC, CBD has many of the same physical and mental benefits, like boosting appetite, relieving anxiety, and improving sleep. However, it doesn’t have psychoactive properties, which means you can reap the benefits without the high. 

CBD can be derived from both marijuana and hemp, but it doesn’t change the way the cannabinoid interacts with the body. 

When it’s extracted from hemp, CBD is completely legal. In some states, however, like Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota, marijuana-derived CBD is still regulated as a controlled substance, even if it doesn’t contain any THC. 

Explore the Spectrum of Cannabis Products With Far & Dotter

Hemp, marijuana, and CBD may all be derived from the same plant, but there are major differences that consumers should be aware of. Hemp and marijuana are set apart legally due to THC content — with hemp containing less than 0.3% THC and marijuana containing 0.3% or more. CBD, although not psychoactive, can be derived from either. 

Hemp, weed, and CBD all come from the same source —  the cannabis plant. And regardless of THC content, they all have powerful therapeutic properties that can be harnessed by consumers. 

Ready to explore the full spectrum of cannabis products, from THC flower to CBD oil? At Far & Dotter, our best-in-class marijuana, hemp, and CBD products are designed to put wellness first. Explore our shop to find the perfect product for you, or stop by in person to get a recommendation from one of our experts. 

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