Hemp and Marijuana - The Shared Cannabinoids (2022 Guide)

Hemp and Marijuana - The Shared Cannabinoids (2022 Guide)

hemp and marijuana cannabinoids

This is your ultimate guide to the cannabinoids that are both in hemp and marijuana.

Yes, cannabinoids - compounds found in cannabis.

And we’re going to let you in on a little “secret."

Hemp and marijuana are both the same species. It’s only a legal distinction that sets the two apart.

So in this guide, we’re going to cover.

Let’s start.

What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana.

You may have heard a lot of misconceptions about hemp and marijuana.

“Hemp is the male cannabis plant, and marijuana is the female cannabis plant.”

That’s...not accurate.

However, we don’t blame you if you’ve thought this. There’s a lot of fog around the notions of marijuana and hemp.

So let’s clear the air, shall we?

Marijuana and hemp are the same species. However, they’re viewed differently in the eyes of the law.

Remember that “scary” organic compound called THC they taught you about in school and those Saturday morning PSAs? You know, the thing that gives ol’ Mary Jane its kick.

The scientific name for that compound is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

Now, it may seem like we’re veering off a bit, but let’s jump into dry weight before we get deeper into Delta-9 THC.

“What is dry weight?"

Dry weight is simply the mass of something when it is...dry.

You read that correctly. It’s a term with “weight” in it, but it describes mass.

Don’t blame us. We didn’t come up with it.

In the United States, if the dry weight of cannabis is 0.3 % or less Delta-9 THC, it’s considered hemp.

If the dry weight of cannabis is over 0.3% Delta-9 THC, then it’s marijuana.

That’s all there is to it.

Now, if you want to go into the history and uses of hemp and marijuana, that’s a whole different story. And we actually have a blog post just about this topic as well.

>> More: Hemp vs. Marijuana - The Differences You Need to Know

Delta-9 THC in Hemp and Marijuana

Delta 9 in Hemp and Marijuana

Delta-9 can be found in both hemp and marijuana but in different amounts. It’s the deciding factor in the U.S. if a cannabis plant or product is treated as hemp or marijuana

Historically speaking, marijuana has been bred for both recreational and medical purposes. For this reason, marijuana has been selectively bred to contain higher amounts of Delta-9 THC.

Delta-9 is also found in hemp but in smaller amounts. This is because hemp’s primary use has been for industrial purposes. It can be used to make rope, canvases, and literally thousands of other things.

Generally speaking, marijuana costs a lot more per pound than hemp because of its concentration of Delta-9 THC.

According to a 1916 USDA bulletin titled, “Hemp Hurds As Paper-Making Material,” if you have two equal areas of land, one for growing timber and one for growing hemp, you can yield four times as much paper from the area growing hemp.

Interestingly enough, William Randolph Hearst, a New York Representative who played a crucial part in pushing the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, had significant investments in...wood pulp paper.

The critical thing to keep in mind:

It’s not Delta-9 itself that is illegal on a federal level. It’s illegal if it is extracted from marijuana and present in a certain amount in a cannabis product.

For example, full-spectrum CBD products have Delta-9 THC in them. Because they are extracted from hemp and have less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, they are legally considered a hemp product.

Hemp is legal on a federal level. If a product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 and comes from hemp, it falls under the category of “hemp,” and it’s federally legal.

Delta-8 THC in Hemp and Marijuana

Delta 8 THC in hemp and marijuana

Now it’s onto Delta-8 THC, which, just like hemp and marijuana, has many misconceptions.

“Delta-8 THC? That’s that new stuff, right?”

There’s nothing new about Delta-8. It’s a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis that has been around for roughly... let’s say...28 million years, give or take.

Delta-8 is relatively new as a cannabis product; it’s not a new cannabinoid.

Like Delta-9, Delta-8 is found in both marijuana and hemp. Every person who has used cannabis has tried a small amount of Delta-8.

Delta-8 is an isomer of Delta-9, meaning that the compound has the same formula but a different arrangement. D8 has a chemical bond on its eighth carbon chain, while D9 has a bond on its ninth.

