HEMP and CANNABIS both come from the same plant Cannabis Sativa L.
Hemp and Cannabis or Marijuana are common names of two plants with a confusing history. Many people, even with access to a wealth of information, confuse them and think they are vastly different (they are not). This misunderstanding allows people in power to manipulate public perception, laws, and regulations. Please take the time to thoroughly
understand the difference. We curated the information below to help you understand.
The only difference between them is their use:
The term ‘hemp’ commonly refers to the industrial/commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents, plastics, and building materials.
The term ‘marijuana’ or ‘cannabis’ refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers. Industrial hemp contains only about 0.3% – 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating ingredients that make you high) while marijuana contains about 5% – 10% or more THC.
Since the 1950s, hemp it has been lumped into the same category of marijuana, and thus the extremely versatile crop was doomed in the United States. As mentioned above industrial hemp is technically from the same species of plant that psychoactive marijuana comes from. However, it is from a different variety or subspecies that contains many important differences. The main differences between industrial hemp and marijuana will be discussed below.
Industrial hemp has low THC levels compared to marijuana specifically cultivated for personal psychoactive use. Whereas marijuana that can be smoked usually contains between five and ten percent THC, industrial hemp contains about one-tenth of that. In order to get a psychoactive effect, one would need to smoke ten or twelve hemp cigarettes over a very short period of time.
The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds and therefore lacks the primary component that forms the marijuana high. Furthermore, industrial hemp has higher concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction.
Compared to cannabis sativa indica, cannabis sativa sativa (industrial hemp variety) has a much stronger fiber. This fiber can be used in anything from rope and blankets to paper. Marijuana fiber has low tensile strength and will break or shred easily, making it a poor fibrous plant when compared to industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp also grows differently than THC-containing cannabis. Hemp is typically grown up, not out, because the focus is not on producing buds but on producing the length of the stalk. In this way, hemp is a very similar crop to bamboo. The stalk contains the fiber and hard, woody core material that can be used for a variety of purposes, even carpentry. Generally, THC-producing marijuana plants are grown to an average of five feet in height. Industrial hemp, on the other hand, is grown to a height of ten to fifteen feet before harvest. Also, it is fairly difficult to grow concealed marijuana within industrial hemp crops as the DEA alleges. Since industrial hemp is grown so close together and is generally a very narrow, vertical growth crop, any THC-producing marijuana would stick out like a sore thumb. Its wide growth would require a large amount of space to itself in order to get adequate sunlight from beyond the tops of the competing industrial hemp plants.