With laws changing nationwide regarding Hemp and the popping up of CBD Oil stores throughout the country, many people ask for specifics when it comes to the difference between Hemp and the drug that is marijuana.

NewsChannel 6 did the research for you and put together this simple graphic that will hopefully help explain the difference and why one is legal and the other is not.

First, it’s important to note, that Hemp and Marijuana are part of the same SPECIES of plant and even part of the same GENUS.  It’s kind of like a dog, all dogs are canines but not all dogs are the same breed.

So here is a little bit about each that is good to know when reading or listening to stories about law changes and such:


The hemp plant is “Cannabis satvia” and is specifically bred to produce plants for it’s strong and durable fiber.  The hemp plant is bred to have less than .03% THC, which is mood altering, so therefore hemp is NOT a mood-altering drug.  Because of this breeding, the hemp plant produces a high level of CBD oil and low levels of THC resin.  Hemp and its uses, including its CBD oil, is legal in the United States and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  In humans, the CBD oil produced by the hemp plant works on the inflammatory systems of the brain which is why some patients say they get relief after using it.

Marijuana “Weed”

We will refer to marijuana as “weed’ for the sake of this article.  Weed is also “Cannabis satvia” but is bred specifically (and illegally in the U.S.) for its resin properties, which is used for recreational purposes.  Weed plants have over 1% and some up to 30% levels of the mood altering compound THC, with some countries cross breeding plants to have even higher THC concentrations.  Weed has a low level of CBD oil, though it does have some.  Because the THC in the oil of the weed plant is above the .03% threshold, this product is illegal.  Weed is considered a Schedule 1 narcotic because it is mood altering, its laws are enforced by the DEA.  In humans, weed works on the part of the brain that regulates mood and hunger. For more detailed information on the differences between Hemp and Weed, visit some of these websites: