my-cart-icon svg-arrow-next svg-arrow-prev

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What Is The Difference?

Sep 4th 2020

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What Is The Difference?

With the skyrocketing popularity of CBD oil products, the CBD industry has established itself independently from cannabis and its controversial rap. It has gained its own positive reputation in the wellness, health, and beauty world.

If you are looking into CBD for pain, skin care, anxiety, and for any other purpose, there is one basic thing that must know: the difference between hemp and marijuana. There is this constant confusion between the two and not understanding their differences may defeat the purpose of your usage or worse, gets you into some legal trouble.

First and foremost, hemp is not marijuana and marijuana is not hemp. And, don’t say cannabis if you only mean to say marijuana or hemp. There are valid reasons why people get confused between hemp and marijuana. To the untrained eyes, they might look identical, and to those who do not know much about each of them, they may appear to be the same.

Both hemp and marijuana are members of the genus Cannabis. Cannabis has three distinct species, namely Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Marijuana is a member of both the Sativa and Indica family, while hemp solely belongs to the Sativa species. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Here, we provide you a simplified guide to help you understand the differences between hemp and marijuana and help you to become better educated and enlighted if you want to add CBD into your lifestyle.


Some people claim that hemp and marijuana look and smell the same. However, if you look closely, you can find some identifiable differences in their respective appearance. This can be because industrial hemp and marijuana are used for different purposes and selective breeding has resulted in their varying looks.

The hemp plants are taller, leaner, and shinier than marijuana as a result of how industrial hemp plants being largely bred for their fiber, which is mainly found in the stalks of the plant. On the other hand, the majority of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other healthful compounds found in cannabis plants are located in the cannabis flower, which has led to marijuana plants being broader, shorter, and bushier than their hemp counterparts.

Chemical Composition

The defining characteristic between hemp and marijuana is the chemical composition contained within each. There are more than 100 chemical cannabinoids found in cannabis, but the amount of these cannabinoids dramatically differs between the two plants.

Both hemp and marijuana can produce Cannabidiol (CBD), which is the non-intoxicating cannabis compound. CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that interacts with our Endocannabinoid System.

However, hemp and marijuana produce THC at very different levels. THC is the chemical cannabinoid associated with the plant's psychoactive effect. Marijuana's most common cannabinoid is THC and its THC levels can reach up to 30%, depending on the strain. On the other hand, hemp’s THC levels are less than 0.3%.

The low levels of THC in hemp mean that, unlike marijuana, it has historically been used for industrial purposes, like rope, clothing, sail, and paper.


You now know about THC and how hemp and marijuana produce it differently. Due to the difference between their levels of THC, the two plants are regulated very differently under the law.

Hemp was previously regulated as an illegal substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. However, it was removed as an illegal substance under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, making hemp and hemp-derived products, which contain no more than 0.3% THC and which adheres to the regulations set forth in the new Farm Bill, federally legal.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is still treated as a controlled substance and is federally illegal under the Controlled Substance Act.

Thus, when it comes to purchasing your CBD, it is quite crucial to know if it’s derived from hemp or marijuana.

Get Complete Hemp’s hemp-derived CBD here.


Hemp and marijuana have their own attributes and features. Depending on your purpose of using either or both, it is important to clearly know its differences especially when it comes to their legality status. Complete Hemp is aimed to bring the gift of hemp to anyone who desires to take part in it by producing high quality hemp-derived CBD products grown using organic practices in the USA.