Hemp Vs Marijuana: Whats the Difference?

weedsmart_image_Hemp Vs Marijuana

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding marijuana and hemp. Both marijuana and hemp are plants from the cannabis family. However, both differ in their appearance, chemical makeup, and their uses. For instance, marijuana contains much higher levels of THC, hence its use as a recreational drug. Hemp, on the other hand, contains low levels of THC, although it’s often used for CBD as well as to make paper, clothes, and other products.

The difference between hemp and marijuana can also matter to consumers. Some CBD products are derived purely from hemp plants. This gives them low levels of THC and also makes them legal in places where marijuana is still illegal. On the other hand, marijuana products high in THC will suit those who prefer to get high.

There are also differences in the way they are grown, with hemp generally being a lot easier to cultivate. While hemp was often confused with marijuana in the past, leading to harsher restrictions, there’s now much more knowledge on how the two differ. Here’s a guide on hemp vs marijuana.

Hemp Vs Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

Hemp and marijuana are both types of plants from the cannabis family. Marijuana plants can be either cannabis indica or cannabis sativa plants. When THC is extracted from these plants, they often have different effects from one another. Hemp plants are also from the cannabis sativa family, although they contain very low levels of THC.

Marijuana plants are known to contain high levels of THC, usually between 15-40%. Hemp plants, on the other hand, contain very low levels- usually around 0.3%. This is why marijuana leaves are dried and smoked to give psychoactive effects. THC is also extracted from marijuana plants to create products such as THC Oils and topicals.

Hemp plants don’t contain enough THC to make you high. However, they still have many applications. CBD products such as CBD oils, edibles, and topicals are often derived from hemp plants. Not only is this useful for medical users, but it also makes them legal in places such as the US where marijuana is still illegal in some states.

Uses of Marijuana

Uses of Marijuana

Marijuana is used for both recreational and medical purposes. Most of the times, when a product is referred to as cannabis, it refers to marijuana. Since marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, they provide many enjoyable effects on the body. This includes feelings of happiness and euphoria as well as a soothing body buzz.

It comes in many different forms. For instance, you can dry marijuana plants to create cannabis flower strains. Effects can differ depending on whether they come from sativa, indica or hybrid plants. Generally, indicas are more relaxing, sativas are more mentally stimulating, and hybrid strains have a mix of both. Marijuana also has medical benefits, such as relief for pain, seizures, cancer, and other health problems.

Cannabinoids can also be extracted from marijuana to create other products. This includes concentrates, oils, edibles, and other such products. These can contain THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes which give powerful medical effects.

Uses of Hemp

Although hemp is also a type of cannabis sativa plant, it differs significantly from marijuana. For one, hemp contains very low levels of THC. That means that, even if it is dried and smoked, it will not get you high.

However, hemp is often used to create medical products. It contains very high levels of CBD, perfect for making CBD oils, edibles, topicals, and other cannabidiol treatments. It can also contain other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN, which are often extracted for use in medical products.

Hemp also has many other uses. It’s often cultivated for industrial purposes. Due to its strong fibers, it can be used to create paper, clothing, rope, jewelry, and even building materials. It’s also much faster to grow than marijuana, making it very useful for superfoods and therapeutic treatments.

Uses of Hemp

Hemp Vs Marijuana: Legality

The laws surrounding hemp and marijuana can also differ significantly. This can vary from place to place. Many countries still ban marijuana while being accepting of hemp, thanks to its wide variety of uses and ability to make high-free medical products.

Recent changes in the law mean that marijuana is now fully legal in Canada. Adults 19 years of age or above (18 in Alberta and Quebec) are able to buy marijuana products and use them for any purpose. Of course, hemp is also legal, and those who wish to enjoy hemp-derived CBD products can do so freely.

The laws around these two plants are sometimes more complicated in other countries. For instance, marijuana is still fully illegal in some US states. There used to also be various restrictions on hemp in the United States. However, recent legal changes mean hemp is now legal across the United States. This means that even those in illegal marijuana states can use medical CBD products which are made from hemp.

Can Hemp Get You High?

One of the most important distinctions between marijuana and hemp is that hemp will not get you high. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, the chemical which gives you psychoactive effects when consumed. While hemp also contains THC, it has such low levels that it isn’t enough to get you high.

Hemp does contain high levels of CBD. However, CBD will not give you any psychoactive effects. CBD is used purely for medical effects, such as relief for stress and pain. As such, hemp will not get you high when consumed in any way.

Marijuana Products

Consumers who want to use marijuana have many choices. In addition to many great marijuana strains and concentrates, there are also products which use THC extracts from marijuana. Here are some examples of great marijuana products.

Flowers – Also known as weed or bud, dried marijuana can be used to smoke or vape. Flower cannabis comes in all kinds of strains. Indica strains are ideal for those who want a soothing and relaxing high. Sativa strains give more of a mentally uplifting and energetic buzz. Hybrid strains combine properties of both indica and sativa.

