What is the main difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Both Hemp and Marijuana are forms of the Cannabis Sativa Plant and is otherwise known as cannabis. Cannabis is an annual herbaceous flowering plant. The two main groups of chemicals are Terpenes and Cannabinoids. Terpenes provide distinct flavors and aromas. Cannabinoids have a variety of therapeutic and recreational properties. There are a confirmed 113 cannabinoids, but there are some reports that go higher to 120+ in many cases.
Hemp is different from marijuana in its function, cultivation, and application. Lawmakers, in 1970, did not understand the difference and had banned all forms of cannabis, under the Controlled Substances Act, in which it was classed as a Schedule 1 drug. This was the case until an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the U.S. Hemp is defined by having THC levels of 0.3% or less. Hemp has a variety of uses including being used as a holistic option and the fibers can be formed into clothing, paper, and rope. Marijuana has up to 30% THC, thus it makes you “High,” so it is still banned. Many states are beginning to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but it will not be fully legal until the federal government does so.
Will Hemp get you “High?”
Hemp, by law, has no more than 0.3% of the psychoactive chemical THC. Hemp has an abundance in the non-psychoactive chemical CBD. Most quality companies, such as Steve’s Goods, will filter out and purify their products resulting in 0% THC. In other words, no amount of Hemp will make you high.
THC vs CBD
Both THC and CBD work with your body’s endocannabinoid system to produce their effects. The endocannabinoid system is your body’s way to regulate itself in efforts to reach a balanced state referred to as “homeostasis.” There are two receptors of the endocannabinoid system CB1, concentrated in the brain, and CB2, scattered throughout the body.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. Marijuana contains a range of 5-30% THC content. Industrial hemp is legally defined as having a maximum of 0.03%. THC activates the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce its effects.
CBD reacts with the CB2 receptors throughout the body to produce its effects.
There is research suggesting that the cannabinoids in hemp work together to bolster each other’s effects. This is referred to as the “entourage effect.” Some THC, even tiny amounts as which is in hemp, can enhance the effect of CBD. Most of these products are labeled full spectrum.
Hemp vs Marijuana Attributes
Marijuana often looks different from hemp. The shape of the leaves of marijuana tends to have broad leaves, a tight bud, or look like a nugget with tiny hairs or crystals. Hemp leaves have skinnier leaves that tend to concentrate at the top and very few branches or leaves exist below the top part of the plant. From afar, marijuana looks like a short fat bush. Hemp, especially hemp grown for fiber or seed, is typically skinnier and taller reaching up to 20ft in height.
The major difference between the two is the chemical composition. The two important chemicals being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects. Most strands of marijuana contain between 5-20% THC content. Some marijuana strands can have up to 30% THC. Marijuana has some Legal hemp, on the other hand, has a max THC level of 0.3%, essentially making it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect or get a “high.” Hemp also has a higher amount of cannabidiol (CBD) which offers numerous unique benefits.
The environment in which hemp and marijuana are grown are often strikingly different. Hemp is grown closely together, in some cases 4 in apart, and are typically grown in large multi-acre fields. Hemp is a hearty plant in which grows in a variety of climates both hot and cold. Hemp has a growth cycle of around 108-120 days. There are numerous varieties of hemp. Some strands can be grown for fiber while others for seed or CBD content. Marijuana a tropical-like environment in which requires a carefully controlled, warm, and humid atmosphere for proper growth. Its growth cycle only 60-90 days. Cannabis is typically grown 6 feet apart. Hemp and marijuana cannot be grown together because their pollen will contaminate each other and make each other relatively useless.
Importance of Sourcing
It is important to get your cannabis from an honest, reliable source. Cannabis is not yet fully federally regulated, and your source is often correlated with your quality. U.S. and Canada have companies and farms that are often reliable and tested properly. Sources from places like China can vary greatly in quality and reliability. It is important to pick a source that is looking out for its customers. Steve’s Goods specializes in CBD and CBG products and it all comes straight out of Colorado. Each batch of CBG products is tested at a third party. Steve’s Goods works closely with its Colorado farm sources to ensure the best hemp crops are being used for all of our products. We have a variety of products from tinctures and concentrates to topicals and dog treats.