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Marijuana Vs Hemp, The Differences Explained



Even though marijuana and hemp are both the same species of plant, there are notable ways in which they differ. If you’ve ever wondered what the differences are between hemp vs weed, this guide is for you.

Marijuana has been enjoying some prime media attention lately. More locations are decriminalizing its use and cultivation. Did you know that both marijuana and hemp have been popular for a long time?

You probably know why marijuana is such a big deal. After all, it’s been a part of Western Civilization’s culture for decades. But you may be surprised to learn that hemp was one a subsidized crop in the United States during the second world war. A couple of past US presidents (Washington & Jefferson) even grew and cultivated hemp on their lands for industrial uses.

Marijuana Vs Hemp, The Differences Explained

Marijuana vs Hemp –  Closely Related, But Different

Let’s get one thing clear from the start: Hemp and marijuana are two different plants, even though they both belong to the same species called Cannabis Sativa.

It’s actually the chemical makeup of the two cannabis plants that make them distinct.  Both hemp and marijuana plants contain dozens of compounds. Two of the most notable compounds found in these plants are CBD and THC.

The compound CBD which is short from cannabinol is a non-psychoactive compound that doesn’t produce a high.

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, on the other hand, is a psychoactive compound that does produce a euphoria-like high. Marijuana contains quite a bit of THC while hemp only has trace amounts of THC, which means you can’t achieve a high from hemp.

In order to navigate the cannabis market, it’s important to know the ways that hemp and marijuana differ. Just keep in mind the fact that marijuana is coveted for the high it produces while hemp is prized for it’s non-psychoactive CBD.

CBD is All the Rage Today, But Why?

CBD Products

Over the past few years, CBD has been talked about everywhere, and especially in the United States. You may have read marijuana vs hemp-derived CBD articles, or seen stories in the news about the health benefits of CBD. If you live in the US, you may even have seen CBD for sale when out shopping. Hemp CBD products are available for sale in both bricks-and-mortar stores and online, and you can even shop bulk CBD oil from Laurelcrest if you decide it’s the right thing for you and wants to stock up.

It’s very easy to find hemp-based CBD products of all sorts, from candies to oils and lotions. The stuff is all over the place and people can’t seem to get enough of it. On the other hand, marijuana-based CBD products are not easy to find. Unless you reside in a state where recreational or medical marijuana is legal, the federal government has laws against buying, selling, or possessing anything derived from marijuana.

If you do live in a state with legal weed, you still must visit a licensed dispensary to buy CBD products made from marijuana.

CBD Offers Many Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Cannabidiol CBD

So why is CBD enjoying such widespread praise and attention? Is it all hype or is there really something about it that’s good? CBD or cannabidiol is most often take from the hemp plant, although it’s also found in the marijuana plant. This is why it’s often confused with its high-inducing counterpart THC.

Remember, that unlike CBD, THC produces a high when you smoke or consume it. People who use CBD products swear by the many health benefits CBD offers. Many people report it eases pain and inflammation. Others use CBD to calm their nerves or to raise their spirits due to its relaxing effect. Cannabidiols are even found today in dog treats and pharmaceuticals.

A big reason CBD is so popular is that it’s legal and easy to get your hands on. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of CBD, nobody’s going to stop you because you can find CBD in everything from lattes to lollipops. Now we’ll turn our attention to other things, starting with more details on how marijuana and hemp differ.

Hemp vs Marijuana Facts

cannabis vs hemp chart

You may be wondering why it’s important to know the hemp vs marijuana difference. To start with, knowing the difference can keep you out of legal hot water. Secondly, you’ll be able to enjoy the effect in the way you intended.

Hemp, aka industrial hemp, is the kind of cannabis used to make clothing, ropes, paper products, and more.  Industrial hemp has a lot of fiber, which makes it ideal for the manufacturing of these types of items.

The biggest difference between marijuana vs hemp plant is the chemical makeup. While both plants are cannabis, hemp contains a significantly lower level of THC, which is the stuff that gets you high. Hemp contains under 0.3% of THC.

So in essence, it’s  On the other hand, cannabis known as marijuana has a higher level of THC. The average THC level of marijuana can be anywhere between 5% and 35%. This is what makes marijuana a psychoactive plant that can alter your state of mind.

Marijuana vs Hemp Law – Know What’s Legal & What’s Not


You may be one of the many people who is confused about marijuana vs hemp laws. Do you wonder if you can get in legal trouble if you’re caught with a large amount of cannabis? That depends on where you live and whether the cannabis you’re carrying is marijuana or hemp.

