Hemp vs Cannabis: A Guide on the Differences

hemp vs cannabis

If you think that hemp and cannabis are different things, you’re not alone. But you would be incorrect.

There are some cultural and legal distinctions between the two, namely, in the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. But in essence, they are the same plant.

Scores of people don’t understand this, which is totally understandable. And also why we made this guide. The vocabulary around the industry can get confusing even for the most well-versed weed enthusiasts.

Read on, and we’ll get into the hemp vs. cannabis debate. Then you can impress all your friends with your newfound knowledge of the subject.

What Is Hemp?

Hemp is a specific strain of cannabis; Cannabis sativa-L. It is mostly used for industrial purposes rather than recreational. This is the legal distinction of hemp vs. cannabis in the U.S.; hemp contains 0.3% of THC or less, so it won’t get you high.

Hemp is an incredible plant. It’s strong, versatile, and relatively easy to grow.

The stalks can be used to make textiles, hempcrete, plastics, paper, and even biofuels. The seeds are nutrient-dense and can be eaten or pressed into hemp seed oil, milk, or protein powder. And CBD can be extracted from the flowers for use in various wellness products.

Because of the low THC levels, these products are not classified as drugs and therefore widely available almost everywhere.

What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is actually a broad designation. One that includes both hemp and marijuana within it.

When people say cannabis, they are almost always referring to the species with high THC content. You may also have heard cannabis called weed, marijuana, grass, pot, even Mary Jane. They all refer to the same species of high THC content.

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There are two main designations; Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica. Most often, strains will be a hybrid of the two. Though science has yet to confirm it, many people believe each designation has unique qualities.

Cannabis products will get you high. And in most states, you will need to figure out how to get a medical cannabis prescription to obtain them.

Hemp vs. Cannabis

Things get confusing quickly when talking about this plant. Cannabis and hemp are often used interchangeably, which isn’t technically wrong.

But for legal and cultural purposes, the main takeaway is this; hemp has low THC and high CBD; it will not get you high. Hemp is often used to make the CBD products that are sweeping the globe. And the entire plant can be used to make many other consumer goods.

Cannabis scientifically refers to the genus of flowering plants that includes both hemp and marijuana. But culturally, it refers to the species with higher THC concentrates. Cannabis also has CBD but likely at lower levels than hemp.

Typically cannabis is used recreationally, while hemp is more industrial or medicinal.

Some Final Thoughts

When it comes to hemp vs. cannabis, the competition is moot.

They are, in fact, one and the same! We hope our guide helped you to understand the distinctions.

While you’re here, make sure to check out the rest of our carefully curated content.

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