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Hemp vs. Marijuana

What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana? This is probably one of our most frequently asked questions as it kind of goes along with the whole CBD vs. THC thing. Now that we have added “hemp flower” to our in-store inventory, we just want to make sure you understand that there are differences between hemp and marijuana. Surprisingly there are a few, but there is one thing you need to remember: they come from the same plant (CANNABIS SATIVA) and yes, you can smoke both (*hemp flower cough, cough*).

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa is an annual flowering plant indigenous to the eastern hemisphere of the globe. Not to be mistaken with Cannabis indica, which is a topic for another time. Most people equate the word “cannabis” with marijuana, but that's only part of its identity as it comes in two main varieties: hemp and marijuana.

Physical Characteristics of Industrial Hemp vs. Marijuana

Once harvested, it can be hard to tell the difference (hemp flower vs. marijuana), especially with indoor-grown plants. Hemp that is grown for textiles generally grows tall and lean with shiny leaves. Marijuana (or Industrial Hemp is grown for cannabinoid content), on the other hand, grows in a much bushier way and has wider leaves that are more matte in appearance.

Differing CBD / THC Content

The biggest difference between hemp and marijuana is the CBD and THC content. As you can recall, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two of 100+ different cannabinoids (specially phytocannabinoids) produced by the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids either react (THC) with or simply stimulate (CBD) the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. That’s why CBD differs from THC in that it is non-psychoactive aka it doesn’t get you high because it doesn’t activate those receptors and your reward system. With hemp, it is high in CBD and low in THC and with marijuana, it is higher in THC. All of our products are sourced from industrial hemp, which means that it only contains 0.3% or less THC. Don’t let that low number fool you. Hemp provides health without the high, which is why many individuals prefer it over marijuana.

The Power of HEMP

When grown properly for intended use, you can consider the marijuana plant to be a little more sensitive, which means that it isn’t used for as much as hemp. While marijuana is generally just used for human consumption for medical, recreational, or spiritual purposes, hemp can be used for a lot more. Speaking of consumption, while marijuana is for human consumption, hemp stalks can be consumed by a variety of other organisms to nurture their endocannabinoid system, or ECS. Anyways, industrial hemp is one of the most versatile plants out there since all parts of the hemp plant can be used — even the seeds! It is used for food, medicine, paper, cosmetics, and so much more. Below you will see a graphic depicting the many uses of the hemp plant, which are just a handful considering there are over 50,000 current uses for the hemp plant!

Uses of Hemp

via Getty Images

Questions? Contact Us!

Is there something in this post that stood out to you and you want to learn more? Give us a call at (571) 799-9914 or better yet, come in and visit us at one of our three locations — Manassas + Leesburg, Virginia and Dupont Circle, Washington D.C. Right now we are carrying two brands of hemp flower, which include Secret Nature CBD and Fenix CBD. We would love for you to come in and see, smell, and try their different blends as these are sold in-store only. We look forward to seeing you when you get here.