Hemp, Marijuana and Cannabis: What Are the Differences?

There are also people who are convinced that cannabis, hemp and marijuana collectively describe exactly the same plant. And although these plants are indeed very similar and closely related to each other, there are important differences that we need to understand in this article. Here we go!

What is hemp?

First of all, the biggest misconception about hemp is that it can cause a “high” effect. To start with, hemp is a type of cannabis sativa plant. This plant has an outstanding and long history of being used for a variety of purposes. The plant’s stem can be used to manufacture fabrics, building materials, biofuel, plastics and even cars. The seeds are generally used to produce nutritious hempseed oil. And last but not least, hemp flowers are used to extract CBD compounds. Hemp flowers are extremely rich in CBD while containing only about 0.3% or less THC, the psychoactive chemical that gives people the “entourage effect”.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana, also known as weed, belongs to the same cannabis sativa species as hemp. The two look quite similar, but in contrast to hemp, marijuana is rich in both THC and CBD. This is the main reason why smoking marijuana can make you feel “high”. For the same reason, the cultivation, sale and purchase of marijuana flowers are highly restricted in many countries around the world and can lead to severe penalties. And unfortunately, this makes it difficult to study the potential medicinal properties of marijuana. Usually, dried marijuana flowers are used for smoking or vaping, while fresh flowers can be used to extract THC and CBD.

What is cannabis?

As you may have already gathered, both hemp and marijuana can be referred to as cannabis. Actually, cannabis is a genus of flowering plants, such as cannabis sativa, cannabis indica or cannabis ruderalis. What can be confusing is sometimes when people say “cannabis”, they actually mean “marijuana”. But we know that hemp is also a cannabis plant, so why does this happen?

Regrettably, the name “marijuana” has a pretty poor reputation because of its racist roots. In the 1920s and 1930s in the US, it was stereotypically associated with Mexicans who had immigrated to the States after the Mexican Revolution. Even though there is no clear evidence that Mexicans did consume a lot of marijuana, a generally negative image of the plant led to its criminalisation. Nowadays, information about studying the medicinal properties of marijuana can be found by searching with the keywords “medical marijuana” or “medical cannabis”.

Final thoughts

To sum up, hemp, marijuana and cannabis have different biological classifications. As a short reminder, cannabis is a term for a genus, while hemp and marijuana refer to the same species, but both of them are substantial variations of it and have different features. We hope the difference is now clear to you and that you won’t be expecting hemp pasta to make you feel high and will measure carefully when baking with marijuana flowers.

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