If you’re reading this article, you probably have a situation with buying CBD oil.
Let us guess — you’ve just searched for “CBD oil near me” and you’ve been flooded with results like “CBD marijuana oil,” “CBD hemp oil,” “cannabis oil,” or “hemp seed oil”.
All of a sudden, a childishly easy task becomes one hell of a challenge.
Buying the wrong type of CBD oil can prevent you from experiencing the desired effects, not to mention potential legal problems when you try to purchase marijuana CBD oil where marijuana is banned.
In this article, we’ll focus on different types of CBD oil and discuss their differences in detail so that you can decide which one is better for you.
Let’s talk about different species in the cannabis plant family, to begin with.
Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana: It’s Not All The Same
Semantics is where the majority of conflicts arise. CBD oil has different names depending on its source. Here we explain the meaning of cannabis, hemp, and marijuana terms so that you never confuse them again.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a broad term used to define a family of plants. The family’s full name is Cannabis Sativa L.
Put simply, cannabis is the genus; hemp and marijuana are its species.
In essence, marijuana and hemp are two cannabis plants sharing the same parent. By analogy, all squares are rectangles, and so all marijuana and hemp plants are cannabis. But not every cannabis plant is just hemp or marijuana — just as not every rectangle is a square.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a cannabis plant that’s mostly grown for its euphoric and psychoactive properties as well as for medical use. The fibers and stalks of marijuana have no commercial applications. Instead, marijuana plants are cultivated specifically for their resinous flowers, which carry high concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Marijuana plants are naturally high in THC and low in CBD, although breeders are continuously coming up with new high-CBD varieties. To maximize the THC content in marijuana, the plant is often grown indoors in a controlled environment, including light, humidity, and temperature.
Any male marijuana plants are removed to prevent fertilization, which lowers the marijuana’s THC content. Marijuana grows shorter and bushier than hemp, with lots of flowers.
Since marijuana is psychoactive due to high levels of THC, use and possession of marijuana are federally illegal, although states have the right to implement their own regulations. So far, 11 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and 35 states have some sort of medical marijuana program.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a more versatile cannabis plant than marijuana. On top of its flowers, hemp seeds and stalks are used to produce a wide range of products from food to textiles, paper, building materials, and biofuels. Depending on which parts of the plant are used, the chemical makeup of hemp oil will vary. For example, hemp oil extracted from the flowers has high concentrations of CBD along with other cannabinoids and terpenes, whereas the oil from seeds carries no CBD at all but is considered a superfood due to its dense nutritional profile.
Unlike marijuana, hemp is typically grown outside, with both male and female plants cultivated together to prompt wind pollination and increase seed production. The hemp plants usually grow tall with sturdy stalks and thin leaves, reaching up to 4 meters in height. It’s also very resistant to insects and thus can be grown without herbicides or pesticides.
Hemp has naturally high concentrations of CBD and only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3% per dry mass). Hemp products are non-psychoactive and federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
Different Types of Cannabis Oil
When you hear or read “cannabis oil”, this doesn’t actually tell you anything aside from the fact that it was extracted from one of the cannabis plants — hemp or marijuana.
Some people even refer to hemp seed oil as the “cannabis oil,” which doesn’t help the situation.
Here’s the only breakdown of different cannabis oils you’ll ever need. Read it carefully!
1. Marijuana CBD Oil
As the name suggests, marijuana CBD oil is sourced from the flowers of high-CBD marijuana plants. Since CBD is the main ingredient and the ratios of THC are lower than in typical marijuana oil, it can produce mild psychoactive effects on top of the health benefits associated with CBD. However, they are nowhere near the high you get from consuming a high-THC strain. If you want to buy marijuana CBD oil, you need to live in a state that allows, at least, the medical use of marijuana.
2. Hemp CBD Oil
This type of CBD oil comes from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC and high levels of CBD ranging between 5% and 30%. Hemp-derived CBD products are federally legal because they don’t produce psychoactive effects. They’re currently classified as health supplements and can be found over the counter in cannabis dispensaries, health stores, and head shops all over the country. The vast majority of CBD oil advertised online come from hemp.
3. Hemp Seed Oil
Technically, hemp seed oil comes from cannabis because hemp is a cannabis plant. But calling hemp seed oil “cannabis oil” is a huge overstatement. That’s because — by definition — cannabis oils contain cannabinoids and hemp seeds have hardly any cannabinoids. Instead, the seeds of hemp plants are full of nutrients, such as omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, and trace minerals. Hemp seed oil is usually used as a cooking ingredient or as a base for body care products.
