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  • Olivia Castro

What's the Difference Between Hemp CBD and Cannabis CBD?

CBD is a product that has been a hot topic in recent years. This is because it can be derived from hemp or cannabis. Being able to understand the difference between hemp and cannabis will help you be able to make the most informed decision for your choice of treatment.

At Louisiana Marijuana Card, we want to give you all the tools that you need in order to do that! So in today’s blog we will be going over exactly what hemp and cannabis is, the legality behind the two as well as how they hemp derived CBD and cannabis derived CBD are different.

Hemp vs. Cannabis

Cannabis is a genus or group of plants that are similar to each other. Cannabis has three different species: indica, sativa and ruderalis. Hemp is not a totally separate species of cannabis. The three species are used to differentiate between cannabis that gives off a psychoactive effect and cannabis that does not. Hemp is part of the sativa species but cannabis can be indica, sativa or ruderalis.

They both have a somewhat similar look but they are two very different things. Here’s a little more detail about the two!


Hemp has been federally legal since the 2018 farm bill. In order for it to be legal, hemp has to contain less than 0.3% THC. For those who are novice marijuana users, THC is a psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. In other words, this is the chemical compound that makes you feel “high.” Since hemp has less than 0.3% THC, you can’t feel any psychoactive effects at this low level.

Hemp has been a plant that people have used for centuries. It is used to make paper products, textiles, body care products and even food!

It is usually grown outdoors so that it can grow as big as it and yield the most hemp. Because hemp does not take as much rigorous growing technique as cannabis does, it is much easier to cultivate casually outdoors at different climates.

Hemp does have a different look compared to cannabis as it is much taller and skinnier with light foliage. People have compared its look to bamboo!


Cannabis, on the other hand, contains more than 0.3% THC. There are even cannabis strains that are 30% or more of THC!

Cannabis is used for either medical or recreational purposes so you’re not going to find textiles or paper products being made of cannabis as it is for hemp.

As for cultivation, cannabis takes a lot more responsibility than hemp does. It is very carefully managed in controlled conditions. This is because there are precise conditions in which a cannabis flower will bud, the bud is the most valuable and potent part of cannabis.

Different species of cannabis do look different but in general they are bushy with larger and more full foliage in comparison to hemp.

What Does The Law Say About Hemp Vs. Cannabis?

As previously mentioned, hemp has less than 0.3% THC and cannabis has more so cannabis is classified as a Schedule I Drug by the DEA. This means that marijuana is classified as having no medicinal value and having a high potential for abuse. We know this scheduling is wrong and activists have been fighting to get marijuana properly scheduled since the 1970’s. Even though this scheduling is incorrect, as marijuana is super medicinal and is not addictive, this still leaves any CBD that is source from cannabis (even if it has 0% THC) as federally illegal due to the plant origin.

After the farm bill in 2018, hemp was reclassified as an agricultural product so it is no longer in the same Schedule I category as cannabis. Since the passage of this bill, CBD derived hemp has skyrocketed! This is what has made CBD so popular recently.

Even though cannabis is federally illegal, it is still medical legal in some states, like Louisiana, and also recreational in others such as Virginia and Washington, D.C.. In Louisiana you can legally purchase cannabis derived CBD from local dispensaries as long as you have your medical marijuana card which we can help you with!

Cautions About Hemp Derived CBD:

The farm bill made CBD much more accessible to the general public. But just because you can get it legally does not mean you actually should.

There have been some safety issues that have come up with hemp CBD. Since it is bioaccumulating, it is like a sponge. It absorbs everything that is around like toxins, pesticides and heavy metals in the soil. Many hemp CBD products are cultivated in non-organic environments so there is a possibility that your hemp CBD could be tainted. This not only is unsafe but also can lower the effectiveness too.

Since cannabis is still federally illegal, it is highly regulated but hemp is not. Therefore it is vital for you to do your homework before consuming a hemp CBD product.

There are two ways that you can get ahead of this issue if you’re looking to try hemp CBD. First, you could make sure that the product you’re purchasing has been tested by a third party. This helps ensure that someone beyond the company itself is making sure that you’re getting what you’re paying for. Second, you can look for products that are USDA certified organic. This means that quality growing conditions were kept and you can avoid those yucky chemicals that hemp could soak up.

Turning Back to Cannabis CBD:

Overall, cannabis is much more potent and rich with a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. If you are looking to treat a medical condition, cannabis CBD is the way to go versus hemp CBD.

We can help you with this every step of the way! You deserve relief. It starts here.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Louisiana Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Louisiana!


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