Hemp, CBD, and Marijuana: Are All CBD Molecules Created Equally?

Marijuana CBD vs. Hemp CBD: What You Need to Know

A commonly visited topic in the cannabis industry and with CBDistillery™ community is the difference between CBD, cannabidiol, derived from hemp versus CBD derived from marijuana. While some canna consumers argue there is no difference between the CBD produced from these two products, others passionately debate that CBD derived from marijuana is superior. So what are the facts? Below we explore the unbiased, scientific data regarding this subject.

Are all CBD molecules created equally?

The CBD molecule when isolated is the same whether it was derived from marijuana or hemp. Thus, the argument of the CBD molecule being different in marijuana and hemp is a misconception. Franjo Grotenhermen of the International Association of Cannabinoid Medicines famously declared, “CBD is CBD. The human body does not care where the molecule comes from (2).”

To better understand this, think of drinking water from the faucet of your sink or a filtered water bottle. Although the purity of the water might be different, the H2O molecule is consistent.

Similar to the above analogy, what is arguably relevant in the debate between hemp versus marijuana extracts should be the purity and safety of the cannabidiol someone is consuming, regardless of the plant, it is derived from.

What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis species, but are grown for different purposes. Hemp – also called industrial hemp- is one of the oldest plants known to man, dating back to 8000 BC (1). The plant itself is typically tall and thin and cultivated to produce food, oils, paper, other textiles, and high CBD extractions. Marijuana plants, on the other hand, are bred for their psychotropic properties.

The cannabis plant species, which includes industrial hemp, contains 60 known cannabinoid compounds. The levels of THC in cannabis are what legally distinguish which plants are considered hemp and which are considered marijuana. High levels of THC (3 -15%) which is the most well-known compound in cannabis and is the cannabinoid most commonly associated with the plants’ psychoactive properties, is found in higher concentrations in marijuana plants, whereas industrial hemp status is given to cannabis plants with THC levels less than .3%.

CBD in hemp plants vs. CBD in marijuana plants

Cannabinoid ratios differ from each cannabis strain. Whereas the marijuana strain in Girl Scout Cookies has high levels of CBG, the Sativa strain Durban Poison is richer in THCV. Neither strain is necessarily better, they just different in cannabinoid ratios. Similarly, hemp is a cannabis strain with typically higher concentrations of CBD, CBG, CBC and sometimes THCV but will always have low levels of THC.

The Importance of Extraction Methods

There are various ways of extracting cannabidiol from a cannabis plant, each with their pros and cons. CO2 and ethanol extraction are two of the most commonly used methods. CO2 extraction, for example, uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to extract, preserve, and maintain the purity of the CBD oil. According to ProjectCBD.org, ‘when well done the end product is safe, potent, and free of chlorophyll’ (3). When choosing a CBD product, make sure the company uses a safe solvent and a verified extraction method.


A molecule is a molecule is a molecule. This theory is consistent when it comes to all cannabis products, including CBD products derived from hemp and marijuana plants. It is highly recommended when choosing a CBD product, to look beyond which plant the molecule has been extracted from and consider the potency, safety, and most importantly, the quality which is not impacted by what type of cannabis the molecule came from but rather the purity of the molecule itself.



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  1. Leafly. (2015, July 14). Hemp 101: What Is Hemp, What’s It Used for, and Why Is It Illegal?
  2. Medical Marijuana, Inc.. (2016, October 3). CBD From Hemp Oil vs. CBD From Medical Marijuana
  3. Project CBD. Cannabis Oil Extraction.


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Do terpenes such as myrcene affect the CBD experience like they do THC?


Yes absolutely. Thank you for your comment. Customers use terpenes (ours are hemp derived) to change the flavor profile of CBD isolate powder or slab, as well as aid in the entourage effect. Check out this YouTube video on The CBDistillery™ YouTube Channel about our terpenes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QujFOATGvmg

– Ellese
The CBDistillery™

Kelsey Hurst

I agree completely. But have you heard of the “entourage effect” where cbd and thc work better when they are together?


Andrew Leising

We have and we definitely believe in the “entourage effect” but we do also believe that CBD on it’s own is a great product. Whats great about our full spectrum products is that they contain multiple Cannabinoids and Terpenes which you can see in the test results posted. These work great if you are looking for the “entourage effect” .

Cannabis aficionado

Great explanation.

Test tesyrt

Thank you! We appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this post.

– Ellese
The CBDistillery™

Helena J. Faulkner

I have severe back pain plus lots of skin problems like rashes ect.from stress the dr.says I am interested in what I can use on my face plus what I can use for pain thank you
Helena J.Faulkner


Thank you for your comment and I am sorry to hear about your skin problems and pain. We are unable to make medical recommendations in regards to our products, but here is the link to two of our products that you might be interested in. *The CBDol is our pain cream and is applied topically. https://www.thecbdistillery.com/product/500-mg-cbdol-topical-salve/ *Our 500mg (also comes in 250mg and 1,000mg) Full Spectrum is another great option for those who prefer to ingest CBD sublingually. https://www.thecbdistillery.com/product/500-mg-10-ml-full-spectrum-tincture-oil-cbd-cbd-drops/. Here is a YouTube video with more information on our Tinctures : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN8f9Ys3mhs Feel free to send us an email ([email protected])… Read more »


does the “purity” alter it ANY way? i have chronic pain and anxiety and i was curious if any strain helps specifically better on certain problems.


