Hemp, Marijuana and Cannabis – what’s the difference?
Cannabis, hemp, marijuana, CBD, THC. Do we need to know all these terms to talk about cannabis plants?
Yes, we do! While these terms were all considered the same thing during prohibition, we now know that there are plenty of differences between them.
Cannabis is a beautifully multi-layered plant requiring an elaborate vocabulary to describe how it works. This is because it has many building blocks, each seeming to have a specific role and purpose. And even though all these terms refer to the same species, the differences are significant.
Our goal is to make sure you have a good understanding of the basic cannabis terms so that if you wish to explore the topic further, you are equipped with the necessary vocabulary. This will only help you become a better, more knowledgeable and independent consumer.
Aren’t they all just cannabis plants?
You might have noticed that the word cannabis is used by various companies, such as CBD producers, hemp plants’ farmers or dispensary owners in North America.
Even though these businesses all provide very different services, they all deal with the same plant.
Cannabis, also known as Cannabis sativa, is the mother name for all the different kinds and types of cannabis species out there, such as hemp. To put this into context, let’s stick with the hemp example. So, using this logic, we can say that all hemp is cannabis, but not all cannabis is hemp. The same can be said for marijuana. All marijuana is cannabis but not all cannabis is marijuana.
Hemp farm with Cannabis Plants.
The difference between marijuana and hemp plants
While an untrained eye might conclude that, as many plants that are the same species, hemp and marijuana look the same, it is actually possible to tell them apart just by looking at them.
Marijuana is shorter and bushier, with broad leaves, whereas hemp will grow tall and have narrow leaves (compared to the leaves of marijuana).
But we all know that looks are not what matters most.
Marijuana’s shape VS Hemp’s shape.
Will marijuana and hemp affect me differently?
The core difference between both hemp and marijuana is how they make us feel.
Hemp plants are famous for its high amount of CBD and low levels of THC.
CBD is one of many cannabis derived compounds that has gained popularity due to the discovery of its potential benefits. Some early research explores the link between CBD and improved symptoms of:
- Anxiety and stress
- Muscle and joint pains
- Chronic pain
- Dehydrated and irritated skin
- Sleeping issues
- And more
While science has not yet conclusively confirmed whether CBD can help with the above conditions, the results we do have are promising and shows us that the future of CBD looks bright.
What else? All of the potential benefits of CBD can be enjoyed without any risk of getting high. This means that you can take CBD every single day, and it will not impair your short-term memory or make it harder for you to perform everyday tasks. The opposite is true, really – it might make your days easier and better!
Marijuana, on the other hand, can make you laugh and giggle. However, it will also make it harder for you to go about your day. This is due to its high THC content. As you now know, THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid that does have intoxicating effects.
CBD vs THC
Different uses of hemp and marijuana
Hemp is a highly versatile plant and can be used for much more than just CBD extraction. Hemp cultivation is relatively easy. You can use hemp to make hemp oils, clothes, biofuel and even hempcrete (a cleaner type of concrete produced using hemp fibre). Hemp is so versatile, it can provide numerous green alternatives to many polluting industries.
The ability of hemp to benefit the earth does not begin after harvesting. Instead, even hemp that is still growing out of the ground can help the planet. This is because hemp can clean the soil it grows on, resulting in soil that is suitable for food crops.
Hemp seeds can be used to produce hemp seed oil, or feed animals.
Last but not least, hemp is also an excellent CO2 absorber. Fields of hemp can absorb tons of CO2 from the air, just like trees do. This makes growing hemp an actual win-win situation for us all.
Marijuana is not worse than hemp. It’s just different.
In countries where adult-use marijuana is legal, consumers can enjoy marijuana and its buzz without worrying about breaking the law. The choice of different varieties and types of THC-rich cannabis is abundant and most regular users have their own preferred strains – just like we have our favourite types of wines.
But THC is much more than just a fun and high experience. For people suffering from various illnesses, who are often not responsive to the traditional medication, marijuana is medicine.
- Chronic pain
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rare cases of epilepsy
- Chemotherapy side effects
- IBS and Crohn’s disease
- And much more
Is cannabis legal in Europe?
Europe is still very much behind in letting people take full advantage of the medical properties of THC, and non-medical marijuana is prohibited in most European countries.
The good news is that medical cannabis, including that made of marijuana plants, is slowly but surely becoming more and more available. It is also easier and easier to grow hemp and high-quality hemp products, like hemp seed oil, are readily available. Some countries even allow home cultivation of cannabis plants for medical use.
We are very hopeful about the future, and we, therefore, do our best to bring you the best legal hemp products possible. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Is Cannabis legal?