Hemp, CBD, & THC - What's the Difference?

If the words "hemp" or "CBD" make you think of marijuana, you aren't alone. Hemp and marijuana are cousins from the same plant family: Cannabis.

Though these plants are related, they contain very different levels of two compounds, CBD and THC.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound called a cannabinoid. It is present in high concentrations in industrial hemp extract. Sometimes called hemp extract oil, CBD is used for a variety of purposes and is an ingredient in a wide range of wellness products. CBD contains several compounds known to benefit the body, including omegas, fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory agents.

Curious about CBD? Check out this video for some basic info!

And, CBD is just one of many compounds found hemp extract. If you are using a product labeled "full spectrum" or "whole plant extract," this means that in additional to CBD, the product contains several other compounds research shows are beneficial to our bodies, including additional cannabinoidsterpenes, nutrients, and vitamins. 

CBD is also non-psychoactive. THC, on the other hand, is the compound found in marijuana that causes psychoactive effects, or a high. Marijuana is high in THC and low in CBD, while hemp is high in CBD and low in THC. 

What does this mean for you? Consuming CBD will not get you high. To be legally considered hemp, the plant and its extracted oil must contain less than 0.3% THC. While THC is often present in hemp extract, the concentration is so low that even large doses of a CBD product won't cause a high. Research even shows that CBD can suppress the effects of THC, lessening the intoxicating effects of that compound.

It's also important to note that hemp extract is not the same as hemp seeds or hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil and hemp seeds are packed with nutrients, but they do not contain CBD, which is considered a phytocannabinoid. You can learn more about cannabinoids and how they work within our bodies below, in the section titled "Endocannabinoids and the ECS."

The products on this site contain CBD sourced from industrial hemp, organically grown on farms in Europe and the U.S. And, we guarantee a concentration of less than 0.3% THC, so you can use our products without worrying about a high.

 The following infographic gives a better look at the differences between THC and CBD, as well as the differences between hemp and marijuana.

cbd versus thc infographic

Endocannabinoids and the ECS

Our bodies, and those of cats, dogs, and other mammals, naturally produce compounds called cannabinoids as part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is used to regulate body processes and bring us into a state of homeostasis, or balance. It consists of three parts: 

  • Cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, including in the brain, organs, and nervous and immune systems (see locations at right),
  • Endocannabinoids, cannabinoids produced by the body which bind to the receptors and relay information to cells about what is happening in other parts of the body,
  • And metabolic enzymes, which are used to break down cannabinoids when they are no longer needed.

CBD and THC are both phytocannabinoids, which means they are cannabinoids produced by plants. When our bodies become imbalanced, and we aren't producing enough endocannabinoids, consuming phytocannabinoids can supplement the ECS. They will interact with receptors in the same way as endocannabinoids, helping to support us by supplementing a naturally occurring system already at work in the body. 

Will hemp extract help me with….?

While we cannot make claims about the efficacy of CBD or prescribe for any condition, CBD research is growing daily.  We encourage you to research CBD and determine the best fit for your well being and wellness goals.