Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

At first it can be difficult to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. However, once we dig deep into their purposes and chemical composition, you’ll find that they are quite different plants.

To compare them, you must first know that hemp and marijuana belong to the species Cannabis Sativa L. When the term “cannabis” is used, it can refer to hemp or marijuana; Both have been cultivated throughout history for their natural properties and industrial uses.

What is hemp?

Unlike marijuana, hemp grows tall and sturdy with relatively less branching. Their crops grow faster averaging 60 to 90 days, allowing farmers to plant multiple crops in one season. Hemp produces flowers, however, they have a minimal concentration of THC. It is usually grown outdoors to encourage wind pollination, which helps suppress weeds. Because hemp can grow in a variety of climates, it is typically grown on large plots of different acres.

Countries around the world cultivate it for industrial purposes. Its entire structure – including stem, seeds and flowers – are harvested to produce oils, foods, paper, textiles, fiber and topical ointments.

It is more abundant in cannabidiol (CBD) than Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compared to marijuana. For a cannabis plant to be classified as hemp, it must contain less than  0.3% THC. CBD is a natural cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana. Finally, as it is non-psychoactive, it has been shown to have natural health benefits and exhibit properties as a THC inhibitor.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is grown specifically for the production of THC, a psychoactive compound. Not all marijuana contains the same level of THC, strains can be grown to be more potent. Depending on the strain, marijuana can contain 10% to 30% THC – almost 33 times more than the most potent hemp.

Unlike hemp, only the flowers are harvested, the rest is discarded as its stem is much shorter and less strong. Although THC is found throughout the plant, the flowers have higher  concentrations because the compound remains in the trichomes of the flower.

Marijuana grows slower compared to hemp and can take a full season to grow, that is, between 100 and 120 days. The plant stays short and bushy to help produce most of the flowers. Because it needs to be closely monitored, it is normally grown indoors and under stable lighting, temperature, and humidity conditions. To grow properly they must be separated from each other because they need to have space. Finally, male plants must be separated from female plants, as pollination reduces the concentration of THC.

What plant does CBD oil come from?

Cannabidiol-rich hemp oil can be obtained from hemp or marijuana. However, the CBD oil found in Hemp products is derived from hemp.

A common misconception is that hemp-derived CBD oil is somehow less potent than the oil extracted from marijuana. On a molecular level, the CBD in hemp is the same as that in marijuana; with the important difference that by using hemp there is no risk of possible psych activity.

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