Due to misinformation about Cannabis, the distinction between Cannabis and Hemp has become unclear. Because of this, the two terms have been used interchangeably, which has created difficulties when understanding the usage and benefits of Hemp vs Cannabis.
Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications:
While Cannabis can be considered a member of either the Indica or Sativa families, Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family. Since Hemp and Cannabis both derive from the Cannabis Sativa family, they do share certain similarities; however, due to each plant’s biological structure, they have several distinct differences. Let’s take a closer look.
Cannabis contains broad leaves, dense buds, a short, bushy appearance. Hemp contains skinny leaves that are directed toward the top of the plant. It grows taller and skinnier than Cannabis, with few branches beneath its upper portion.
Cannabis contains compounds known as Cannabinoids. Examples include Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoids provide health and medical benefits to the human body. However, THC induces psychoactive effects, while CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties.
While Hemp contains a low concentration of THC (0.3% or less), Cannabis is abundant in THC with concentrations between 15% to 40%.
Hemp is grown primarily for industrial purposes. Cannabis is grown for recreational and medicinal purposes.
Cannabis can be smoked, inhaled, ingested or injected directly into the body. THC is also commonly extracted from the plant and used in a variety of methods including vaporizers, capsules, edibles, and more.
Hemp is primarily used for industrial purposes, as it is capable of being fabricated for various products such as paper, clothing, building materials, biofuel, food products, oils and more. Hemp is also used to produce a wide variety of THC-free CBD products.
The presence of THC in Hemp vs Cannabis is the defining factor in the legality of each plant.
Each state/country enacts laws based on the usage, sales, transportation, and cultivation of Hemp. In most of the United States, the THC-content for Hemp to be classified as legal is 0.3%, while in much of the rest of the world, it is 0.2%.
Because Hemp contains low amounts of THC, it is legal in most parts of the world. Because of its high THC-content, Cannabis is illegal in most countries including most of the U.S. Weighting the economic and medicinal benefits that Cannabis can provide, some states in the U.S. have legalized Cannabis.
If you want to know the true story of cannabis, Netflix recently released a documentary called Grass is Greener.
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