Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
When doing your research to find the differences between hemp and cannabis, it’s important to start with one simple concept: Both hemp and cannabis ultimately come from the same plant, just different parts. Whether you call something hemp or cannabis will depend on a variety of factors like THC content, legality and overall health benefits. Despite the fact that the two terms are often used interchangeably, they have several factors that make them two separate products. Hemp vs. marijuana? Let’s find out what set’s these two apart!
What Is Marijuana/Cannabis In Comparison To Hemp?
Marijuana is a term used to classify varieties of Cannabis that contain MORE than 0.3% THC and can induce psychoactive or euphoric effects on the user. Most marijuana contains up to 30% THC. It’s generally grown to maximize the growth of flowers and increase the concentration of THC, unlike hemp. Hemp is typically grown to maximize the overall size of the plant as quickly as possible. Marijuana is usually (not always) grown indoors to control variables like light and soil nutrients, where as hemp is usually grown outdoors.
Hemp is still cannabis; it’s just bred to have low THC and high CBD concentration. It has been cultivated for industrial applications for centuries, grows quickly, and it's versatile fibers are used to make paper, textiles, rope, and even concrete.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain 0.3% or LESS THC content. It has generally been used to describe non-psychoactive cannabis that is harvested for use of it’s derived products. It’s been used throughout history and evidence discovered materials made from hemp from over 10,000 years ago. Many believe that hemp was the first crop ever cultivated by mankind. With the capabilities to produce important resources such as food, health products, clothing, paper and more, hemp has been the leader for some of our earliest creations.
One of the reasons hemp is so valuable is because of it’s fiber length and strength. These long fibers have been used to make paper for hundreds of years. Until the 19th century, hemp and flax were the main paper materials. Paper used to be processed from hemp cloth. Using hemp directly for paper was considered too expensive due to its lack of demand at the time.
How Versatile Is Hemp Compared To Cannabis?
Hemp, like marijuana, is derived from the cannabis sativa plant, but contains minimal levels of the psychoactive compound THC. Studies have shown that THC is not needed to receive the benefits that people look for when using hemp oil. The basic commercial options for growing hemp in North America is as a fiber plant or an oilseed crop. In most hemp production, the plants are grown very closely together to produce a dense product rich in oil from the seeds, fiber from the stalks, and low in THC.
Hemp is a fast growing and easily cultivated plant that has a wide-range of uses including the production of fibers, paper, construction materials, and FDA-regulated products such as foods, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics. Today, most of our paper is made from “wood pulp”. This makes little sense considering hemp can easily produce much more paper per acre than wood pulp alternatives. The hemp paper process utilizes less energy and fewer chemicals than tree paper processing and doesn’t create the harmful dioxins, chloroform, or any of the other compounds that have been identified as byproducts of the wood paper process.