Concentrates – Concentrates generally turn marijuana into a more concentrated form. This results in products with much more potent levels of THC. These can also be used to smoke or vape. Concentrates generally give a much stronger high than flower due to their high level of concentrated THC.

Edibles – Edibles extract the THC from marijuana and put it into edible form. These come in various different types, from gummies to chocolate bars. Edibles take a while to kick in, sometimes up to two hours. However, they also give you the most powerful and long-lasting high, lasting up to 8 hours. These are best avoided by beginner users.

Beverages – Similar to edibles, you can also use cannabis beverages. These infuse THC (or CBD) into a drinkable form. These will also give you a potent and long-lasting high. These generally come in the form of tea or other hot drinks.

Hemp Products

Hemp Products

Hemp only contains very low levels of THC. However, hemp is often used to create CBD products. It also contains other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN which are sometimes used in health products.

CBD products made with hemp generally won’t differ too much from CBD products extracted from marijuana. Both will give you the same medical effects, such as pain relief, reduced anxiety, and reduction of seizures. Products with 0.3% of THC or less are often derived from hemp due to its low levels of THC.

Full-spectrum hemp products often have extra health benefits. These use all of the plant’s materials instead of just the extracted CBD. As such, they often have other cannabinoids and terpenes which can add to the therapeutic effects.

There are many different kinds of CBD products, many of which use CBD extracted from hemp. This includes CBD Oils, edibles, beverages, and CBD isolate.

Growing Marijuana

Marijuana and hemp also differ in the way they are grown. Marijuana plants come in a few different forms. You can buy seeds of different strains in either regular or feminized form. Feminized plants contain more THC, which is what marijuana growers usually use. You can also buy autoflowering plants. These grow much more easily in a shorter span of time.

Plants can look different depending on the strain and the type of plant. You can grow marijuana from both cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants. There are also various different kinds of strains.

Marijuana can be grown indoors or outdoors. The process usually takes around 3-6 months. Plants need water, nutrients, and sunlight (or artificial light) to grow.

Usually, outdoor grown plants are fairly easy to manage under the right conditions. Growers usually set up plants in an enclosed area and feed them water and nutrients regularly. Hotter temperatures are usually better for growing.

Many growers prefer to use indoor grows where they have full control over the light and the temperature. By giving plants certain periods of light and dark and setting the right temperature for different periods of growth, growers can trigger their plants to grow faster. However, growing indoors usually requires a lot more investment in the right equipment and an adequate indoor growing space.

Canada laws allow anyone aged 19 or over to grow up to four plants in their home. However, this can be a lengthy project and requires a lot of effort and care.

Growing Marijuana

Growing Hemp

Although the two plants have many similarities, growing hemp is a little different to growing marijuana. Hemp is actually a lot easier to grow. It can be grown in a variety of climates and, unlike marijuana, doesn’t need a lot of special care to grow successfully.

Hemp plants usually have longer and narrower leaves than marijuana plants. You can grow hemp plants very close together, so not a lot of space is needed. They also grow fast- usually, a hemp plant takes around 3 months to grow at a maximum. Hemp growers are able to grow a lot of hemp in a short amount of time, making it a very useful plant to grow.

The laws on growing hemp in Canada are a little complicated. Since it’s intended for industrial use, you need to apply for industrial hemp licensing. You can do this via Canada.ca. It’s usually grown by hemp farmers to cultivate for CBD, clothing, rope, and other hemp-based products.

Hemp Vs Marijuana Cannabinoids

Both hemp and marijuana plants contain a high amount of different cannabinoids. These are the chemical compounds which are consumed to provide various effects for the body. For the most part, the cannabinoids contained within hemp and marijuana are the same.

Both contain CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. However, the levels can vary significantly. Marijuana plants are known for their high levels of both THC and CBD. Hemp plants contain low levels of THC but fairly high levels of CBD. This is why CBD Oils and other such products are often extracted from hemp.

Marijuana plants often also contain more flavonoids and terpenes. These are extra components which give the plants their unique aromas as well as added medical benefits.

Both plants also contain other cannabinoids. This includes compounds such as CBN, CBG, THCA, and CBDA. These cannabinoids are often found in full spectrum CBD products, although sometimes they’re extracted and isolated into unique medical products. Each of these cannabinoids has medical benefits on the body. For instance, CBN is known for helping with sleep. As such, many people seek out full spectrum hemp or cannabis oils.


Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis plants. Marijuana plants generally have higher levels of THC, flavonoids, and terpenes. As such, hemp won’t get you high while marijuana will. However, hemp plants are still useful for CBD and other cannabinoids. Industrial hemp is also used in the production of all kinds of items, such as clothing and paper.

Hemp is easier and faster to grow, although some marijuana plants can also be relatively easily grown. Hemp is also legal in some places where marijuana isn’t, hence why many people turn to hemp-based CBD products. Both plants have their uses and, for the most part, consumers won’t have to worry too much about the difference.

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