Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to three distinct varieties of the Cannabis plant. Each of these varieties has different properties and uses, and understanding the differences between them is important for anyone interested in cannabis or related products.
Cannabis is a plant that has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years. It is a member of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than 100 different chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which are known for their psychoactive and medicinal properties, respectively.
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis plant that is specifically grown for industrial uses, such as fiber, textiles, paper, and building materials. Hemp is a fast-growing plant that requires relatively little water and fertilizer, making it an environmentally-friendly crop.
Marijuana is a variety of the Cannabis plant that is specifically grown for its psychoactive and medicinal properties. It contains higher levels of THC than hemp and is typically consumed for its mind-altering effects.
One of the key differences between these three varieties of the Cannabis plant is their THC content. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana consumption. Hemp, on the other hand, contains very low levels of THC (less than 0.3%) and is not psychoactive.
Another key difference between hemp and marijuana is their appearance. Hemp plants are typically taller and thinner than marijuana plants, with narrower leaves and more spaced-out branches. Marijuana plants are typically shorter and bushier, with wider leaves and denser branches.
In addition to their differences in appearance and THC content, hemp and marijuana are also regulated differently under the law. While marijuana is illegal in many parts of the world, hemp is legal in many countries, including the United States.
In the US, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp and removed it from the list of controlled substances. This has led to a surge in the production of hemp-derived products, including CBD oil and other hemp-based supplements.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in both hemp and marijuana. It is known for its potential therapeutic benefits, including pain relief, reduced inflammation, and reduced anxiety.
Because CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana, it is important to ensure that any CBD products purchased are derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC. This ensures that the product is legal and non-psychoactive.
The differences between cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are important to understand for anyone interested in cannabis or related products. While they may share some similarities, they each have unique properties and uses that should be considered when making a decision about their consumption or use.
. It is important to educate oneself about the effects and risks of cannabis products before using them and to consult with a medical professional before using them for medicinal purposes. With proper knowledge and caution, cannabis, hemp, and marijuana can be safe and effective options for medicinal or recreational use.