Cannabis vs Hemp: What Are the Differences?

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The hemp industry in the USA is a booming industry, producing more than $712 million worth of hemp in 2021. And that’s just the hemp grown outside – there is still another $112 million that’s grown under protection!

Hemp is used for a vast array of products, from cordage like yarn, rope, and string to fabrics like linen or canvas. It’s recyclable and biodegradable, so it’s suitable for the environment.

If you’ve heard about cannabis, you might be asking yourself what’s the difference between cannabis and hemp. There are quite a few significant distinctions, so let’s jump into it: cannabis vs. hemp.

What is Cannabis: A Cannabis Guide

Cannabis is a term often used interchangeably today with the word marijuana when, in fact, the term “cannabis” refers to a genus of flowering plants. These plants are members of the Cannabaceae family, containing around 170 plant species.

From there, the genus is split into three primary species:

  • Cannabis Sativa
  • Cannabis Indica
  • Cannabis Ruderalis

What people usually mean when referring to cannabis is actually marijuana. This is a cousin of the hemp plant; however, this species includes an intoxicating amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.

THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana and is what people consume to get high. Marijuana plants exceed 0.3% of THC, which then falls under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Retailers sell marijuana in multiple forms such as flowers or buds, extracts, resins, and edibles (i.e., gummy sweets or brownies). You’ll want to search around for the best hemp company in your area for this.

What is Hemp: A Hemp Guide

Hemp, on the other hand, contains little to no THC present. In fact, to consider a plant a hemp plant, it needs to have less than 0.3% THC present. Hemp is a particular type of cannabis, scientifically referred to as Cannabis sativa L, and has different chemical characteristics to marijuana.

Both the marijuana and the hemp plant contain varying levels of THC. As we discussed, marijuana is higher in THC; however, hemp is more elevated in another phytocannabinoid called Cannabidiol or CBD. This CBD has many reported benefits but doesn’t cause intoxication when ingested.

Hemp is so versatile that almost every part of it gets used in a vast amount of products. One can use the seeds to extract hemp oil or eat them as-is for nutritional benefit. The hemp plant’s stalk produces textiles, and of course, the flower can be used to make CBD and skin-care products.

Know Your Cannabis vs. Hemp Products

Since so many states have been legalizing CBD and THC cannabis products, it’s getting more accessible than ever to purchase your own stash. Knowing the difference between cannabis vs. hemp can significantly affect the result you seek, whether it’s lifting your mood with THC recreationally, creating materials like rope and cloth, or gaining the reported health benefits of CBD found in animal studies.

When considering hemp or cannabis products, remember to check your local laws on cannabis before purchasing anything.

If you’ve found this article interesting, we have many more like it in our Lifestyle category, and we encourage you to take a look.

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