Understanding the Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp: Let’s get one thing straight, cannabis and hemp are not similar at all. The only thing common between hemp and marijuana is that both come from the same plant species, the cannabis sativa L. hemp has been known to be the oldest crop known to man. It has been used by man for cordage, textiles, and paper for thousands of years.
As a matter of fact, it has been stated that the oldest ever relic of human industry is known to be a scrap of hemp by the Columbia History of the World which has dated all the way back to 8000 BC.
Understanding the Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp
So let’s take a look at what is hemp exactly and how is it so different than marijuana plant which is mostly known for its psychoactive features that gets you the ‘high’.
What is Hemp
As you might know that there are many different types of the cannabis plant and hemp is one of them. Hemp is known for its major industrial use and recognized for its non-psychoactive traits. Hemp contains less than 1% of the THC which is responsible for the high in marijuana.
Both hemp and marijuana come from the same species of cannabis but are very different genetically which can be seen in their usage, cultivation methods and chemical makeup. You can grow hemp as a renewable resource for a number of raw materials that can then be made into more than a thousand products.
Hemp vs Marijuana
A lot of people confuse hemp with marijuana and think they are similar but we are here to tell you that they are not. Let’s look at the differences between hemp and marijuana:
Tantulus labs, a Canadian company which focuses on cannabis cultivation technology has stated that the main agricultural difference between hemp and marijuana are majorly based on their genetic percentage and cultivation environment.
Cannabis has been one of the oldest plants that have been cultivated by mankind. Just the sheer amount of benefits it offers in different sectors is one of the main reasons why people bred cannabis with other plants so they could make more useful materials. This is one of the main reason why we have such a variety of products from one plant alone.
Marijuana and hemp are grown for a different type of uses and hence they have to be grown in a different type of growing environments. Dan Sutton from the Tantulus labs explains that medicinal cannabis has been grown over the years and heavily rely on the female buds of the plant to give the real substance to be used in medicinal purposes.
while hemp is used more in industries and as raw materials and do not rely on the female buds. The hemp plant is considered to be primarily males and do not represent flowering buds in their life cycle at all. Marijuana is grown in rooms in order to achieve maximum THC content. A great deal of attention to detail is required while growing marijuana while, hemp is grown outdoors for the purpose of getting a large size, both as a plant and in the yield.
- THC content
One of the major differences between hemp and marijuana is the levels of THC present in them. THC is responsible for the ‘high’ you get after consuming marijuana. THC in hemp is almost non-existent and for that reason, you can not get high after consuming it. In hemp, the level of THC is lower than 1%, however, in marijuana, the figure varies from 5% to 35% depending on the cultivation and the needs.
You might already know that the whole plant family of cannabis is illegal to produce in the United States. Under the Controlled Substances Act, both marijuana and hemp are classified as Schedule I drug. In more than 30 countries, hemp production is legal, most notable, China, the European Union and recently Canada as well.
It is, however, legal in the United States to import hemp-based products, approximately the United States imports $500 million worth of hemp-based products every year. On the other hand, marijuana still remains illegal to grow in most of the countries and the countries that allow it has very strict regulations regarding that.
To sum it up, hemp is an excellent raw material sort of a plant that can be used in making countless products and hemp decreases the overall manufacturing rate of the products as well while not compromising with the quality of the end product at all. With all the medical and industrial advancements, we are sure to see more from these strings of cannabis in the near future in order to make earth a better place to live.