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The Difference Between Hemp Derived CBD and Cannabis Derived CBD Explained

The Difference Between Hemp Derived CBD and Cannabis Derived CBD Explained

The many promising health benefits of CBD have led to an increase both in public interest and the availability of CBD in the general market. CBD is used to help with a range of physical and mental health concerns - from anxiety and depression, to joint aches and psoriasis. This growing interest and conversation has led to misunderstandings and misconceptions about the plant - a common one concerning the difference between Hemp-derived CBD and Cannabis-derived CBD. 

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With increased numbers of infused products lining stores, many consumers have found themselves purchasing products containing Hemp oils for various medicinal needs, believing they have the same make-up and benefits as Cannabis-infused CBD oil, only to be left disappointed by products which are not inherently bad, but contain 0.3% THC  a minimal amount of THC that may make the product less effective. Understanding the differences between Hemp-derived CBD and Cannabis-derived CBD is key to making informed decisions about the products being included in day-to-day wellness routines. 

There are many differences between the two, beginning with the chemical compounds used to describe them. While some use “hemp” and “cannabis” interchangeably, Cannabis actually refers to a genus of plants with three species: indica, sativa and ruderalis while “hemp” refers specifically to the cannabis sativa species.


The manufacturing and sale of hemp products is not a foreign phenomenon. Like cannabis, hemp has been cultivated and used for hundreds of years, and has historically been commonly used to make rope, clothing, food, paper, building materials, etc. This differs from Cannabis, which is more typically cultivated for recreational and medicinal consumption. 

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Another source of the common confusion over differences between the two is the fact that the cannabis and hemp plants slightly resemble each other. They do not have the same genetic makeup, as the “hemp” plant typically does not contain more than 0.3% THC. Cannabis plants, on the other hand, contain more THC, which helps to activate the receptors and works synergistically to better alleviate symptoms. 

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In addition, Cannabis contains significantly more resin on its flowers and leaves than hemp does, offering  a more abundant source of CBD than hemp.  making it a richer source of cannabinoids and terpenes. In order to extract  CBD from a hemp plant, a much larger quantity is needed. Hemp derived CBD products tend to contain higher levels of contaminants. Leaving the consumer at a higher risk  of potentially ingesting and absorbing heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals into their skin.   This terpene and cannabinoid profile of Cannabis has a wider range and concentration than hemp does. CBD derived from the whole cannabis plant contains a variety of compounds including THC which, when working together, produce additional benefits thanks to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, helping to enhance and lengthen its overall effects.  

Cannabis-derived CBD and THC paired together are more potent, compounding their compatible qualities to provide boosted anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, all-around health giving benefits. In infused products like topicals, this serves well for fast-acting area-specific relief from pain, inflammation, scarring and dryness. Our SHINE herbal topical is infused with 150mg THC and 300mg CBD, allowing both compounds to work in tandem with the body’s endocannabinoid system for alleviation of varied health concerns. The product’s all-natural ingredients (including Marigold, St. John's Wort and Plantain) allow for a holistic experience of the SHINE balm, which also leaves a pleasant earthy aroma on the skin. 

Contrary to another popular misconception about Cannabis-derived CBD, this topical is not psychoactive, and will not inflict any “high” effects, as topicals - regardless of THC content - will not induce that feeling the way ingesting cannabis would. The product absorbs deeply into the skin to gently soothe physical issues, safely allowing for daily use. THC has its own health benefits which transcend the psychoactive, making it a highly beneficial addition to compliant medicinal products. 

Hemp and cannabis are both valuable sources of dynamic compounds that positively affect the quality of life for many and even provide sustainable alternatives to everyday items. Their abilities to produce CBD are useful tools in the creation of a more accessible holistic healing culture. 

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