CBD Hemp Oil vs CBD Marijuana Oil: An Overview of the Differences
In this section, we’ll cover the differences between CBD hemp oil and CBD marijuana oil in detail. The table below contains a general overview:
|CBD Marijuana Oil||CBD Hemp Oil|
|Cannabinoid Makeup||High CBD / low-to-high THC||High CBD / very low THC (below 0.3%)|
|Is It Psychoactive?||Yes||No|
|Legal Status||Legal in 11 states for recreational use |
Legal in 35 states for medical use
|Where Can You Buy It?||Cannabis dispensaries||Cannabis dispensaries, head shops, health stores, online stores|
|What Is It Used For?||Medical purposes |
Also used for better therapeutic effects. Experts argue that as little as 1% of THC can unlock the full potential of the full spectrum of cannabinoids in the plant.
|General supplementation and medical purposes|
|Possible Side Effects||Dry mouth, lower blood pressure, dizziness, diarrhea||Dry mouth, dry eyes, poor coordination, anxiety, paranoia|
1. The Source of the Oil
As mentioned, marijuana CBD oil is made from high-CBD marijuana flowers, whereas hemp CBD oil uses hemp cultivars for extraction.
2. Cannabinoid Makeup
Both types of CBD oil have high concentrations of CBD, but with different levels of THC. Marijuana CBD oil can have low to high levels of THC depending on the strain. There are varieties carrying ratios between CBD and THC such as 1:1, 2:1, 5:1, and even 20:1.
Hemp CBD oil has high levels of CBD and only trace amounts of THC. Everything that has less than 0.3% of THC is considered hemp in the United States.
CBD marijuana oil is psychoactive because it has more THC inside. However, the high from CBD marijuana oil is more gentle than what you get from consuming a THC tincture. With strains that have a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio of CBD, it’s unlikely that you get intoxicated.
CBD hemp oil is completely non-psychoactive. The aforementioned 0.3% of THC is not enough to produce any intoxicating effects — the main reason why hemp products are federally legal.
Both types of CBD oil have a wide range of health benefits. However, people use them for different purposes.
Due to a higher THC content, CBD marijuana oil is the preferred option among patients with eating disorders, inflammatory pain, bowel disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer.
CBD hemp oil, on the other hand, is better for those seeking the benefits of cannabis without getting high. This type of CBD oil is reported by patients to help with the management of anxiety, seizures, chronic pain, poor immune function, compromised stress response, and skin problems.
Although CBD marijuana oil can produce mild psychoactive effects, it’s rarely used for recreational purposes, which is no wonder given the abundance of high-THC products these days.
5. Side Effects
Hemp CBD oil is generally considered safe and has a very short list of mild side effects, such as dry mouth, a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, or diarrhea. However, that last side effect results from consuming too much oil, not CBD per se.
Although marijuana CBD oil doesn’t have any life-threatening side effects — nobody has ever died from a marijuana overdose — consuming too much of the product can cause you to experience feelings of unease, anxiety, and create paranoid thinking patterns. Fortunately, these side effects are short-lived and can be dealt with using simple stress management techniques and staying well hydrated.
However, this would call for consuming marijuana CBD oil in very large quantities because CBD has the ability to counter some of the psychoactive effects of THC.
Should You Buy Hemp CBD Oil or Marijuana CBD Oil?
One of the misconceptions about hemp-derived CBD products is that CBD from hemp is less potent than the one sourced from marijuana strains. While it’s true that high-CBD marijuana plants have more CBD than hemp plants by dry weight, this difference begins negligible once the oil is extracted. This just means that you need more plant material to achieve the desired potency in hemp CBD oil.
The economical argument is also invalid considered that hemp can be grown closely together and grows much faster than marijuana, so hemp farmers can create a more environmentally sustainable product.
It’s also worth noting that all cannabis plants are bioaccumulators (absorb and collect contaminants), so this trait is not only unique to the hemp species. In addition, a marijuana plant grown with toxic pesticides or fertilizers is more dangerous to consumers than an organically grown hemp plant that requires minimal care and can be quickly harvested when grown outdoors.
Not to mention that on the molecular level, CBD is the same regardless of its source.
The main reason why proponents of marijuana CBD oil consider it superior to hemp CBD oil is the higher THC content in marijuana products. Experts explain that higher levels of THC in a CBD extract can make it more effective in managing certain conditions, such as arthritis, chronic pain, and gut inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
However, the levels of THC in marijuana CBD oil are too high to be considered legal on the federal level. Unless the federal government removes the ban on cannabis, people in “illegal states” must rely on CBD oil from hemp.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that hemp CBD oil is less potent than its marijuana-derived counterpart. It may just require you to take higher doses in certain cases, but then again, you’re staying away from legal troubles and avoid getting high.
After all, not everybody enjoys the psychoactive side of cannabis.
Final Thoughts on CBD Hemp Oil vs CBD Marijuana Oil
With so much contradicting information about different types of CBD oil available online, it’s important for consumers to filter that knowledge and only rely on trusted sources. We hope that this guide has helped you get a good understanding of the differences between CBD hemp oil and marijuana CBD oil. If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, at least, for medical use, you can try both products on yourself and see which one works better for your condition.
Just remember that everybody reacts differently to CBD and the effects might not necessarily happen overnight. Sometimes, it takes time for CBD to take hold, so keep a dosage diary and monitor the effects. To learn more about the benefits of CBD, read our introductory overview of CBD oil products!