If Delta-8 THC is extracted from marijuana, it is illegal because of its source. However, Delta-8 extracted from hemp is federally legal and legal in many states across the U.S.

You can check out this map we made to see if Delta-8 is legal in your state. Pretty neat, right?

Many Delta-8 products may contain Delta-9, but only in amounts that are in compliance with federal law.

“So Delta-8 is legal in many states and on a federal level. What else is so special about it?”

Delta-8 has characteristics that are familiar to Delta-9 but with less potency and different effects.

Like all cannabinoids, the effects of Delta-8 differ from person to person and how it is taken.

Delta-8 enthusiasts have described the effects as:

  • Relaxing
  • Uplifting
  • Creating a mild euphoria
  • Promoting a sense of wellbeing

>> More: What Are the Effects of Delta 8 THC?

Cannabidiol (CBD) in hemp and marijuana

CBD molecule next to hemp plant

Next to Delta-9 THC, cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most well-known cannabis extracts. In marijuana, it is actually the second most prevalent cannabinoid.

CBD doesn’t produce the same type of effects as THC; it doesn’t bind to cannabinoid receptors in the same way.

Laws and legality in regards to CBD are similar to that of Delta-8 THC. If CBD is extracted from marijuana, it is federally illegal. When it’s from hemp, it’s fine in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

Federal legality with cannabinoids can differ with state laws. There are states with restrictions on CBD, so it’s best to check beforehand to make sure CBD is legal in your state.

Other Cannabinoids in Both Hemp and Marijuana

Other cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana

So we’ve covered the most well-known cannabinoids that can be found in hemp and marijuana.

What are the other ones?

The truth is that there are at least 113 known cannabinoids.

Some of the known classes of cannabinoids include:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
  • Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabichromene (CBC)
  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)
  • Cannabivarin (CBV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiorcol (THCC)
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP)
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
  • Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)
  • Cannabigerovarin (CBGV)
  • Cannabigerol monomethyl ether (CBGM)
  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)
  • Cannabicitran (CBT)

There are also other variants of THC, which include Delta-10, Delta-7, Delta-4, and Delta-3.

Comparing the effects of every cannabinoid or THC variant would just be a whole other rabbit hole. We’re just focusing on the most relevant ones for this blog post.

Cannabinoids Extracted From Hemp

extraction facility for hemp

It is not an understatement to say that the 2018 Farm Bill was one of the most significant pieces of cannabis legislation in U.S. history. We’re not saying the most, but it’s up there.

Before the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was a Schedule I drug.

For those unfamiliar with farm bills, basically, they’re the primary vehicle for agriculture and food policy in the United States.

In short, one of the things the 2018 Farm Bill did was legalize hemp and cannabinoids derived from hemp at a federal level.

This means that:

  • CBD extracted from hemp is legal in any amount
  • Delta-8 THC extract from hemp is legal in any amount
  • Delta-9 THC extracted from hemp is legal in amounts that do not exceed 0.3% by dry weight

This is solely on a federal level. State laws and regulations will vary.

Since hemp cannabinoids are legal on a federal level, they can be shipped across state lines through the USPS. Unlike many states where marijuana is legal, you can purchase Delta-8 with a debit or credit card.


Hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant.

The only thing that differentiates the two under U.S. federal law is their Delta-9 THC content.

With that in mind, the two variations have many of the same cannabinoids present.

Delta-9 THC, which gets associated with marijuana, can be found in hemp. Its legality depends on how it is sourced and the percentage of dry weight.

Delta-8 THC is also present in both plants in small amounts. D8 is not a “new cannabinoid,” but one that has become used as a consumer product in recent years.

CBD can be found in hemp and marijuana. Its legality status is similar to Delta-8.


Did we go over everything you wanted to know about the cannabinoids found in both hemp and marijuana?

Did we miss anything?

“Are there hemp products with just Delta-9 THC?”

“Can I travel with Delta-8 over state lines?”

Simply leave your question below in the comments section or contact Hometown Hero through:

We’d love to help!

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