Hemp and marijuana are two different types of the cannabis plant, each having its own distinct characteristics, uses, and legal implications. This article aims to delve into the main disparities between hemp and marijuana, providing insights into their individual traits and applications.
Table of Contents
Cannabis Sativa L.
Hemp and marijuana are both part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant species, but they are different varieties with variations in their appearance, chemical composition, and intended use.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Content
Hemp: Low THC
Hemp is commonly defined by its low THC content. THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in marijuana that produces the psychoactive effects or the “high.” In many countries, including the United States, hemp is legally classified as cannabis that contains 0.3% THC or less by dry weight.
Marijuana: High THC
In contrast, marijuana is specifically grown for its elevated THC levels, which can vary from 5% to over 30%, depending on the strain, and in dispensaries like West Coast Supply, it’s possible to find a wide range of cannabis strains with different THC and CBD content. It is this increased THC concentration that produces the psychoactive effects commonly associated with marijuana.
Hemp: High CBD
Hemp, unlike marijuana, has low levels of THC, the psychoactive compound. However, it does have higher concentrations of CBD (cannabidiol), another important cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. CBD is non-psychoactive and has shown potential for various therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, anxiety reduction, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Marijuana: Varied Cannabinoids
Different marijuana strains can contain a variety of cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and others. These varying profiles are what contribute to the distinct effects that different strains of marijuana have.
Hemp: Tall and Fibrous
Hemp plants are characterized by their tall and slender appearance, boasting long fibrous stalks. These remarkable plants have garnered attention primarily for the multiple uses of their fibers, seeds, and oil. Hemp fibers find application in various industries like textiles, paper production, and construction materials. Moreover, hemp seeds offer a valuable source of nutritious protein while hemp oil finds its way into an array of products including food and skincare items.
Marijuana: Bushy and Flowering
Hemp plants and marijuana plants have distinct physical differences. While hemp plants are tall and have a slender appearance, marijuana plants are shorter and bushier. The main reason behind this difference is the purpose for which they are grown. Hemp plants produce stalks that are used in various industrial applications, such as fiber production, while marijuana plants yield flowers (known as “buds”) that contain high levels of THC and other cannabinoids.
Hemp: Legal in Many Countries
Hemp is legal in many countries, including the United States, due to its low THC content. However, it is often regulated and must adhere to specific cultivation and production guidelines.
Marijuana: Legality Varies
Marijuana laws differ greatly between countries and even within different regions of countries. In certain places, its use is fully legal for both medical and recreational purposes, while in others, it is strictly prohibited.
Conclusion: Distinct yet Connected
Hemp and marijuana, although they have different THC levels and primary purposes, come from the same genetic lineage as different varieties of the cannabis plant. Having an understanding of these distinctions is vital because it impacts the legal, agricultural, and commercial aspects associated with these plants. As hemp and marijuana gain more recognition for their distinct characteristics, research into their numerous applications and potential benefits is growing. This provides industries and consumers with new opportunities to explore.