Top Differences between Hemp and Marijuana
It is fairly common for new cannabis users to confuse between marijuana and hemp. While both marijuana and hemp are often classified as cannabis, there are several differences between them. The differences are evident in their chemical compositions, the way they are used, the way they are grown, and the laws and regulations that apply to their usage.
Without further ado, here are the top differences between hemp and marijuana:
The first difference between hemp and marijuana is how they look. Marijuana is broad-leafed, has a tight bud, and appears like a nugget with tiny crystals. From afar, marijuana looks like a short bush. On the other hand, hemp has skinnier leaves that tend to be concentrated at the top. It is taller and has few leaves or branches below the top part of the plant. From afar, hemp looks more like a ditch weed.
Uses of marijuana are a bit limited when compared to hemp. For instance, there are only two main known uses of marijuana: it is often smoked recreationally or used medicinally for its potential therapeutic benefits. And these uses may be illegal in some states. According to Weed Center, you have to learn carefully about their effects and legality in your country before using it.
On the other hand, hemp has several uses. To begin with, before it was banned, the cellulose-rich hemp fibers were used to make sails for ships. The fibers have also been used in the manufacturing of cloths as well as in the construction industry. Hemp can also be used in the manufacture of bioplastics and bio-concrete.
Another major difference between hemp and marijuana is their legal status. The cultivation, distribution, and manufacturing of hemp and its products have been legal in the United States since the passing of the 2018 Farm bill. This implies that you don’t breach any law when you purchase CBD or any product.
On the other hand, the use of marijuana and its products are still federally illegal in the US and many other countries. However, it is legal to use marijuana in some US states considering that many states have passed state-level recreational or medical marijuana laws.
In the US, marijuana is considered to be a Cannabis plant with more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis that gets users “high”. On the other hand, hemp is considered to be any cannabis plant with a THC level of 0.3 percent and less. This means that the even cannabis plants with 0.4 percent THC level are still considered to be marijuana even though you will not get any significant psychoactive effects from consuming it. In other words, it is impossible to get high when you consume hemp. This is what leads to the differences in their applications and the laws that govern their usage.
Note: Marijuana can contain up to 30 percent THC. That’s why it is pretty potent for people who are interested in high THC levels.
CBD derived from hemp versus marijuana
Besides THC, the type of CBD that is derived from hemp is different from that produced from marijuana. Cannabidiol appears more in hemp and contains less than 0.3 percent THC. This is why many users opt for hemp-derived CBD. It is also why it has been cleared by the Controlled Substance Act. While each state has different laws and regulations, hemp-derived CBD is legal and widely accepted in many states.
CBD-infused oil or cannabis oil contains high amounts of THC. This implies that you cannot use cannabis oil if marijuana is outlawed in your state. And while some medical and recreational dispensaries may stock marijuana-derived CBD in states where marijuana is illegal, you have to get a practicing physician’s recommendation to access it.
As you can see, while marijuana and hemp are both members of the cannabis species, they differ in a number of ways. If you are a beginner, it is very easy to get confused by their names and appearance. Hopefully, with the above tips, you now understand the difference. Generally, hemp is critical in the CBD industry. So, if you understand a few basics about it, you will have a better chance of buying products of superior quality, making everything safe for you and other users.