In other words, if you’re found with cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC and you don’t live in a state where it’s legal to possess marijuana, you could be in legal trouble. On the other hand, if you have cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, there’s nothing to worry about. Your cannabis is hemp and it’s perfectly legal to have, regardless of the amount.

Hemp vs Marijuana Visible Difference

Police across the United States often have trouble differentiating between hemp and marijuana, which is a shame. Why cops keep confusing hemp for marijuana is that the two plants do look similar to the untrained eye. The two plants also have similar smells. So what\s the visible difference between marijuana and hemp?

Marijuana vs Hemp Leaves – There are Noticeable Differences in Appearance


Hemp leaves look skinny while marijuana leaves look broader. Marijuana plants also look more like short bushes. On the other hand, hemp plants are tall and thin, with most of the leaves growing at the top. But that’s not to say that marijuana plants can’t get tall, because they can. However, the tallest marijuana plant will still have that bush-like appearance.

More About Hemp vs Marijuana THC

Cannabinoids play a leading role in the distinction between marijuana vs hemp. Cannabinoids are so important that they’re even in the legislation.

Nearly all states that allow people to grow industrial hemp set the legal limit of THC at no more than 0.3 percent. Are you still confused about THC in cannabis? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It all boils down to how much THC is in the plant that determines whether it’s called marijuana or hemp.

The main thing to remember is that THC is the cannabinoid that causes both psychoactive and therapeutic effects. People smoke and consume marijuana to benefit from these effects. Marijuana is highly sought after by people of all ages. That’s why the majority of recreational and medical marijuana plants are grown to have high THC levels. The more THC present in marijuana, the more potent its effects will be.

High THC = A Euphoric High for You

Girl smoke weed

If you were to smoke a strain of marijuana that contains a high concentration of THC, the chances are you’ll enjoy a euphoric high. You may even find that your appetite increases, which prompts you to get the “munchies”. This is when you may feel like you could eat everything in sight.

That marijuana you smoked with a high concentration of THC may also alter your sense of time. You may think time’s flying by or that it’s standing still. Of course, you could get some unwanted side effects too. If you were to ingest too much THC, you could find it difficult to concentrate. You could even get paranoid and have hallucinations. although that’s rare.

Hemp vs Marijuana CBD – The Essential Facts

Many people are confused about cannabidiol or CBD as it’s also called. The definition of CBD can differ greatly, depending upon who you ask. Holistic healers call it a medical miracle. Legal experts say it’s a legal liability. Farmers call CBD a great source of extra income. So what’s the deal with CBD anyway?

CBD Comes Primarily from Hemp

CBD is a cannabinoid compound that’s extracted primarily from hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC. Cannabidiol extracted from hemp has little to no intoxicating effects, period. This is why you can easily find hemp-based CBD products for sale nearly everywhere.

Hemp plants, which are grown for both their fiber and oil, are non-euphoric. In other words, they cannot make you high no matter how to try to ingest or smoke them because they contain very little THC.

On the other hand, marijuana plants are THC-rich, making them euphoric. You can get high when you smoke marijuana or consume an edible made with marijuana in it.  Contrary to what some people believe, there’s no ‘smoke hemp vs marijuana’ controversy. If you want to get a nice buzz, you should smoke marijuana and not hemp. If you do smoke hemp with the hopes of getting high, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

About CBD Oil

What Is Cannabidiol, and Where Does It Come From?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve seen information out there about CBD oil. So what is it?

It’s one of the most popular CBD products there is. You can ingest CBD oil by taking it under the tongue, adding it to drinks or food, or vaping it in your favorite vaping device. You can also benefit from the effects of CBD oil by rubbing it on your skin.

Even though CBD oil can’t get you high, it can help you relax and feel less anxious. Research tells us that CBD oil can even reduce some of the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.

You can get an “uplifting” effect if you take too much CBD oil, but it’s not the same effect as a euphoric high. Taking a high dose of CBD oil can also cause some unpleasant side effects like nausea and dizziness.

So if you’re thinking about getting some CBD oil to catch a great buzz, forget it. It simply won’t work.

The Origin of  CBD Oil and How It’s Made

CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. The process of making CBD oil all starts with the hemp or marijuana plant.

The plant first undergoes an extraction process to get the CBD out of the plant. This is done by passing a solvent through the plant material to separate out the active compounds in the bulk plant material.

The cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds are then collected as oil. The oil is then processed further until it makes its way into an end product. Today you can find all types of products containing CBD oil including tinctures, capsules, balms, massage oils and lots more.

Why Most CBD Oils Comes from Hemp

There is more than one reason why CBD oil mostly comes from hemp rather than marijuana. To extract CBD to make popular products like CBD oil or gummy candy, it’s best to start with a  marijuana plant that’s already high in CBD. Thus, marijuana with lots of THC is not the best option.

Industrial hemp, on the other hand, is typically high in CBD, making it the best choice for products containing CBD oil.  Another reason is that hemp is perfectly legal to grow in most states.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is not legal to grow in most states. This makes it much easier for consumers to find and buy hemp CBD oil. CBD Oil made from marijuana plants can only be made and bought in places that have legalized marijuana, which is few.

Is It Safe to Use Hemp Products?

Hemp products

By now, you know that most people use marijuana for its THC effects. This includes people who want to get buzzed and those looking for medical benefits. THC is why marijuana has so much controversy surrounding it. Those opposed to marijuana say that THC is addictive and that pot is a “gateway drug” that leads to the use of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin.  All this controversy around THC gives an advantageous edge to hemp.

The CBD in hemp cannot get you high and it’s not addictive. And most everyone knows that and agrees with it. Thus far, scientists have not found any evidence that suggests people can build up a tolerance to CBD or that it can become a substance that’s easily abused.  So what does this all mean? It means that hemp products like hemp CBD oil are considered perfectly safe by nearly everyone, including the scientific experts. Today, hemp products are extremely popular, even though they don’t contain any THC.

FAQs About Marijuana vs Hemp

We know that the whole marijuana vs hemp discussion can be confusing. If you’re having a problem keeping things straight, take a look at our FAQs. Hopefully, there\s information here that can help clear things up.

Q: Is hemp in the cannabis family and why is hemp so popular?

A: Hemp is a close relative to the marijuana plant and both are in the cannabis family. So the answer to the first question is yes, hemp is a type of cannabis.  Hemp’s popularity didn’t start recently.  For many years, hemp has been a very versatile crop that’s been used to make paper, rope, textiles, and even health products. For many people, there is no comparison between growing hemp vs marijuana. In numerous locations, farmers growing hemp does very well earning a decent living for themselves.

Q: Is CBD natural?

A: Yes. CBD is a 100% naturally-occurring chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. It is not synthetic in any way.

Q: How can I be sure the CBD products I buy are safe to use?

A: Be sure the company you’re buying CBD products from has a good reputation. It’s also important to know that the products you buy come from industrial hemp with less than 0.3% THC content.

Q: What’s the difference between CBD and THC?

A: Both CBD and THC are phytocannabinoids but the two are distinctly different. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol produces psychoactive qualities (that get you high). CBD or cannabidiol does not produce psychoactive qualities. This phytocannabinoid is used for its medicinal benefits.

Q: What’s the main difference between marijuana and hemp?

A: Marijuana and hemp both belong to the same cannabis plant species. They even look and smell similarily. The difference is that hemp plants contain no more than 0.3 percent of THC and marijuana typically contains much more (5 to 20 percent). Thus, you cannot get high on hemp like you can on marijuana.

Q: Regarding the hemp vs marijuana plant, how can I tell the two apart?

A: Hemp plants grow tall and lean and have narrow leaves. Most of the leaves on hemp plants grow on top. Marijuana plants are more shrub-like and shorter. The leaves are also broader than hemp leaves.

Q: What’s the main difference between marijuana vs hemp oil?

A: Marijuana oil contains much more THC than hemp oil. Therefore, marijuana oil has the ability to get you high. Hemp oil contains less than 0.3 percent THC, which means it can’t produce any high.

Q: Is CBD legal in the United States? 

A: The short answer to this is it depends on where you live. This is because the legality of CBD can vary from state to state and federally. Additionally, one of the determining factors is whether the CBD comes from marijuana or hemp. Check with your state government to learn more.

Q: What’s hemp vs weed? In other words, is hemp the same as weed?

A: Weed is a slang word that’s often used to describe marijuana. Other words & terms used to describe marijuana include wacky-tobaccy, pot, dope, Mary Jane, and lots more. Slang words for hemp include hippy hay, mota, ayrende, and sweet leaf. To answer the question, no; hemp is not the same as weed.

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