In the booming world of cannabis, people use different terms for the same plant. Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana belong to the same Cannabaceae family of plants. There are some botanical and cultural differences and similarities between them. If you are one of those who want to know these differences, read on the Hemp VS Marijuana.
One of the most common misconceptions is that people consider hemp and marijuana as species of distinct plants. Science doesn’t differentiate between them, but the law does.
Legally, the primary difference between both is THC content. THC is one of the primary cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. It is a popular notorious compound with psychoactive properties. THC is responsible for the high associated with cannabis.
What Is Hemp?
A specific variety of Cannabis Sativa that contains 0.3% or less THC content by dry weight. In the past, people grew it to obtain rope, clothes, sails, food, and much more. Also, hemp has a strong history in the US as the 3rd US president grew it himself.
As hemp contain less than 0.3% of THC, producers can grow it legally. However, some processed forms of hemp like tinctures, capsules, and gummies can cause euphoria due to slightly high THC.
It is one of the most versatile plants because all parts of the plant can be utilized. For example, from stalks, manufacturers make textiles and other materials. From seeds, you can obtain hemp oil, and from flowers, you can extract CBD to use in various products.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is cannabis that can get you high. People use several terms for marijuana like Weed and pot. Legally, marijuana contains more than 0.3% of THC that can cause euphoria. From marijuana, manufacturers get various marijuana strains of varying THC content.
Marijuana is an intoxicating cousin of hemp. Also, it is available in various forms in the market. People smoke the dried and cured flowers of the marijuana plant. Like hemp, marijuana often subjects to extraction to obtain various products.
Each cannabis species have characteristic effects and medical benefits. However, the high THC content makes it controversial due to euphoric and paranoic effects.
4 Key Difference of Hemp & Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana share several similarities being varieties of the same plant species. Still, if you confuse hemp and marijuana due to legal regulations, effects, and usage, read on the following key differences.
Hemp VS Marijuana: Composition
Both hemp and marijuana have defining chemical compositions. However, both these can produce a high amount of CBD – a non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating compound. In contrast, both produce varying amounts of THC.
- Marijuana contains up to 30% of THC.
- Hemp contains no more than 0.3% of THC.
Hemp VS Marijuana: Legality
Due to the difference in THC content, marijuana and hemp have different regulatory laws. Hemp was illegal previously and treated as a controlled substance under the controlled Substances Act 1970. Now hemp and hemp-derived products are legal federally as they contain less than 0.3% of THC.
However, marijuana is illegal federally and treated as a controlled substance due to high THC content.
Hemp VS Marijuana: Cultivation
The cultivation purposes of both marijuana and hemp differ due to effects and usage. Marijuana varieties breed under a controlled and optimized environment. These varieties produce female plants that yield budding flowers.
The grower of marijuana pays attention to marijuana breeds at each stage of cultivation. Marijuana breed needs optimized temperature, light, and humidity.
In contrast, the hemp breed doesn’t need a controlled environment. The cultivators grow them to maximize their yield outdoors.
Hemp VS Marijuana: Usage
Due to the unique chemical composition, hemp and marijuana have different uses. Marijuana contains high THC that can bind with CB1 & CB2 receptors in the brain. Also, it can cause mind-altering and euphoric effects on the users. Marijuana has two distinctive uses:
- Medical marijuana
- Recreational marijuana
In comparison, hemp produces different varieties for various uses.
- Industrial products – paper, plastic, building materials
- Food products – hempseed oil, hemp oil
- Medicinal products – cannabidiol that used in various products like CBD oil, soaps, tinctures, and gummies
Hemp grows faster than other species of cannabis. Hemp is a more sustainable way to produce paper and textile products. Also, hemp seeds are rich in nutrition, and people use hemp seed oil for various reasons.
Hemp VS Marijuana: Final Thoughts
Understanding hemp and marijuana is a little bit complex and confusing for a beginner. But I have tried to shed some light on the legality, uses, and effects of both. Both hemp and marijuana terms are ingrained deep in our society. It is essential to educate people about them and their psychoactive and non-psychoactive components. If you are willing to incorporate hemp or marijuana products into your lifestyle, make sure to consult the doctor.
Both hemp & marijuana are species of the same Cannabis genus. The primary difference between them is THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol content. However, CBD is present in both hemp & marijuana plant.