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It is normal to find people who Google keywords like CBD hemp and cannabis marijuana. This implies that the generation’s confusion is severe, and they cannot distinguish critical and crucial differences between marijuana and hemp. As a result, the article focuses on differentiating the compound – hemp vs. marijuana.

When it comes to industrial hemp, it is essential to know that it does not serve psychoactive properties commonly associated with THC, one of the primary compounds of cannabis. Furthermore, CBD is a byproduct of hemp, which can be used in food supplements. Hemp comprises relatively low THC levels, whereas marijuana is rich in THC, providing psychoactive properties to the substance.

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Since 2018’s Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC levels, anything more than that will make the substance illegal. Users or novices need to know that cannabis is a primary plant species through which marijuana and hemp originate. Yet another factor is the strain or variety from which you can obtain marijuana or hemp. If you are still finding it difficult to distinguish both substances, some of the basic pointers can help identify marijuana and hemp. 

One cultivar of the same plant

Fundamentally, marijuana and hemp are the same plants: Cannabis Sativa. Moreover, there is proof of Cannabis Sativa being grown in the Asian region years ago as a food source and for its fiber. Human beings later realized that the plant’s flowering tops had psychoactive properties. Later, as humans have performed with so many crops, farmers working on cannabis fields started cultivating particular plants to boost some properties.

In today’s date, although a few users might argue the actual number of plant forms and types, there are two simple distinctions:

Hemp – A plant centrally cultivated outside the US for utilization in the paper, clothing, bioplastics, biofuels, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods. This natural substance tends to be cultivated outdoors as a significant crop, with male and female plants around to increase seed production and foster pollination.

A legally imported industrial hemp comprises equal to or less than 0.3% of THC, which is a psychoactive compound. Besides, imported hemp will usually eliminate extracts from the plant’s flowering tops.

Marijuana (Marihuana) – On the other hand, cannabis Sativa is specifically cultivated to boost its THC content that can be later utilized for therapeutic or recreational purposes. Such plants are usually grown indoors, amid controlled conditions, where growers take off all the male plants to prevent fertilization as fertilization can lower the plant’s THC level. 

What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

 HempMarijuana
THC ConcentrationLess than 0.3% THC More than 0.3% of THC; normally 5% to 30% THC
CBD ConcentrationVery HighVery Low
PsychoactiveNo – due to CBD levelsYes – due to THC levels
Female Plant RoleThe plant produces flowers or seedsThe plant produces flowers and seeds but seeds are not desired apart from reproduction
Male Plant RoleThe plant has strong fibers and pollinates it for seeds. Removal is also desired while growing CBD.The plant will pollinate the female one. This is why the removal is necessary.
Growing ApproachGreenhouse or outdoor row crop. This is usually needed, but even cloning is possible for CBD.It is normally a greenhouse or indoor. Some also clone it.
ProductsCBD extracts, cosmetics, health foods, building materials, composites, industrial oils, plastics, paper, textiles, and many more.Leafy material, CBD extract, THC extract, and various other finished marijuana products (drinks, candy, etc.)

The legality of medical marijuana

The therapeutic use of medical marijuana has gained considerable interest in recent years for researchers and consumers alike. Even though less than half of the US has legalized the medicinal use of such a plant, it is still illegal under federal law. Thus, its use remains controversial, although there appear to be genuine advantages for various health issues.

Those seeking marijuana for medicinal use must discuss its advantages and risks with qualified healthcare professionals before using it. Having said that, several consumers interested in its potent benefits do not want the psychoactive reactions of THC or turning positive in a drug test.

And, if you wish to know more about the subject, here’s a rundown of some of the things you should know about both.

Various Cultivation Factors Involved

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The process of growing marijuana involves indoor cultivation under controlled temperatures. Since users consume flowers and buds to experience the psychoactive effects, you’d want to grow as many flowers as possible. These flowers are rich in THC and have dense concentrations on the flower glands of the plant. While marijuana requires temperature manipulation, sticking with natural growing conditions for hemp is ideal. While hemp is in the growth process, the male and female plants need to be close to each other to boost seed production levels.

THC and CBD Levels

Hemp’s THC components are marginal if you compare it with marijuana’s concentration levels. And regarding CBD levels, hemp comprises abundant CBD chemicals. As a result of multiple studies and research papers, marijuana can contain THC levels that may fall between 10%-30%. In contrast, hemp flowers’ potency is 33 times less. 

Legality Behind Hemp & Marijuana

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Under US law, hemp and marijuana are two different supplements, even though they are parts of the same plant. The manufacture and sale of hemp found their way to the market when the President introduced the Farm Bill in 2018, making it possible for users to experience CBD’s therapeutic benefits. Additionally, several US states have legalized marijuana’s medical use.

Different Usage Patterns

Users consume marijuana for its intoxicating and mind-altering effects. Besides such a characteristic, the compound can have medical benefits as well. In contrast, several industrial giants use hemp to manufacture and produce industrial goods.

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Regulatory Environment

Under the regulatory realm, technically, anything comprising (even the minute) concentrations of THC is controlled and regulated under the DEA’s Controlled Substance Act. However, the federal body has allowed states to develop their cannabis policies.

Due to this reason, specific states have processed and passed their legislation for medical marijuana or recreational and industrial hemp’s legal production. As already discussed, the 2014 Farm Bill protects the production and distribution of hemp for pilot scales and research purposes within State departments of agriculture and universities. And, in case you are unaware, this is a federal bill.

The 2015 and 2016 Federal Spending Bill include strategic language prohibiting the DEA from utilizing federal dollars to stop research, sales, and production of both marijuana and hemp. Speaking of which, marijuana’s finished products and raw materials can only be put on sale within its production state. Conversely, the raw materials of hemp can be sold throughout the state lines to people participating in their state’s pilot hemp program, with approval from the respective State department of agriculture. 

How to Take CBD and THC

People consume CBD and THC in several forms. THC might be consumed as marijuana or cannabis buds through smoking applications. However, many other products are available, comprising:

  • Tinctures
  • Oils
  • Vape products
  • Sprays
  • Edibles including chocolates and gummies
  • Beverages containing marijuana oil

Like THC, people consume cannabidiol in several forms. This cannabinoid is formulated for vaping, although there are recent concerns about health conditions posed by such an application. Remember, while choosing CBD products, it is essential to consider the formulation. Isolate products comprise only CBD, whereas broad-spectrum products include other cannabinoids except for THC. 

Drug Testing THC or CBD

Since THC is one of the main psychoactive substances in marijuana, one can detect it in most typical drug tests. CBD might also get detected, but several drug tests are not equipped or designed to look for CBD. This is majorly due to the low ratio of THC in cannabidiol products. However, numerous CBD products include trace amounts of THC. While such amounts are meager, they might still be detectable if you’re consuming excessive quantities of CBD or if the products you buy contain more THC than the product label claims. 

Research has stated that 76% of cannabidiol products contain significantly more THC and are labels give false information.  

Before You Take CBD or THC

CBD and THC might also impact some health issues and can interact adversely with certain medications. As a result, you must always be cautious before consuming these products. Both of them could impact how the body metabolizes the medications. While some might not affect you, others could heighten feelings of anxiety in a few cases.

Final Thoughts

Industrial hemp comes with multiple applications. However, THC intoxication is something that the federal authorities are up against. Even though most people consume both the compounds for their therapeutic and recreational effects, it is essential to know the fundamental differences that divide them. Moreover, to incorporate these into your diet and lifestyle, have a word with an expert. This would be an ideal decision that you are going to make.