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Cannabis is an age-old word that has had an ever-changing stigma. Recently, we’re seeing a global shift in the perspective surrounding marijuana. But what about hemp? This is the latest buzzword, with its legality a hot topic because of its association with the cannabis plant.
However, there is a difference between hemp and cannabis and it’s important to understand what that is.
So what is hemp? And what is cannabis? Check out our guide here to learn more.
Cannabis vs Hemp
Hemp and cannabis are both derived from the same genus, cannabis, and the same species, sativa. Botanically, they are the same plant. It may be difficult then to accept that there is a difference between cannabis and hemp, but there is.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a Cannabis sativa L. plant which defines it as having less than 0.3% THC. This means that hemp plants contain very low traces of the psychoactive cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Hemp is an extremely versatile plant with a range of beneficial uses. Historically it has been used to create textiles, and the seeds are very high in protein, making them a powerful dietary supplement.
What Is Cannabis?
Cannabis, on the other hand, includes three species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. While hemp can be classified as cannabis, for this distinction we will look at cannabis distinctive from hemp. Also known as marijuana, it is the intoxicating relative of hemp.
Cannabis and hemp are chemically different in the high levels of THC that are present in marijuana plants. In fact, anything above 0.3% THC is not considered hemp anymore and is considered to be cannabis.
The Hemp vs Cannabis Problem
The terms ‘cannabis’ and ‘marijuana’ are used interchangeably to refer to the intoxicating cannabis plant. This can cause confusion because while scientifically hemp is part of the cannabis family, it is non-psychoactive.
This confusion has created a massive obstacle for the legalization of hemp, which has prevented its widescale industrial use.
The Main Differences Between Cannabis and Hemp
The overarching distinguishing difference between cannabis (marijuana) and hemp is the THC concentration. There are other differences though. For example, the appearance and cultivation differ between the two. As does their usage.
Hemp is used for mainly industrial purposes while the use of cannabis is recreational, and more recently, medical. If you’re wondering how to take cannabis and interested in experimenting, the options are endless. On the other hand, the main part of a hemp plant that is usually consumed is the seeds, for their high protein value.
The Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis Explained
The difference between hemp and cannabis is not very obvious and it’s easy to see why people get the two confused. It’s important to remember that hemp does not contain high THC levels and is not psychoactive, while cannabis contains the intoxicating cannabinoid.
If you head over to the health and wellness section of our site, you’ll find a ton of interesting articles just like this one.