Hemp vs. Marijuana. How are They Different?

Hemp vs. Marijuana. How are They Different?

Is Hemp Cannabis? Is Hemp Marijuana?

Is Marijuana the same as Hemp? An all too common question from those that hear of one being referred to in the same context as the other. Nowadays, many people simply know the cannabis sativa plant as a recreational/medicinal plant that provides a number of benefits and psychoactive effects. These conditions are the results of the consumption of what is known more commonly as Marijuana or Weed. Hemp on the other hand, isn't typically used for the same reason as it is severely lacking in THC content in comparison to it's cannabis sativa counterpart known as Marijuana. As such, Hemp is typically used for purposes like textile production, and biofuel usage among others.

Hemp and Marijuana

Is Hemp Legal Nationwide?

Both Hemp and Marijuana are produced in the United States under specific regulations. Most Marijuana is grown under regulations that prevent unwarranted distribution and certain health risks. One of the main regulations for Hemp production spelled out in the USDA's 2018 Farm Bill, is that it must contain less than 0.3% THC content.  So though it does technically contain some THC, in order for it to be processed and sold as Hemp, it must contain very minute amounts. Marijuana can have as high as a 30% THC average for some strains, resulting in a product that is similar structurally, but can have significantly different results depending on how it's used.

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CBD Content

Hemp strains of cannabis are known for their high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the non-psychoactive compounds that possesses numerous health benefits. Marijuana can also contain CBD, though its strains are typically bred in pursuit of higher THC content. Marijuana strains containing varying levels of CBD but high THC are very common, and the ones with a more even blend of both are typically referred to as "hybrids".

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Visual Appearance

Hemp and Marijuana have similar leaf structures, but there are some visual differences that can allow someone with a little experience to discern one from the other. Hemp plants tend to be taller while having skinnier leaves and a more fibrous stalk. Marijuana plants tend to be shorter while having broader leaves and a bushier overall structure. When flowering they will also be displaying colorful buds.

Hemp vs Marijuana

Practical Use

Hemp nowadays is typically grown and used for industrial uses. Hemp has great tensile strength and is good for fiber production. It is also used for hemp seed oils and the isolation and extraction of the CBD that is present in large quantities in the plant. Marijuana is typically cultivated for its psychoactive and medicinal properties. In this case, the main focus is typically the flowers, or buds as their known, and for trying to maximize the various benefits and effects of the THC that is more prevalent in the buds.

Legal Status

In many countries, hemp cultivation and its use are completely legal, so long as it meets the THC limits that are set by the regulating powers that be. CBD products that are directly derived from hemp are widely available. Marijuana is currently in a rapidly changing area of legality in many places across the world. Though it is becoming legal for recreational and medical use in many places Internationally and in the United States (under regulation by those State's governments), it still remains illegal in many places as well.

Drug Testing

Consuming hemp-based products will most likely not result in a positive drug test as most typically test for THC. THC content is extremely low in hemp-based products by regulation. Marijuana will most likely lead to a positive drug test due to its higher THC content. The amount of time it stays in your system differs slightly from person to person, but for the most part there are relatively standard times. We recommend doing more research on the topic if you are pursuing more information.

Environmental Impact

Hemp is usually more environmentally friendly as it requires fewer pesticides and herbicides than it's counterpart. It also grows at a rather quick pace, assisting with soil remediation when rotating crops. Hemp tends to grow taller and closer together due to it being slightly more hardy than marijuana. This makes it easier to harvest and tend to as opposed to marijuana in which the flowers and the buds need space to develop and need to be tended to more regularly for the best results.

Legislative History

Hemp has a history of being used for a number of different industrial reasons and has been cultivated worldwide in various civilizations for time dating back centuries. Marijuana on the other hand has been subject to a more widely ranging level of legality throughout the United States and in other countries. As time goes on and we expand our knowledge of the various benefits cannabis has to offer us, we are seeing more and more people calling for the plant to be more deeply researched and produced.

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