Hemp vs. Marijuana: Which CBD Is Best For You?

As cannabis becomes further legalized throughout the United States, more and more information regarding cannabidiol (CBD) and its benefits begin to surface. Today’s most popular topic compares the effectiveness of hemp CBD and marijuana CBD. For a first time user, the endless amount of new information becomes a headache and further complicates making an informed decision. To begin to understand the difference, you must learn the origins of cannabidiol.

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary compound found in marijuana and is famously known for providing the euphoric effects of cannabis. CBD is also a cannabis compound but with significant medical benefits. While both THC and CBD similarly interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the side effects are drastically different. As previously mentioned, THC causes the famous "high" marijuana is known for. Unfortunately, for many users, especially new users, this well-known cannabinoid also summons paranoia and anxiety. CBD, however, actually counteracts THC's psychoactive effects, minimizes anxiety and fights various other health issues (more on this later).  

Both hemp CBD and marijuana CBD come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp, also known as the male cannabis plant, is grown for commercial use making it rich in CBD with trace amounts of THC-less than 0.3%. Marijuana, the female variant, is primarily made for recreational and medicinal purposes and contains higher levels of THC with minimal CBD.

Though hemp and marijuana CBD have a near identical molecular structure, the effectiveness still differs. The "Entourage Effect" which occurs when cannabidiol interacts with other cannabinoids and terpenes plays an essential role in the power of your CBD supplement. Cannabidiol isolates extracted from industrial hemp raises the risk of contamination and lacks other necessary terpenes and cannabinoids to be as effective as THC rich cannabidiol. But THC heavy CBD creates the euphoric side effects some users wish to avoid. For this reason, it is always best to go with CBD supplements labeled “full spectrum” hemp extract, not isolate or distillate, as they possess numerous secondary cannabis compounds with legal levels of THC (less than 0.3%).

Not only do both forms of CBD differ in effectiveness, but the legality also varies. Despite both hemp and marijuana CBD containing some level of THC, hemp is federally legal in all 50 states under the 2014 Farm Bill. Marijuana, on the other hand, is federally a schedule one drug but still technically legal in some form in 39 states, plus D.C., but contains over 0.3% THC; making it illegal under federal law.

By now you should have a better understanding of the differences between hemp CBD (low in THC) and marijuana CBD (high in THC), where they come from, and the legal status of both. But the question remains: which CBD supplement is better? Though Franjo Grotenhermen, former chairman for the International Association for Cannabis, would have you believe “CBD is CBD” no matter how it’s sourced, recent studies prove this couldn’t be further from the truth. Depending on your preferences and condition, marijuana CBD supplements may serve you better than hemp supplements. Marijuana CBD is often used in the medical field to help fight AIDS, minimize symptoms of severe chronic pain, chemotherapy and other serious medical issues. Why? Because the psychoactive effects of THC drastically help alleviate pain, increase appetite and alter one's state of mind in ways hemp cannot. If you wish to reduce exercise-induced inflammation, minor chronic pain, anxiety, nausea or other less severe medical conditions, full spectrum hemp CBD products will do the job. But ultimately it is up to you to decide which CBD supplement is best for you. We recommend going with full spectrum hemp first and moving on to marijuana CBD if needed later on.

For a great tasting full spectrum supplement, shop our line of CBD-infused Aminos. Perfect for rehydration during your workouts, optimal post-workout recovery and reduced muscle inflammation. 


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