So much has been said about Marijuana, Hemp, and CBD. After all, do you know the differences between them?

It’s easy to get confused when you know the difference between hemp and marijuana. These terms are often mistakenly used interchangeably, despite clear differences between the two plants.

First, it is important to understand that hemp and marijuana are plants of the same species, Cannabis sativa. However, both are genetically distinct and generally used for different purposes.

The Hemp

Hemp is a Cannabis plant grown for its seeds, fiber, and stem. The seeds are used in the production of food, nutritional supplements, medicines, and cosmetics. The stem and its fibers are used to produce paper, fabrics, ropes, plastic compounds, and construction materials.

Hemp grows well in nature, typically grown outdoors, where male and female plants are sown side by side to encourage wind pollination. The plant grows vigorously, reaching a height of 2 to 4 meters.

For a Cannabis plant to be considered hemp, it must contain a maximum of 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient that causes psychoactive effects. This THC level is 33 times lower than that found in less potent marijuana. In this way, it is impossible for a user to feel the psychotropic effects of hemp, which naturally has a higher content of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the more than 120 cannabinoids identified so far in Cannabis.

The Marijuana

Marijuana is Cannabis grown primarily for its psychoactive properties that cause the high associated with the plant. The stem and fibers are not used, but its flowers are the part of the plant with the highest levels of THC.

To maximize these THC levels in marijuana, it is commonly grown indoors so that conditions such as light, temperature, and humidity can be closely controlled. All male plants are removed from the enclosure to prevent the females from being fertilized, which causes the plant’s energy to be directed toward seed production, lowering the THC concentration of the flowers. Unlike hemp, which develops as a slender plant with few lateral branches, marijuana is short in stature, bushy, and has many flowers.

Through selected breeding, marijuana strains can have THC concentrations between 10 and 30%. The plant naturally has a very low CBD content.

*Possession of marijuana, whether for recreational or medicinal use, is illegal in Brazil.


CBD is a compound found in cannabis. There are hundreds of such compounds, which are termed “cannabinoids,” because they interact with receptors involved in a variety of functions like appetite, anxiety, depression, and pain sensation. THC is also a cannabinoid.

Clinical research indicates that CBD is effective at treating epilepsy. Anecdotal evidence suggests it can help with pain and even anxiety – though scientifically the jury is still out on that.

Marijuana, containing both CBD and more THC than hemp, has demonstrated therapeutic benefits for people with epilepsy, nausea, glaucoma, and potentially even multiple sclerosis and opioid-dependency disorder.

Retail CBD

CBD comes in food, tinctures, and oils, just to name a few. Here are some commonly used terms used to describe CBD products in the store.

While the terms “CBD tincture” and “CBD oil” are often used interchangeably, the two are actually different. Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol, while oils are made by suspending CBD in carrier oil. “Pure” CBD, also called “CBD isolate,” is called that because all other cannabinoids have been removed. “Broad spectrum” CBD typically contains at least three other cannabinoids, as well as some terpenes and flavonoids – but still no THC.
Consumers concerned about the content and the accuracy of CBD products, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, can look for certification from independent lab testing or by scanning a QR code on product packaging.

Note that CBD oil is different from hemp oil – which comes from pressing cannabis seeds, and may not contain CBD – and hemp seed oil, which is a source of essential fatty acids and contains no CBD. It’s a nutritional supplement, more like fish oil than CBD oil.

At Gaia Hemp you will find CBD oil, pure or in tincture, of the highest quality. Check it out.

Still have questions?

At Gaia Hemp, we believe in the miracle healing power of herbs, as we personally have experienced the restorative medicinal benefits of CBD. We value transparency by offering the finest quality Canadian-grown hemp and cold-pressed CBD extracted with 100% purity. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us today.


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