We are asked frequently here at CBD Life UK about the differences between hemp and cannabis.
When trying to get your head around the differences between the two, remember this, both cannabis and hemp come from the same plant but just different parts. Whether you call something hemp or cannabis will depend on a variety of factors which we will explore in this blog.
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa L. Legally though, they are quite different. So, why aren’t cannabis and hemp considered the same legislatively if it’s the same plant?
Cannabis is divided into two major pure strains – Indica and Sativa. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa strain. However, although both Cannabis and Hemp are from the same species, they have very diverse applications.
When it comes to cannabis, it comes down to the amount of THC that is produced by that specific strain. THC being the photoactive part of the plant or the bit that ‘gets you stoned’. Cannabis is high in THC whereas hemp, produces an extremely low THC content.
Hemp can be defined as products of cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC.
Only products made from industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC) are legal to sell, buy, consume, and ship. This single factor (0.3%) is how most people distinguish between what is classified as “hemp” and what is classified as “cannabis.”
Hemp and marijuana plants contain another important cannabinoid: CBD. Hemp plants produce more CBD than THC, while marijuana produces more THC than CBD. Interestingly, research has shown that CBD acts to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, separating hemp further from marijuana.
Hemp is a high-growing plant, typically bred for industrial uses such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fibre for clothing, construction, and much more. Marijuana is a horticultural crop grown for its THC content, while hemp is an agricultural crop grown for seed and fibre.
In practical use, “hemp” is the term used to describe the food and fibre variety of the cannabis plant, and “marijuana” is cannabis that’s grown to enhance the chemicals that make you feel high or stoned.
Cannabis plants contain unique compounds called cannabinoids. Current research has revealed over 60 different cannabinoids so far, but THC is the most well-known. THC is credited with causing the marijuana high. CBD on the other hand is non-psychoactive and will not get you stoned.
While marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, hemp which we sell here at CBD Life UK contains very little of the psychoactive chemical. This single difference is what most rely on to distinguish hemp from marijuana.
Hemp and marijuana are grown for different uses, and therefore require different growing conditions.