With the legalization of hemp products, many individuals are wondering how it differs from marijuana. CBD products have skyrocketed over the past few years due to the overall wellness that they offer. CBD is a unique market that is treated independently but still has a close relationship with the cannabis market. So, what is the difference between hemp and marijuana? In this article, we will explore the differences between both and how they are also similar. 


Hemp is a type of cannabis and is scientifically known as Cannabis Sativa L. Although both hemp and cannabis are from the same family, hemp and marijuana contain different chemical makeup. 

Hemp plants have low levels of the psychoactive ingredient Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but have high levels of the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD). Throughout the United States, the THC level is what defines the difference between hemp and marijuana. 

Hemp became legal with the passing of the 2018 Farm bill. All hemp that contains 0.3% THC or less is now legal. For plants that exceed the 0.3% THC limit, it is considered marijuana and remains illegal under the USA Controlled Substance Act (CSA). 

Hemp happens to be one of the most diverse plants in the world. The stalks can be used to manufacture textiles or create biofuels. Hemp seeds can be eaten or transformed into hemp seed oil. Hemp flowers can be used to extract CBD that can then be used in other products. 

You can purchase CBD hemp flowers from online vendors, such as Oasis Farms. Here they offer the flower which can be smoked or used to make a variety of other products, including tinctures and extracts. CBD is widely known to offer overall wellness and balance without high levels of THC. 


Marijuana is related to hemp but contains high levels of THC. It is known for its psychoactive effects and is not legal in most states across the nation. While marijuana and hemp are closely related their chemical makeup is different. 

Marijuana remains on the Schedule I substance list. However, some states are now allowing the use of medical marijuana. So, there are dispensaries across the nation that now offer marijuana for medical use. 

This herb comes in a variety of forms, including cured flowers, tinctures, edibles, topicals, and other products. 


Hemp and marijuana are a broad classification of Cannabis. The primary species of cannabis include Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. 

Cannabis Sativa is the most commonly talked-about form of cannabis. It grows naturally in tropical regions, including Central America, Africa, and Asia. 

Cannabis Indica came about later. It is abundant in airy mountainous regions, including the hills of Afghanistan and parts of India. Indica plants tend to be shorter and bushier than Sativa.

Cannabis Ruderalis is prominent in the Northern hemisphere, including China, Russia, and Poland. This type of cannabis is known for being able to withstand harsh weather elements.  

While a lot of individuals refer to hemp and marijuana as species or strains, they do not fall under either. To be truthful, they are not technically a plant. As time has gone on, these three subspecies of cannabis have been bred together. Some have a hard time distinguishing a difference between them. Ruderalis is the rarest form of cannabis. Medical marijuana can be found in both Sativa and Indica varieties. 

Let’s dig deeper into what makes the two different from one another. Cannabis and marijuana are used interchangeably in today’s industry. This is why so many people confuse the differences between the two. Cannabis, however, refers to the entire genus of flowering plants, which would actually include both hemp and marijuana. Therefore, it is not correct to exclude hemp when using the term cannabis. Marijuana has been used to distinguish between cannabis that is hemp and cannabis that is not. The difference between the two is the levels of THC, which make hemp legal and marijuana illegal. Cannabis contains many different cannabinoids and chemical compounds. It is the THC level that legally separates hemp from marijuana.

Therefore, the terms hemp and marijuana help distinguish the variations of the cannabis plant. 


Both are members of the cannabis species and contain cannabinoids, as mentioned above. However, the level of those cannabinoids differs. Industrial hemp that is grown today is a form of cannabis Sativa. Making it closely related to marijuana but they are not the same thing. 

Remember, hemp does not contain high levels of THC which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. For hemp to be legal it has to be 0.3% THC or less. High levels of THC could alter your cognitive thinking. 

So, all plants that go above the 0.3% level of THC are classified as marijuana. There you have it, the main defining characteristic between hemp and marijuana is in fact the level of THC that it contains. 


At one time both hemp and marijuana were illegal to buy, sell, and possess. While they are from the same plant, the government decided to make both illegal at one time. However, hemp can be used for so many things, which we missed out on for years due to the laws surrounding hemp. 

From a legal standpoint, marijuana remains illegal for recreational use. It has been legalized in some states to be used for medical reasons. Also, there are some states such as Colorado that allow the recreational use of marijuana. 

Hemp on the other hand became legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. It is no longer considered a Controlled Substance. This means that individuals can freely access hemp. There are still some states who have decided to outlaw hemp, so you must know the laws surrounding this herbal remedy. 


Marijuana and hemp are grown differently. Cultivators of marijuana must be extremely careful. They have to monitor temperature and humidity throughout the growing process. Plants will be positioned far apart, and the nutrients are meticulously controlled. 

Hemp is more easily grown. The plants can be kept close together and can be grown in pretty much any condition. Hemp is a hardy plant and will not require as much care as marijuana does. 

Cultivators can have a quick turn around when it comes to hemp. Growing hemp can be done organically without the help of chemicals and fertilizers. 


Marijuana has a narrow opening when it comes to usage. Since medical marijuana came about it has become more sought after, but recreational use of weed is still frowned upon. 

Hemp contains high levels of CBD, which provides overall wellness and balance without the psychoactive compounds that marijuana is known for. It can also produce useful resources such as food, rope, clothing, paper, and housing materials. Hemp is more sought after than ever before. 


Most of the THC and other compounds that are found within the cannabis plant are in the flower. So, the more that a cannabis plant flowers the better. This causes the marijuana plant to be shorter and bushier than the hemp plant. Marijuana has broad leaves, tight buds, or may look like a nugget that contains tiny hairs or crystals. 

Industrial hemp plants are typically bred for their fibers. These are found in the stalks of the plant. Resulting in the hemp plant is taller and skinnier than marijuana. Hemp will have skinnier leaves that are at the top of the stalks. 


Hemp vs. marijuana comes down to legalities and the amount of THC. While marijuana is legalized for medical purposes in some states, recreational use is only allowed in a few states. Therefore, marijuana as a whole is known to be illegal. Hemp on the other hand is known for its CBD properties and has become very popular in the last few years. 

CBD hemp flowers can be found locally as well as online. Oasis Farms offers a large variety of strains that can be shipped right to your doorstep. When shopping around for a reputable vendor you want to ensure you go with one that provides high-quality hemp flowers. 

Here at Oasis Farms, we conduct third-party lab testing for moisture content, terpene analysis, potency analysis, foreign matter inspection, mycotoxin screening, heavy metal screenings, and pesticide residue analysis. This means that you are getting CBD hemp flowers that are pure and unadulterated. Shop our website and let us know if you have any questions. 

Disclaimer: CBD Flower is not used to treat, cure, or mitigate any disease, illness, ailment, and/or condition. We make no representations as to intended use or suitability for use.

Barbara Santini