What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Difference between hemp and marijuana infogrpahic

Both hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family, and those who aren’t clued up on these plants often get confused between the two. To find out more about the distinction between industrial hemp plants and marijuana, then take a look at this clear and informative guide from the experts at CBDology.

Hemp vs Marijuana

As mentioned, hemp and marijuana are both parts of the cannabis genus of plants. However, it’s important to understand that there are several types of cannabis plant that have a different effect when consumed. They are known as cannabis Sativa, which is what people are usually referring to when discussing cannabis, cannabis Indica and cannabis Ruderalis. These plants differ in appearance and grow naturally in different parts of the world.

However, due to repeated breeding between these cannabis subspecies, it can now prove difficult to determine which is which. Ruderalis plants are considered the rarest, but both Sativa and Indica plants can be found in the in abundance in both the recreational and medical marijuana industries.

The industrial hemp that is grown today is a variety of Cannabis Sativa. It is, therefore, closely related to marijuana, although the two plants are not the same.

What is Hemp?

Although a type of Cannabis Sativa, hemp is not a recreational drug and possesses very low levels of the psychoactive and intoxicating THC compound. Under UK and EU law, a cannabis plant with 0.2 % or less is considered to be hemp (<0.3% in the USA).

Although it has many purposes, the recent boom in the CBD industry has meant that the majority of hemp is used for extracting CBD to make food supplements.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a cannabis plant with higher levels of THC. With THC levels of up to 30%, marijuana is more potent and has been used as a recreational drug for centuries.

Unlike hemp, marijuana can be cross-bred and comes in many forms, including Cannabis Indica as well as Sativa. These different strains can have different effects.

The Distinct Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

Let’s take a more detailed look at the difference between these two cannabis species.

The Composition

Hemp and Marijuana both contain cannabinoids, although the levels vary. On average, marijuana contains 5 to 20% THC, whereas hemp, by definition, contains less than 0.3% THC. However, hemp possesses much higher levels of CBD as marijuana plants do, with some containing less than 1%.

This composition is why it is not possible to ‘get high’ or intoxicated when using hemp.

The Legality

Due to the close association of hemp and marijuana, both plants were made controlled substances in the 1970s.

Currently, marijuana is still illegal to possess, grow, distribute or sell in the UK. However, medical marijuana is now available, although it is heavily monitored, regulated and requires a prescription.

Industrial hemp is legal to grow in the UK but requires a license and permission from the Home Office.

The Cultivation

Although marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants, the two are grown very differently. Marijuana requires careful monitoring of temperature and humidity to achieve the intended yield. These plants also need a controlled intake of nutrients.

On the other hand, hemp is simple to grow as the plants can be grown close together is a wide range of conditions. Hemp plants do not require much care and can be cultivated quickly, easily and organically without the use of chemicals or fertilizers.

It’s Usage

Marijuana is both smoked recreationally and used medicinally.

Hemp has many uses and was historically used to make sails for ships as the fibres can be used to produce cloth. Hemp can also be made into bioplastics and bio-concrete for the construction industry. Hemp seeds are also nutritional.

Both hemp and marijuana plants can be used to extract CBD.

Hemp-Derived CBD & Marijuana Derived CBD

CBD (Cannabidiol) can be found in much higher quantities in hemp than marijuana. Most CBD is therefore hemp-derived. This means it is extracted from industrial hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC. These CBD products would, therefore, be considered legal in the UK.

Marijuana-derived CBD would also contain a higher level of THC, making it illegal in the UK and technically a cannabis product.

Organic Hemp-Derived CBD Products at CBDology

Shop for legal, organic and high-quality CBD Oil and other products online with CBDology today. All of our CBD products are hemp-derived and extracted from hemp grown on licensed EU farms and are independently lab tested to ensure quality control.

Call our CBDology team on (+44) 0333 044 0111 or email support@cbdology.eu for more information on our CBD products including CBD oil, CBD edibles, CBD vape liquid, CBD herbs, CBD Protein and CBD Isolate.


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