Currently, CBD is in huge demand in the international market, because of its beneficial health properties for humans and pets alike. However, it does share its own shifting legalities and controversial reputation. Hence, the complications and confusion that exists for CBD users has made it necessary for everyone to know the difference between marijuana and hemp and how it is related to Cannabis

Key differences

Hemp & Marijuana are considered to be varieties belonging to the same plant species. Therefore, they do have several similarities and also might have the same appearance. Having different usages, effects and contrasting legal regulations, it becomes essential to know their difference to avoid further confusion.

  • Legality: Since there is found a difference between THC levels, both are regulated under law, but differently. Previously, hemp was regarded to be illegal. But in 2018, hemp along with associated products having 0.3% or lesser TCH levels has been federally legalized. But Marijuana still is considered federally illegal and is a controlled substance.
  • Composition: The chemical composition present in each plan is what defines their characteristic properties. Both have the ability to produce CBD (non-intoxicating cannabis compound) in huge quantities. But THC gets produced at different levels. While marijuana might contain THC content to about 30%, hemp has 0.3% THC or lesser by dry weight.
  • Usage: Both offer varieties of usages, something unquiet for their composition. THC, a powerful psychoactive agent can bind them directly to receptors CB1 & CB2 within the Endocannabinoid System. It induces euphoric, mind-altering effects, termed as ‘high’. Marijuana is popular for recreational purpose and therapeutic applications. Hemp produces a wide range of items like industrial products, food products, medicinal products like CBD infused topical and CBD oil tinctures.
  • Cultivation: The purpose of their cultivation is different and does require different growing conditions. It is in controlled environments that marijuana varieties are grown, designed to optimize its characteristics and to produce budding flowers by promoting female plants. But for cannabis or marijuana plant cultivation, close attention needs to be paid to the plant during every lifecycle stage to maintain its growth and environments like humidity, light, and temperature. Hemp, on the other hand, is cultivated to optimize its yield and size. It is grown typically outdoors and much attention of level of control is not necessary.

So if hemp derived CBD contains 0.3% or lesser THC, it is legal. But CBD derived from marijuana is illegal, being termed as controlled substance irrespective of its THC percentage.