What’s the Difference Between Cannabis-Derived THC and Legal Hemp-Derived THC

Jan 22, 2024 | Cannabis-Derived THC and Legal Hemp-Derived THC

In the world of Cannabis, THC (Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a well-known cannabinoid responsible for the intoxicating effects commonly associated with marijuana. Delta-9 THC, whether derived from Cannabis or Hemp, is still Delta-9 THC. However, it’s important to distinguish between cannabis-derived THC and legal hemp-derived THC, as they have different legal statuses and origins. While they share the same chemical structure, cannabis-derived THC is sourced from marijuana plants, whereas legal hemp-derived D9 THC is derived from “industrial” hemp. This article aims to highlight the key differences and similarities between these two types of THC and their implications for consumer products, particularly edibles.

Legal Status:

Cannabis-Derived THC is obtained from female marijuana plants, which are classified as a Schedule 1 Substance in many jurisdictions. The legal status of cannabis-derived THC varies across different states, with some allowing for medical and/or recreational use, while others strictly prohibit its use.

Hemp-Derived THC is sourced from female hemp plants (genetically identical to female cannabis plants, with the only distinction being that hemp is only legally considered “hemp” as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, and Cannabis geneticists have bred Cannabis over time to be higher in CBD while being below this legal THC threshold). Female hemp plants are grown for the extraction of cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Hemp-derived THC products are legal under federal regulations in many countries, including the United States, as long as they meet the specific THC concentration limits.

Chemical Composition:

Cannabis-Derived THC and Hemp-Derived THC share the same chemical structure and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system in the same way. Cannabis-derived THC products produce psychoactive when consumed, including euphoria, relaxation, altered perception of time and increased appetite.

The main difference with Hemp-Derived THC lies in the concentration of THC within the plant. Hemp plants naturally contain lower levels of THC compared to marijuana plants. When consumed in its raw or smoked form, hemp will be much lower in THC potency and you will likely not feel any intoxicating effects at all (with the exception of high THCA hemp, aka legal cannabis, which will get you high). It’s when the THC is extracted from the plant, that it becomes concentrated to levels comparable to what’s infused into Cannabis-Derived THC edibles. Hemp-Derived THC edibles typically have comparable THC doses to Cannabis-Derived edibles found in dispensaries.

When you hear about Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, THC-O, THC-P, etc., these will, more likely than not, be referring to synthetically converted cannabinoids, which is what a lot of people associate with Hemp-Derived THC. But not ALL hemp-derived THC is synthetic! And while there may be a use case for some of these alternative cannabinoids, if you are looking for all-natural “real THC,” you will want to look for “THC,” “Delta-9 THC,” “Delta-9,” “D9,” or “THCA”. These all mean the same thing: “Real THC”.

Effects and End Products:

The effects experienced from consuming THC containing products, including edibles, depend on the specific combination of cannabinoids, terpenes and other ingredients present in the product, rather than the origin of the THC. Both Cannabis-Derived THC and legal Hemp-Derived THC can be used in the production of edibles, and depending on the overall cannabinoid and terpene profile, the effects from the THC derived from Cannabis versus Hemp will be the same.


While Cannabis-Derived THC is subject to varying legal restrictions and can only be used in specific states, Hemp-Derived THC offers a legal alternative with similar levels of THC. Check out our wide selection of legal Hemp-Derived THC products, including edibles, tinctures, syrups and more, all able to be shipped directly to your door! If you’d like to learn more about the different cannabinoids and terpenes present in Cannabis and Hemp, along with their individual benefits, click through to visit our blog here!