It’s an age-old question in many cultures: why do so many people confuse hemp for marijuana when they are very clearly two different things? We suspect that for many years, before we knew how to spot distinctions between the two, “hemp” was used as a form of pejorative shorthand when people really meant to say “marijuana.” However, apart from belonging to the same family of plants, hemp and marijuana can be quite different in a number of ways.
What Are Hemp And Marijuana?
Let’s start by focusing on the unifying factor behind marijuana and hemp: both fall under the banner of the cannabis plant. Of course, marijuana is an increasingly popular and occasionally divisive plant – a light intoxicant that can be smoked, vaped or ingested via edibles or concentrates. People use marijuana to catch a buzz, and many folks claim that the plant bears other interesting properties.
When it comes to marijuana, there are two prominent types, for lack of a better word. One type is cannabis sativa. Cannabis sativa, which typically grows in tropical regions, can be grown either indoors or outdoors. When ingested, it produces a euphoric sensation that brings on a mental high, as opposed to a physical one. A more potent physical high can be found in the cannabis indica type, varieties of which tend to flourish in mountainous terrain. Cannabis indica tends to produce more of a “body high” when it’s smoked, vaped, or ingested in some other fashion, at least when compared to cannabis sativa.
Hemp is a byproduct of cannabis sativa – more specifically, cannabis sativa L. That said, hemp normally cannot be used for the same reasons as marijuana. ITs value comes from the fact that various unique phytocannabinoids – including cannabidiol, or CBD – can be extracted from it. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is found in nearly untraceable levels in industrial hemp plants, giving it little to no impact on final hemp extracts.
Industrial hemp is notable for its bearing of the non-intoxicating properties that are particular to the cannabis plant. It is said to contain less than 0.3% THC, whereas marijuana can contain up to 20 or 25% THC, and sometimes even more than that. This means that no matter what type of CBD product you buy, there’s virtually no chance that you’ll end up feeling high after using it. These days, hemp is used for a variety of practical purposes. One of these purposes is the extraction of CBD, but it has also found use as a material for certain types of rope and clothing.
What Are The Differences?
Marijuana is still viewed as a controlled substance by the federal government. Hemp is not, thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018. Bear in mind that this is a federal ruling, and some states have still maintained hemp’s illegal status – so it’s not necessarily legal everywhere, but it is no longer illegal on a federal level.
Hemp has many practical functions. It can be utilized to make clothes or paper, and its seeds can be eaten alongside regular, non CBD-infused items. Marijuana, on the other hand, has a somewhat more limited range of usefulness.
Marijuana can also be a difficult plant to grow. You have to consider a number of external factors – climate, humidity, how to dry and cure the plant, the indoor vs. outdoor process, etc. – when attempting to successfully cultivate it. Comparatively, harvesting hemp is fairly simple. The plant can be nourished without the aid of any fertilizers or chemical additives – after all, it has been known to grow naturally in wild climates, where it is largely undisturbed.
In almost all cases, there is a considerable modern market for both hemp and marijuana. Hemp is still a booming industry, as is its intoxicating cousin. In addition to acting as a catalyst for the extraction for cannabidiol, hemp still retains its hands-on everyday appeal – it’s something that can be used in crafting textiles and fabrics, or as an ingredient in oils, lotions and cosmetic products. For a long time, hemp was even used as a form of oil to keep lamps lit!
Both hemp and marijuana are superficially related, but quite different in terms of what they are, what they represent and how they can be put to use by the general public. We hope that reading this article has been educational for you. If you have any other questions regarding the intricacies or details surrounding marijuana and hemp, be sure to check CBD.co for more updates, articles and posts about all things cannabidiol-related!