If you’re interested in getting into the cannabis industry and becoming a farmer, you probably already know how important it is to get as familiar with the product as possible. As of 2019, there were over 128,000 acres of hemp planted in the U.S. alone. It continues to be a booming industry, and now is a great time to jump in.

But, people tend to throw a lot of language around when it comes to the cannabis industry. At times, it can seem like hemp and CBD are the same things. Understanding the ins and outs of what these two components really are will help your growing process and give you a better idea of where you should put your focus. 

So, when it comes to hemp vs. CBD in Michigan, what should you know before you grow? 

Knowing the Species of Cannabis

Again, you’ve probably heard people talking about CBD, cannabis, marijuana, and hemp as though they were all the same thing. But, that simply isn’t true. THC and CBD are two of the most popular “species” of cannabis, but they work in very different ways. 

THC is what is found in traditional marijuana, and it is the psychoactive ingredient that makes people feel “high” when they use it. CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive ingredient. CBD oils are actually made from the hemp plant, which only has about a 0.3% THC level, compared to marijuana plants that have anywhere from 15-20% THC. 


What is Hemp? 

Hemp is simply a species of the cannabis plant Sativa. Again, it’s classified as such because it has about 0.3% THC levels (or less). 

Hemp has lower amounts of THC, and more concentrated amounts of CBD (cannabidiol). It is a plant that has been grown for centuries, especially in Middle Eastern and Asian countries, utilized for everything from the manufacturing of commercial products to use in beauty products, and even in baking. 

The 2018 United States Farm Bill made it easier for farmers in the United States to legally grow hemp, calling it an agricultural commodity, where it was once referred to as a controlled substance. 


What is CBD?

CBD can come from either a marijuana or hemp plant, but growers typically extract it from the hemp plant as it’s easier to grow in larger quantities because of a larger market. CBD has taken the health and wellness industry by storm over the last several years, because it can be used in a variety of applications, including: 

  • Inflammation
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Migraines


CBD has also been used to help with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and it is even found in some beauty products. It is a substance with all of the benefits of THC without the psychoactive response. 

The most popular form of CBD is oil, which comes from the flowers and leaves of hemp plants. CBD oil can be taken every day as a health supplement or added to other products like lotions and creams to help with any of the conditions listed above. 


Understanding Hemp Oil

So, if CBD (and CBD oil) comes from the hemp plant, what is hemp oil? It is still derived from the hemp plant, but while CBD is derived from the leaves and flowers, hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the plant. Unlike CBD, it doesn’t contain any cannabinoids, so it’s benefits are different. As a result, it is often used in things like lotions and soaps, and even in cooking as an alternative to other oils. It is high in protein and works extremely well as a moisturizing ingredient. 

One of the best things about the cannabis plant is that so much can be done with it and derived from it. So, what can you take away from this? If you were ever confused about the difference between CBD and hemp, it’s as simple as knowing that CBD is derived from the hemp plant, and has to contain 0.03% or less of THC. 

With that in mind, if you decide to farm hemp plants in Michigan, you can enjoy the benefit of harvesting both CBD products (including oil) as well as hemp products for industrial or personal use. It remains a competitive and lucrative industry, so knowing how to utilize each part of the plant will keep you one step ahead.