Breaking down the difference between CBD, hemp and marijuana

Published: Jun. 6, 2019 at 3:08 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The plant looks the same, but do you know the difference between CBD, hemp and marijuana?

With CBD stores rising in popularity in the Columbia area, many are still questioning what the usage of CBD is and just how it relates to marijuana and hemp. Here’s an easy breakdown:


Hemp is one of two strains from the cannabis plant and must be bred with less than .3% THC to be considered hemp by the FDA. Hemp also is mainly used for textiles. Hemp is one of the strongest fibrous substances and is used in clothing, ropes, cardboard, housing materials and more.


Marijuana is the second strain from the cannabis plant. According to the FDA, marijuana is defined by the amount of THC bred higher than .3%. THC is the psychoactive compound within the cannabis plant that people associate with the “high” that accompanies use of marijuana. Marijuana, also known as weed, can be used medically and recreationally in certain states. South Carolina has a no-tolerance policy for any use of marijuana.


CBD is the chemical compound found in the cannabis plant that does not have the psychoactive properties of THC. CBD is primarily used for medical and recreational purposes though the research on its effects are still up for medical debate. CBD has been known to aid in pain relief and lessening anxiety, but the FDA said in an article on cannabis related questions, “they recognize the potential therapeutic opportunities that CBD could offer” and are continuing to pursue research into the substance. In the state of South Carolina, according to the S.C. General Assembly, only hemp-produced CBD is legal.

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