Hemp-Derived VS. Marijuana-Derived CBD: What started as merely a curiosity for CBD products, turned into a passionate mission. Inspired by Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special on CBD and vaping, it became very apparent that there was (and continues to be) a lot of confusion and misinformation in the CBD marketplace. One thing that we can be sure of is that people who seek CBD products are looking for a solution and relief to otherwise ineffectively prescribed (and chemically derived) drugs with a multitude of side effects.

To help demystify the confusion, let’s start with the basics.

What is CBD? And what is the difference between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s a naturally occurring chemical compound (or cannabinoid) found in cannabis plants. Marijuana and hemp are both from the cannabis family. Although hemp has recently gained popularity because of its CBD content, it has in fact been used for centuries for clothing, food, fuel and much more.

To start with Hemp Derived CBD VS. Marijuana Derived CBD, let’s not confuse CBD oil with hemp oil. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and does not contain any cannabinoids. Hemp oil is packed with healthy fats and often appears in beauty products for its moisturizing benefits. Having said that, CBD oil does require a carrier oil to effectively deliver the correct dosage. The most common carrier oils include hemp seed oil, and (coconut) MCT oil, although olive oil has recently gained some popularity as well.

The main difference between hemp and marijuana-derived CBD is the THC content. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is yet another naturally occurring compound that creates a psychoactive effect, or a “high”. Hemp-derived CBD contains only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) and therefore mostly used for its therapeutic effects.

There are different types of CBD: full spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolate.

Full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD is extracted from the whole plant (leaves, flowers, stem, and seeds). It goes through very minimal processing and therefore retains all of the plant’s cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll, and terpenes. Full-spectrum is believed to be the most effective due to it’s “entourage effect”. Since it maintains almost all of the plants naturally occurring compounds it creates somewhat of a therapeutic synergy. At less than 0.3% THC it has little to no psychoactive effective at all. However, even trace amounts of THC will test out during a drug test, so be aware if this could be a concern for you.

Broad-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD is quite similar to full-spectrum, maintaining all of the plant’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, terpenes, etc. except that it is free from any THC at all. It is possible to still have the “entourage effect” since only the THC has been removed. It is a hybrid between full-spectrum and isolate.

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD at 99.9% concentration. The extraction process removes all other cannabinoids, flavonoids, minerals, vitamins, terpenes and of course, THC. What you are then left with is the therapeutic effects of CBD without any THC.

Although CBD isolate would be the best choice for someone who is concerned about drug testing, full-spectrum CBD continues to be a strong contender for a more wholistic remedy/relief approach.

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