Hemp vs Cannabis vs Marijuana Explained

Cannabis, marijuana and hemp: what’s the difference? 

Hemp vs marijuana. Hemp vs cannabis. Hemp vs weed. If you’re feeling confused over the numerous different words for cannabis, you’re not alone. In this article we’re looking at the difference between some common cannabis-related terms and how they relate to cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD.

Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp Comparison

*Due to differences in legal regulations of hemp cultivation, European plants contain <0.2% THC while US plants contain <0.3%. All the products you find on The Chillery have THC levels <0.2%.


Cannabis is the name given to a family of plants with two species: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Marijuana is a plant that can be a member of both classifications while hemp is only a member of the Cannabis Sativa family.

Hemp is cultivated for non-drug use as its chemical makeup consists of <1% THC, which means hemp won’t get you high, and as well as being used as a source of CBD, it has a variety of other uses, with its fibre being utilised for everything from clothing to building materials.

Marijuana is cultivated for use as a recreational drug (as well as for medicinal purposes in some parts of the world). Often known as ‘weed’, the marijuana plant contains high levels of THC - anything from 5-35%. However, the average THC levels found in marijuana these days tend to be more like 10-25%. What’s more, as the benefits of CBD come to public attention, there’s been more focus on THC:CBD ratios in the breeding of marijuana plants in recent years, with high CBD and low THC levels giving products much more widespread appeal. That’s down to the fact that the CBD fights the psychoactivity of the THC while bringing a range of purported health benefits.

So where does CBD come into it, and what’s the difference between hemp CBD vs cannabis CBD? CBD and THC are cannabinoid compounds found in both hemp and marijuana plants (the cannabis family) and we dive into these in more detail here. But the key difference is that hemp is high in CBD and low in THC while marijuana is high in THC and low in CBD.

Where does cannabis grow?

Ever pondered the origins of marijuana? The cannabis plant has a long and interesting history, its use dating back thousands of years. It’s found all over the world, but it originates in the steppes of Central Asia - Mongolia and southern parts of Siberia - and it’s found everywhere from Pakistan to China. Over the centuries it spread to Europe and then Africa and the Americas with the movement of people, its progress helped by its hardiness: cannabis is a very adaptable plant and can thrive even in hostile conditions.

It’s important to remember that because cannabis is so hardy, it can grow even in poor quality soil. In doing so, it easily absorbs heavy metals and other noxious substances from the ground, which can work their unwelcome way into any products derived from these plants. Because of this, it’s vital to ensure that when you’re buying any cannabis-derived product - such as CBD oil or hemp oil - it comes from a producer who’s made sure their plants are grown organically, in good-quality soil free from these harmful substances.

Read the label carefully to make sure you know what you’re buying, as some manufacturers are more scrupulous about organic sourcing than others. Of course, if you order from The Chillery you can be confident we’ve done the research necessary to ensure you’re only purchasing the best quality products - those containing CBD oil derived from cannabis grown in top quality soil.

CBD oil versus hemp oil

On the subject of CBD oil, it’s also important to be aware that there are different oils available from the cannabis plant, and they’re not interchangeable. CBD oil is the substance believed to offer all manner of miraculous health benefits. Hemp oil or hemp seed oil, though touted as a superfood, contains no cannabinoids (including CBD), so hemp oil is not the same thing as CBD oil. 

The products you’ll find here at The Chillery are all clearly labelled to ensure that you’ll always know exactly what’s in them, whether it’s CBD oil or hemp oil. Though the CBD oil is the base product, it comes in numerous different formats so that it can be vaped, applied topically, taken as a tincture under the tongue, stirred into drinks or even enjoyed as a bath bomb in a hot bath or as a relaxing face mask. Check out our guide to CBD delivery formats to find out more about how to work CBD oil into your daily routine.

Woman with CBD oilKnow what you're buying

Hopefully this has cleared up the differences between the various cannabis-derived products you’ll find on the market today. At The Chillery, we’re here to help you navigate the world of cannabinoids and CBD oil with our carefully curated collection of high-quality CBD products you can trust. 

The CBD industry is still in its infancy, with minimal regulation, so it’s important that you can be sure you’re buying a product you can safely incorporate into your daily wellness routine for an array of potential health benefits. Learn more about CBD in this introductory guide, find out how to work out the right dosage for you, and get started with our CBD dosage cheat sheet.

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The Chillery and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The information and products presented on this site are not intended for medical use nor do they make any medical claims. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.

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