When you mention marijuana and hemp in the same sentence, most people would think that they’re the same thing, and technically they are. The two plants both come from the Cannabis Sativa L plant and can contain a wide variety of cannabinoid concentrations that include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They are considered to be one of the oldest domesticated crops in the world and have been a savior to numerous individuals. So, what exactly is the difference between marijuana and hemp? The answer could be a multitude of things but to put it simply, the difference is in its use.
WHAT IS MARIJUANA?
The term ‘marijuana’ refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use that involves the consumption of cannabis flowers. It’s usually grown indoors so that conditions can be monitored very closely but can also be cultivated outdoors with the same monitoring system. They tend to be short and bushy that develops flowers containing THC, which is mostly in the resin-filled glands called, trichomes. Although THC is technically located throughout cannabis, the flowers or “buds” are what is harvested for recreational use. Marijuana is often used for its mental and physical effects that tend to cause a general change in perception, enlightened mood, and increase in appetite.
WHAT IS HEMP?
The term ‘hemp’ commonly refers to the industrial and commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seeds. It can be used for textiles, foods, body care products, papers, plastics, detergents and building materials. The hemp fiber is the longest, strongest and most durable of all natural fibers. The cultivation requires no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides, making hemp natural as natural can get. The plant is grown up, not out, and focuses on producing the length of the stalk. Industrial hemp has little to no THC content and carries no psychoactive effect. Instead, it naturally has higher concentrations of a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD), which has a negative effect on THC and makes it near impossible to receive a head high.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
- Industrial hemp contains only about 0.3% – 1.5% THC, and is naturally higher in CBD, while marijuana contains anywhere from 5% – 25% THC or more
- The human body processes hemp faster that it can be absorbed resulting from the inexistent of THC levels
- Pollen from industrial hemp can ruin the THC quantity and quality in marijuana
- It’s illegal to grow hemp in the United States, but legal to purchase hemp products in their final form
- Hemp can be grown as a renewed source of raw materials to be incorporated into thousands of products
- Marijuana must be grown in generally warm and humid environments to produce the desired quantity and quality of THC flowers
- Hemp does not contain the same flowers as marijuana and can be grown in multiple areas of any kind
- The fibers in hemp are used in clothing, construction material, paper, biofuel, plastic composites and more