hemp vs marijuana

Do you find difficulty differentiating hemp vs marijuana because they look exactly alike? Are you one of those who confuses both of them as one product?

Well, you aren’t alone because there is a lot of misinformation about these two drugs. You really can’t distinguish between the two without a lab test.

They look and smell exactly the same, and that is why even the highly trained cops and narcotics fail to do so during investigations.

Then, why are they named separately and what’s really the difference? That’s what I am here to talk about!

Hemp vs Marijuana: Actually Belongs To The Same Plant

Cannabis is a famous plant, known for producing two world-famous drugs – hemp and marijuana. The one who once gets addicted to a drug, can’t imagine his life without it! Such are the people whose lives highly depend on this plant.

Cannabis is a plant with two major classifications: Sativa and Indica.

The hemp is strictly a member of the Sativa family; however, the marijuana might belong to either of the categories.

That’s one major difference between the both, but this isn’t a clear distinction.

Hemp vs Marijuana: Physically Different But Equal

Before going into the details, let’s first see how they are apparently distinguishable.

The marijuana has small, bushy, and voluminous appearance with dense buds scattered all over the plant. The thick leaves are responsible for giving it a nice volume.

In contrast, the hemp plant is skinnier and taller and has a lesser volume with buds concentrated at the top. And, the leaves are small and thin that is responsible for its lean appearance.

Thanks to a lot of research, we are now able to distinguish them a little.

However, let me clear something to you here! Like I said before, you really can’t differentiate between the two without a lab test.

The anatomical differences aren’t very much apparent as they look pretty much alike at a first glance.

You need a detailed physical analysis to determine which one is what, and that again require you to go to a lab.

Hemp Is Known For High CBD While Marijuana For High THC

It’s a major difference and that’s what matters. This is the reason why one makes you high while the other doesn’t!

The hemp has CBD while marijuana has THC (the compound having excessive psychoactive properties).

The hemp contains just a little amount of THC (approximately 0.3% or less), while that of marijuana is high in THC, containing up to 20% to 40% (the amount enough to blow your mind away).

That’s the reason why hemp is known for its industrial usage; however, that of marijuana is mainly used for recreational purposes. It also has a few medicinal uses.

Uses for Hemp & Marijuana Are Great To Know

Due to the difference in chemical composition, they have different uses.

The hemp has a vast industrial usage including paper, bio-fuel, clothing, food products, construction materials, oils, and much more. In contrast, marijuana has recreational uses and help you in getting high.

Some websites on the internet claim that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes as well, but this isn’t very much true.

The high THC content alters normal body functions; therefore, it’s a risk to use it for treating health. However, there are some conditions when psychoactive contents are needed for treatment, but it must be done under strict care.

Cultivation Methods Are Different

Well, yes. It’s due to the different chemical composition that both the compounds are cultivated differently.

The hemp is low in THC content that is why it doesn’t require a controlled environment and need minimal care. It can be grown in almost all climates without professional guidance.

Growing hemp is pretty much like doing planting in your garden. You can grow them close together in a large area.

However, it takes 80-120 days for hemp to grow properly.

Marijuana, on the other hand, needs a highly controlled environment to grow properly.

You need a humid and warm environment to grow it and its growth cycle is smaller than that of hemp (i.e. 60-90 days).

It also needs professional guidance for handling and packaging.

Unlike hemp, you can’t grow them closely together and must keep them at least six inches apart from each other.

Marijuana is Federally Illegal But Hemp is Now Legal

Despite being entirely different in functionally, the political leaders got confused about both in the 1970 and they banned hemp and marijuana, declaring them as addictive.

However, as reality unfolded and different researches were approved, it was asserted that both of these products aren’t similar.

Due to the difference in chemical composition, the legality laws for both of them are different.

The usage of hemp is legal in most of the countries but under some conditions. The laws of each country vary as per the cultivation, composition, transportation, sales, and usage.

The hemp legality mainly depends on the THC content.

The United States allows up to 0.3% THC containing hemp, while the rest of the countries legalized hemp with only 0.2% THC.

In contrast, marijuana is classified as illegal in all countries. However, it is allowed only under highly strict conditions when needed for medicinal use.

Some Key Facts About Hemp and Marijuana

  • Other than industrial usage, hemp is edible and can also be used as organic material. The hemp seeds possess a productive nutritional value and are famous for its health benefits. They contain proteins, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibers. On the contrary, marijuana is mainly used for recreational purposes and has minimal medical usage.
  • Adding more to the benefits of hemp! The recent researches show that its fiber is used to make renewable plastic as well. That makes it an important product of the automotive industry where it is used in making car parts. Renewable plastic has other essential industrial uses as well; therefore, hemp is now considered an even more valuable product.
  • Despite being a subject of interest, the cannabis plant isn’t open for research. Only around 40 research bodies in Canada and the United States have licenses to do so. Keep in mind the fact that they are highly equipped for medical and agricultural research. It applies to both hemp and marijuana as the permit is for Cannabis plant.
Hemp Marijuana
Type Hemp strictly belongs to Cannabis Sativa family. Marijuana either belongs to Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica.
Appearance Hemp has a lean structure with thin leaves, having buds concentrated at the top. Marijuana has a dense structure with thick and voluminous leaves, having buds scattered all over the plant.
Composition Hemp is low in THC content, and contains only 0.2-0.3% THC. It doesn’t contain psychoactive properties and don’t make you high. Marijuana is high in THC content, and contains up to 20-40% THC. It is highly psychoactive and makes you high in no time.
Usage Hemp is known for its industrial use. It is used in industries for making paper, biofuel, clothing, food products, construction materials, oils, and much more Marijuana is mainly used for recreational purposes due to its psychoactive properties. It is sometimes used for medicinal purposes as well.
Legality Hemp is legal in most of the countries; however, the legalization relies on the THC content. The United States allows hemp containing 0.3% THC, while the rest of the countries legalize hemp with only 0.2% THC. Marijuana is illegal all over the world. It is allowed only under certain conditions when needed for medicinal use.
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