Hemp versus Marijuana

Hemp versus Marijuana

hemp vs marijuana image

Cannabis is a scientific term that refers to the taxonomic name of the plant that produces both marijuana and hemp. Specifically, cannabis is the genus of the plant Cannabis sativa. There are three main species, or varieties, of cannabis: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa is most often cited as the plant from which both marijuana and hemp originate.

In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act classified all forms of cannabis – including hemp – as a Schedule I drug, making it illegal to grow marijuana or hemp in the United States. While the federal government considers marijuana to be an illegal schedule I controlled substance, the federal government has relaxed some regulations on hemp, due to its lack of psychoactive properties, which has made cultivating and manufacturing hemp much easier and widespread. For this reason, hemp is readily available in stores like Amazon and is added to a variety of products available on the market. Marijuana remains tightly regulated and only is legal to use in certain states.

What is Hemp?

Hemp was first cultivated in what has now known as Taiwan over 10,000 years ago. Hemp was used in textiles as long ago as 4000 BC.

Legally, hemp can be defined as a cannabis plant that has very low THC and high CBD. Hemp and marijuana, therefore, are different varieties of the same plant. Hemp has been used for centuries to create fuel, paper, food, textiles, detergents, plastics, paints, and varnishes. Hemp contains about 0.3% to 1% THC. Hemp cannot be grown in the United States without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Despite the federal prohibition, 32 states have legal means to grow industrial hemp, seven states allow the cultivation of hemp crops for research, and five states allow registered farming of hemp.


Just like hemp, marijuana has a storied history of use. The first recorded historical use of marijuana was by a Chinese emperor in 2727 BC, and cannabis seeds were used in food in Ancient China as long ago as 6000 BC.

Marijuana refers to the cultivation of the cannabis plant for recreational or medicinal drug use. Marijuana contains up to 25% THC. The federal government, including the DEA, recognizes marijuana as an illegal drug, but several states have approved the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana through state-run registries and industries.

Hemp versus Marijuana – How are hemp and marijuana similar?

Marijuana and hemp are derived from the same family of plants, but what differentiates hemp from marijuana is the level of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrohydrocannabinol (THC) that marijuana contains. Other cannabinoid compounds, such as CBD, can be present in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana has a much higher concentration of THC than hemp does. Marijuana is approximately 25% THC, whereas hemp has a trace amount of THC. THC is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. The psychoactivity of marijuana is largely the reason that it has been classified as an illegal drug.

In what part of the cannabis plant are hemp and marijuana located?

Marijuana, as it is used recreationally or medicinally, typically refers to smoking of the flowers formed after a cannabis plant sprouts. Hemp, on the other hand, can include the entire plant, including the stalks and plant fibers, which are often used in paper products.

What are hemp and marijuana used for?

Besides being used illegally as a drug, marijuana has many potential medical applications and has the potential to be an anti-cancer, anti-epilepsy, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant medicine. Hemp has a variety of different applications, including Where can I buy hemp products?

Dr. Bronner’s sells hemp-based cleaning products, including soap.
Hempseeds are also a good source of healthy oils. Nutiva offers many delicious hempseed oils and other hemp products

Hemp protein bars are a delicious and convenient source of vegan protein. Vega is a protein supplement company that sells many delicious flavors of protein bars containing hemp seeds. Protein bars are available in chocolate peanut butter, coconut cashew, chocolate caramel, and other healthy and delectable flavors.

Sources for article on Hemp versus Marijuana

: http://www.weedist.com/2012/07/cannabis-vs-marijuana-vs-hemp/, http://www.alternet.org/drugs/whats-difference-between-hemp-and-marijuana, http://www.westword.com/marijuana/marijuana-vs-hemp-whats-the-difference-8526551

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