People often confuse marijuana and hemp, believing that both can get you high. Many aren’t too sure what hemp is used for and believe that both are illegal in many countries, which is not the case.
While the two are both forms of cannabis, they’re incredibly different.
What is Marijuana?
Legally defined, marijuana is cannabis with 0.3 percent or more THC. The plant typically contains anywhere from 5 percent to 30 percent THC.
Marijuana is the type of cannabis that isn’t legal in all countries and is referred to as psychoactive cannabis, weed, green, ganja, the good stuff, etc. It’s what most people traditionally use to smoke and get high.
The plants themselves have a lot of leaves and buds. The buds, also known as the flowers, are usually tight with various crystals and hairs.
The plants grow to be about two meters tall, with their leaves growing in bunches. They’re known to be short and stocky and take a lot of care to grow properly.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is cannabis with 0.3 percent or less THC. It is relatively easy to grow as it’s adaptable and needs minimal care. Hemp plants are typically grown in crowded spaces and far away from marijuana plants to avoid cross-contamination.
Hemp plants can grow up to four meters tall and have stringy, skinny leaves.
Is Hemp Legal Everywhere?
According to historians, President George Washington grew and cultivated hemp at Mount Vernon. He used the fibres to make rope and sailing canvas, clothing, and to repair fishing nets.
In the 1970s, the War on Drugs caused hemp to become criminalized. The US government, failing to distinguish between hemp and marijuana, rendered both illegal. In 2018, a Hemp Farming Act was proposed, making the plant legal.
In Canada, hemp was legalized in 1998. Farmers who want to grow the crop today must apply for a government licence and are only allowed to produce certain types of hemp.
What is Hemp Used For?
Hemp is used for a variety of items. If you’ve ever been into a health food store, you’ve probably seen dietary supplements made of hemp and even hemp-infused lip balms. People have even learned how to use hemp to make clothing and accessories.
Clothes made with hemp actually can protect the wearer’s skin by naturally filtering UV light. The material is also stronger than cotton while resisting bacterial growth. The fabric also retains colour well and breathes excellently, preventing odours.
Can Hemp be Used to Make CBD Products?
Although there is no THC in hemp, its levels of CBD are much higher than in marijuana. Thus, hemp is used to make various CBD products that help manage pain and anxiety. These can include capsules, oils, gummies, and even flower for smoking.
While it won’t get you high, those who smoke hemp say it can be incredibly relaxing. In many places where marijuana is illegal, people can still sell hemp pre-rolls.
Now that you know what hemp is used for and how it differs from marijuana, you can decide what you want to purchase. Hemp products are best if you’re wanting a high level of CBD, while marijuana is best if you’re looking for a THC high.