Hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant — Cannabis sativa.
Like other plants, cannabis has many different forms (called phenotypes) depending on its genetic lineage and growing environments. Even though two plants may be the same species, they can be exceptionally different from each other.
The main difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC they produce. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that makes users feel high.
Officially, hemp is any plant that contains less than 0.3% THC by dried weight.
Marijuana is any cannabis plant containing more than 0.3% THC.
Hemp is completely legal in the United States and much of the world, while marijuana is generally considered illegal due to its psychoactive effects.
There are two other species of marijuana as well — Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. These species are always classified as marijuana rather than hemp.
Is Hemp Seed Oil the Same as CBD Oil?
Hemp seed oil is very different from CBD oil and is not a suitable alternative.
Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the cannabis plant. The seeds are rich in phytonutrients and omega-6 fatty acids but contain no active cannabinoids or terpenes.
CBD oil is made from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. It’s rich in phytonutrients, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other medicinal compounds.
All CBD oil is made from hemp leaves and flowers. Some companies will mix the extract with hemp seed oil after, but the active ingredients are in the leaf and flower extract only.