Hi Kelsey,

Our isolates are 99% pure CBD. Our other products, like our Full Spectrum Tinctures, contain anywhere from 16mg to 66mg of CBD, depending on the mg strength. To further answer your question, all of our products are hemp derived, so the strain will remain consistent, but the amount of CBD will vary from product to product.

Please feel free to email our Customer Loyalty Team ([email protected]) with any additional questions.


– Ellese

Brooklyn Shoup

Does the distillery derive from hemp or marijuana?


All of our CBD and Full Spectrum products are Hemp derived. Check out our most popular product, Hemp derived, 99% pure CBD isolate slab https://www.thecbdistillery.com/product/99-cbd-isolate-slab-derived-from-industrial-hemp-2/

Thank you for your comment!

– Ellese
The CBDistillery™


Hi Brooklyn,

All of our products are Hemp derived.


Can you pass a ua after smoking this

Ellese McKenney

Hi Jeff,

We legally are unable to state whether someone will pass a drug test using CBD products, but would highly suggest doing further research at ProjectCBD.org

Please feel free to email our Customer Loyalty Team ([email protected]) at anytime with additional questions.



Brandon Murdza

Yes there’s no thc… i take uas randomly and take dabs all day


Which one of your products would be best to try in a 4 1/2 lb dog with epilepsy?


Hi Bonnie,

We legally cannot make product recommendations based on an ailment, but we do carry one pet specific product, our Pet Tincture (https://www.thecbdistillery.com/product/150mg-15ml-pet-tincture/).

I suggest doing some research and consulting with your Vet before deciding to treat your dog with any CBD products.

Please feel free to email our Customer Loyalty Team ([email protected]) at anytime with additional questions. Best of luck to you and your 4 legged friend!

– Ellese

Joseph Nekrutman

Hey…I just find that by some miracle since dabbing on CBD terpsolate and slabs that my ******** has dissapeared….Which is pretty incredible….My chronic back pain is a challenge and havent much luck in that area with hemp cbd…..Im in Fla where im almost legal….so ill see the difference with my pain levels…..Our bodies are all different…But no complaints with CBD Distillery. ..Thanx

Glad to be one of many visitants on this awing website :

John J

If I mix your 99% isolate with a cannabis strain with say 15% thc and very little % of CBD..
Will this give me a mixture that will help my back pain.
Does your CBD isolate also contain other CB molecules..like G and C.

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Hi John, we are legally unable to give medical advice on our products. Our 99% CBD Isolate does not contain other cannabanoids. If you are looking for the entourage effect that comes with additional cannabanoids, our Tincture is made with a full spectrum oil that contains additional cannabanoids other than CBD.

John J

Any idea when you folks will be processing and accepting payments for your products.

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Hi John, Unfortunately, our payments are still down and that is why you are possibly experiencing declines, error messages, and orders being on “Hold”. Good news, we have assembled 2 alternate payment processors that will be available on Tuesday. When payments are officially up and running, we will be sending out a mass email letting you know you are able to re-place an order – including the promised 10% discount code. We completely understand how frustrating it has been having payments down and we want to thank you for your patience and continued support. We are working as hard as… Read more »

Jeshi B

If hemp naturally contains other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and CBC, why do you choose to remove it from your concentrates and only leave them for your tinctures?

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Hi Jeshi, our CBD isolate is the only product that doesn’t contain the other cannabinoids. The main purpose is that some customers strictly want to use CBD with zero THC usage whatsoever. Have a great day 🙂

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Hi Ryan, we hope one day! Our payment processing options right now are dictated by the policies around CBD, hemp derived and marijuana derived – as the two are not separated. Believe us, we would love to have PayPal as an option but until then keep your fingers crossed.


Why is the fact that hemp is a bio-accumulator not mentioned as a characteristic? The “job” of hwmp is to pull toxins from the soil. The heavy metals that stick around in the plant are rarely tested for. You don’t have this issue with marijuana. Why drink river water when you have access to spring water?

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Hi Louella, thank you for your suggestion – we will keep it in mind for future articles 🙂

Hey team, the article is great. I will be sharing it.

I will dispute one small fact, the suggestion that supercritical carbon dioxide extraction occurs under very low temperatures. Co2 goes supercritical at 87.9 degrees F, and 1070 PSI. Ethanol extraction, on the other hand, does indeed use very cold temperatures.

There’s not much better than a weell authored article! Thank you incredibly for this breath of fresh air, I loved every second of the read.

Willl be looking forward to your next post 🙂


You give good advice; “When choosing a CBD product, make sure the company uses a safe solvent and a verified extraction method.” However, I can find NO mention of the method you use at CBDistillery on your website.

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Hi Ron, we use CO2 extraction 🙂

Bonnie Craig

Hello, I was wondering if the color of the CBD oil varies. I’ve seen some that are clear and pale yellow and some that are brown. Is the brown more potent? Fairly new at this, I use it for arthritis and fibromyalgia. I’d appreciate if you could explain this for me. Thank you.

The CBDistillery - Customer Support Team

Thank you for reaching out! It is absolutely normal for batches to vary in taste and color 🙂 Please know it is still 100% safe to consume and the test results are consistent as well!

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