18 Mar Knowing the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
Now that you know the difference between CBD and THC, it’s time to learn the differences between hemp and marijuana.
It’s easy to get confused when discussing the differences between hemp and marijuana, two types of the cannabis plant. With so many unaware that hemp and marijuana are actually different varietals of cannabis, the two terms are often mistakenly applied interchangeably, despite the very distinct differences that exist between the two related plants.
Though hemp and marijuana share the same plant species — Cannabis sativa L — the two are markedly different in their chemical makeup, uses and the effects they have on the body. We explore those differences below.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a variety of cannabis that has been grown and harvested for centuries for its seeds and stalks, which can be used to produce thousands of products. Hemp plants are bred to contain little to no THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. Instead, the plant naturally contains higher levels of CBD.
Hemp is mostly grown outdoors with male and female plants in close proximity to increase pollination by wind. Hemp plants can grow up to four feet tall and do not need herbicides or pesticides to thrive.
Hemp seeds and stalks are used to produce everything from food and skincare products to textiles and biofuels. Hemp is widely considered a more sustainable option than other sources of fiber, oil, and fuel.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a different type of cannabis plant bred specifically to contain high amounts of the psychoactive component, THC. The highest THC concentrations are found in the flowers of these plants. It is the flowers themselves that are often referred to as “marijuana.”
Marijuana is typically grown indoors to maximize THC content, as factors like light, humidity and temperature all play a role in THC production. During the growing process, male marijuana plants are removed to stop female plants from getting fertilized, which reduces THC concentration. Marijuana plants are smaller than hemp plants and have many more flowers.
Depending on the strain in question, marijuana plants can have anywhere from 10 to 30 percent THC content. Marijuana plants also generally have significantly lower CBD concentrations than their hemp cousins. Currently, the use of marijuana is federally illegal in the United States, though laws around medicinal and recreational use are changing in some states.
Hemp vs Marijuana: Where Do You Draw the Line?
Hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant, just different breeds with drastically different chemical compositions. So, where do you draw the line between the two? According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp must contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis. If a cannabis plant contains more THC than that, it’s legally considered marijuana.
CBD vs THC: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to CBD vs THC, one is the main compound that dominates the makeup in hemp, while the other is the famed compound predominately found in marijuana. Both are chemical compounds called cannabinoids, but slight changes in molecular structures cause them to interact with the body in different ways and elicit very different effects.
THC, found in much higher concentrations in marijuana, is a psychoactive compound, meaning it can alter the mental state of anyone that consumes it. CBD, found in higher concentrations hemp, is not a psychoactive compound. Both cannabinoids influence the endocannabinoid system, one of the body’s major regulatory networks.
Unlike THC which is predominately used for its intoxicating effects, CBD is used as a daily wellness product. Findings suggest that CBD may benefit the body in many ways by stimulating the endocannabinoid system and improving homeostasis overall. You can check out our What is CBD Oil? post to learn more about the benefits of CBD. Want more info on CBD vs THC? Read our article where we compare CBD and THC.
HempMeds® Hemp Oil Products Are Crafted Only with High-CBD Hemp
As Your Trusted CBD Source, HempMeds® formulates its CBD oil products using only the highest quality hemp plants. Our unique variety of non-GMO hemp is naturally higher in CBD and is grown in Northern European microclimates without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.
To ensure the safety and reliability of our hemp oil products, all HempMeds® products are held to our strict safety-tested standard, which examines our hemp oil at three points in our manufacturing process. Because they are rigorously tested and contain only trace levels of THC, HempMeds®’ CBD hemp oil products are safe to use by every member of your family.
Are you getting the safest, most reliable CBD oil you can? Here are six questions you should be asking about your CBD hemp oil products.