Marijuana is harvested for its flowers (or the “buds”), which contains mind-altering and perception-altering psychoactive properties; this is what is known as the “high” that marijuana causes. However, when it comes to industrial hemp, it is the stalks and seeds are the targets when it comes to harvesting this crop.

On the other hand, Industrial hemp plants do not contain enough THC to get anyone high. In fact, for cannabis to be considered hemp, it must have at the absolute most 0.3% THC by total weight, with many CBD retailers and manufacturers only carrying CBD products that contain virtually no detectable trace amounts of THC.

So, what’s the difference between CBD that is extracted from an industrial hemp source in comparison to CBD that was extracted from a cannabis source?

Well, one of the most common misconceptions about CBD products is that a CBD product that uses CBD that was extracted from industrial hemp is less potent than CBD products that use CBD that was extracted from the marijuana plant. While this is true, it’s not wholly true in a way that is meaningful for CBD users. The total percentage of CBD in hemp plants by total dry weight is lower than the percentage of CBD that can be found in some specific strains of the marijuana plant that was cross-bred in order to achieve a higher CBD content ratio, but once the oil is extracted from the plant, this difference becomes negligible based on the end product’s concentration. A 500 mg concentration of CBD is 500 mg of CBD regardless of whether that CBD was extracted from an industrial hemp source, or if it was extracted from a cannabis source. As we have discussed in the first section of this guide (Concentration Versus Dosage) and in the section “CBD Isolate, Full-Spectrum CBD, or Broad Spectrum CBD?”, it is the concentration, dosage, extraction method and where it falls on the Cannabinoid Spectrum Range that are the most important factors for the overall efficacy of a CBD product, not the source that it was extracted from.

Finally, in addition to industrial hemp-extracted CBD, hemp cultivars also grow much faster than marijuana cultivars, so an intensively bred CBD-dense medical marijuana strain would take a full season to grow, an industrial hemp farmer can create a more environmentally sustainable and conscious product with a faster turnaround, making the industrial hemp-derived CBD a better choice all-in-all in every scenario, aside from one: this assumes that you do not live in a state that has legalized recreational marijuana use and you are looking for a product that has a higher concentration of THC.

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