Thanks to misinformed lawmakers several decades ago, many people believe that hemp and marijuana are pretty much the same things. However, the truth is that although both come from the cannabis plant family, they are completely different in pretty much every way.
So, what exactly is the difference between Hemp Flower and Marijuana?
Keep reading to learn more and discover important details you may have never known!
The cannabis family tree has two branches:
- Cannabis indica
- Cannabis sativa
Both can produce marijuana, but hemp can only come from Cannabis Sativa plants. As a result, it has a different makeup and role to marijuana. So the next time someone seems confused about the difference between hemp flower and marijuana, you can let them know about the following differences, says Gary an expert from Secret Nature CBD, a place to get CBD Flower for Sale. For other excellent cannabis varieties, check your reputable dispensary online.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Anatomy
To the untrained eye, hemp and marijuana can appear similar, but if you know what to look for, each plant has very clear distinctions.
Marijuana features broad leaves and dense buds and has a short, bushy appearance. In stark contrast, Hemp features skinny leaves concentrated towards the top of the plant and grows taller and skinnier than Marijuana, with few branches beneath its upper portion.
Hemp stalks tend to be lighter in color than marijuana stalks, which are typically darker in color. Hemp stalks are also generally stronger than marijuana stalks. This explains why hemp is typically cultivated for industrial and commercial uses, whereas marijuana is usually grown for its psychoactive substances.
Furthermore, hemp stalks typically contain higher levels of cellulose and lower levels of lignin compared to marijuana stalks, which gives them a higher tensile strength and rigidity. This makes hemp stalks more suitable for producing materials such as paper, textiles, and rope, while marijuana stalks are often used to create smoking products such as cannabis cigarettes.
When compared side by side, the two plants can each be identified. As we dive deeper into the anatomy of the two plants, each has crucial differences in its chemical composition.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Chemical Makeup
Cannabis plants are full of compounds known as cannabinoids, and the two best known are THC and CBD. THC is what makes marijuana users ‘high’, and the amount of this compound in a strain can vary from 5-35%, while hemp has either zero or at max 0.3% THC, which makes it impossible to feel any kind of psychoactive effect.
Both hemp and marijuana contain terpenes. Terpenes are a class of organic compounds found in many plants responsible for their aroma and flavor. They also have a variety of medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
Hemp and marijuana also contain other compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and minerals such as zinc, calcium, and iron. Flavonoids—a type of antioxidant found in plants—can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Meanwhile, carotenoids are a type of pigment found in plants that can help protect against UV radiation and other environmental stressors. Zinc, calcium, and iron are essential minerals that are important for various bodily functions, including immune system health, bone health, and energy production.
While hemp and marijuana both contain these compounds, the concentrations may vary depending on the strain and growing conditions.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Cultivated (Grown) Differently
It is the THC level that defines what each plant is used for. Marijuana is cultivated to serve the needs of those looking for recreational or medically supervised psychoactive and health benefits, while hemp has traditionally been used to make clothing, accessories, health supplements, and skincare products, as well as in construction and the manufacturing of both cars and plastic items.
However, as interest in harnessing the medical benefits of hemp’s CBD, which can be enjoyed without the psychoactive side effects of marijuana, has grown, these days, high-quality hemp is cultivated specifically for that purpose.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Consumed Differently
In most cases, marijuana is either smoked or inhaled or consumed as an edible in food, while the CBD in hemp is extracted and mixed with edible oil and then taken as a tincture (orally), mixed with skin lotions for topical application, added to food or drink, taken in capsule form, or for the fastest response inhaled using a vape device. If you are into vaping and want to use hemp flower, you can find different Delta 8 THC products online, available for order.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Effects the Body Differently
According to CBD Origin, cannabis contains a variety of different compounds called Cannabinoids. The two rich and most dominant are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Both Cannabinoids have been shown to provide profound benefits to the human body; however, THC induces psychoactive effects (gets the user “high”), while CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties.
When comparing Hemp vs Marijuana, this is a huge distinction; while Hemp contains a very low concentration of THC (0.3% or less), Marijuana is abundant in THC with concentrations between 15% to 40%.
Because of this, Hemp is grown primarily for industrial purposes, while Marijuana is grown for recreational and
Both capitalize on the benefits of CBD to reduce stress and anxiety and help people deal with pain and insomnia or conditions such as epilepsy and arthritis. However, hemp does all this without making the user high.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Legally Classified Differently
The presence of THC in Hemp vs. Marijuana not only plays a huge role in how each plant is used, but it is also the defining factor in the legality of each plant. Each state/country will have varying laws based on the usage, sales, transportation, and cultivation of Hemp, which will widely depend on the THC content of the Hemp plant.
In most of the United States, the allowed THC content for hemp to be classified as legal is 0.3%, while in much of the rest of the world, it is 0.2%. Because Hemp naturally contains very little THC, it is legal in most parts of the world, and where it is not, the legal consequences are minor.
The Legality of Marijuana Is Different
Because of its high THC content, in most parts of the world, including the US, Marijuana is illegal. Seeing the massive economic and medicinal benefits that Marijuana can provide, some countries and states in the US have legalized Marijuana. As the political landscape changes, hopefully, more will follow.
Some people may be surprised to learn there are so many differences between hemp and marijuana. Still, the more who learn about this, the more people can capitalize on the amazing health benefits hemp CBD oil can deliver.