The hemp vs cannabis debate

With so many emerging CBD brands on the market, there are lots of things to consider when deciding which product is right for you. When comparing CBD derived from hemp or cannabis, the best choice may not may not be what you think.

Let’s break it down for you from the beginning, starting with the cannabis plant. Marijuana and hemp are both derived from the same genealogy, Cannabis Sativa. In other words, marijuana is cannabis and hemp is cannabis! There are two key factors that differentiate marijuana, cannabis-derived hemp and industrial hemp: the sex of the plant and the breeding.

Marijuana is a slang term for a female version of the cannabis plant that flowers, and typically produces high levels of THC. The flower buds (or fruit) are where the majority of the beneficial compounds (CBD, THC, and terpenes) are found.

Cannabis-derived hemp also refers to a female and flowering cannabis plant. Most people associate cannabis with a THC version that is psychoactive and gets you high, but that’s not always the case. Many farmers breed cannabis strains that are high in CBD and have virtually no THC, like the hemp we use for Pacific Daze CBD. Cannabis-derived hemp is ideal for many folks because it contains all of the magical compounds from the whole plant and is often referred to as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum.* 

Historically, industrial hemp refers to a male version of the cannabis plant. It’s a fibrous, non-flowering plant that produces low amounts of CBD, just about zero THC, and is used for making textiles such as clothing and rope, as well as food products such as hemp seeds. They are grown like corn in giant fields and harvested with combines.

Now here’s where it gets confusing. Because of the 2014 Farm Bill, when a cannabis plant has less than 0.3% THC, the government defines it as “Industrial Hemp”. The Farm Bill does not specify the sex of the plant and has unfortunately created massive confusion when it comes to knowing where your CBD comes from. When a product says the CBD is from industrial-hemp, you have to dig a little deeper to find out what that actually means.

Our CBD is cannabis-derived and extracted from the whole-plant, and because of the Farm Bill, it’s also considered industrial hemp because of it’s low levels of THC.

Take away: Hemp is bred for low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, whereas Marijuana is bred for high levels of THC and varying levels of CBD, but both are cannabis. What matters is quality. Look for CBD that is grown domestically (more on this later) and that is broad or full-spectrum.*

*Broad-Spectrum CBD most commonly refers to whole-plant CBD with all of the natural compounds, excluding THC.


Full-Spectrum CBD