Are hemp derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD significantly different? Are these differences likely to affect the way you use them? Let's take a closer look at the details.
While the cannabidiol (CBD) industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds regarding positive research findings and the discovery of new therapeutic applications, a significant rift is forming between the two camps of hemp-derived CBD oil and the marijuana-derived CBD oil, especially in the business world.
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There are so many questions and accusations between the two sides, it is important that we delve deeper and identify exactly what the differences are. We need to look into how these two are similar, yet also separate products in terms of processing, chemical make-up, benefits and side effects. The questions we examine here are by no means exhaustive, but they should give you a good understanding of the basics.
Hemp and marijuana originate from the Cannabis Sativa L family of plants. Depending on the farmer's intention and their purpose with the strain they grow, the focus will either be on flower development, or on the stalks, leaves, and seeds. Cannabis crops grown for their flowers typically have high THC levels and are referred to as marijuana, while crops commercially grown for their fibers and stalks are usually referred to as hemp.
By the simplest definition, there is no difference between CBD obtained from either type of plant. CBD is CBD - Molecularly it is identical whether it comes from marijuana or hemp.
However, there are still differences in the final product of hemp-derived CBD oil vs marijuana-derived CBD oil because of the interaction of other molecules that come along for the ride, specifically THC.
Different methods of processing can also significantly alter the components found in the extraction. The more processing the farther we get from the intentional combination of compounds provided by the plant.
There is science showing the important role all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other molecules play together in the body, it's called the entourage effect. It's why we at SOL*CBD minimally process our CBD.
The most prevalent cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant are THC and CBD. Both cannabinoids are found in marijuana and hemp plants at different levels of concentration. To qualify as ‘hemp’, the plant product must legally have less than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana products usually have much higher levels of THC and varying levels of CBD.
These two cannabinoids differ greatly in terms of their interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and their potential for side effects. The ECS in the human body has many receptors, aiding the system to regulate vital processes. These receptors can be activated either by the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids or by plant-derived cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
THC and CBD differ in the way they interact with the receptors in the ECS, but both affect the two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2. According to current research, CBD binds at different sites on these endocannabinoid receptors than THC.
Therefore, because its interaction is different with these receptors, as well as many neurochemical systems and some lesser known receptor subtypes, CBD is not psychoactive. It is, in fact, known to reduce the potency of the psychoactive effects of THC, which is the biggest difference between CBD and THC. THC causes the ‘high’ or euphoria, and other potential effects such as paranoia and anxiety that marijuana is known for, while CBD doesn’t. 
The difference between THC levels in a hemp Cannabis Sativa plant and a marijuana Cannabis Sativa plant also plays a large role in determining its legality in the United States. Plants with high levels of THC remain illegal at the federal level, although state laws may vary. This means that marijuana-derived CBD is not legal in all 50 states.
On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD remains in a legal grey zone in all 50 states. It contains very low levels of THC, and it falls under the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. There is still some discrepancy between federal departments on the final legal status of hemp-derived CBD oil.
The potential psychotropic side effects of marijuana-derived CBD are the most common reasons people tend to lean towards hemp-derived CBD products. Hemp-derived CBD legally must contain 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana-derived CBD can contain more than 20 percent, depending on source material. Because marijuana-derived CBD products can contain very high levels of THC, they could lead to the unwanted side effects typically associated with consuming marijuana.
Common side effects of marijuana-derived CBD with higher levels of THC include changes in appetite, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and feelings of anxiety and paranoia for some people. Hemp-derived CBD, by contrast, has very few reported side effects. The only ones known thus far in the medical literature are tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite, as well as some evidence that it may prevent the liver metabolization of certain pharmaceutical drugs, which may affect their potency. 
Hemp-derived CBD has been found to be safe for use by nearly everyone, including children and seniors. In fact, hemp-derived CBD oil is now used across the country for children with intractable epilepsy. Excitingly, the Food and Drug Administration moved one step closer to endorsing access to CBD oil for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. In April, the FDA voted to recommend the approval of Epidiolex, a prescription-grade CBD product. 
Despite its potential side effects, marijuana-derived CBD along with its THC content may have important medicinal applications, according to literature. Explicitly, it may be extremely useful for patients with AIDS, chronic pain and as a co-therapy to chemotherapy, among other illnesses. Similar to hemp-derived CBD, marijuana-derived CBD has powerful analgesic and antiemetic qualities.
Hemp-derived CBD oil, on the other hand, is showing promise in preliminary research as a compelling alternative therapy. Initial studies show that hemp-derived CBD provides the additional medicinal benefits with action against the following:
Despite being similar in chemical composition, there are critical differences in cannabinoid combination between marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products. From psychotropic effects to the legal status to production methods, THC and CBD have different benefits to offer consumers. Ultimately, it is up to you as the consumer to choose which product will be right for you.
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