Marijuana, cannabis, hemp, CBD—all wonderful words, but do we really understand the relationships between them? We’re about to ask some crucial questions about the relationship between marijuana and hemp. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what hemp is, what marijuana is, and why understanding this distinction matters.
Infuse oils (THC, CBD or CBG)
Are Marijuana And Hemp The Same Plant?
These days, some industrial hemp producers are extracting CBD from leftover material and marketing it as “CBD oil”. These products are generally considered to be of lower quality—with reduced concentrations, and higher risk of contamination—than CBD oil harvested from plants specifically grown for medicinal use.
The roots of the hemp plant can also be used to clean contaminated soil, a process known as phytoremediation. As hemp is a very robust plant, it is able to grow where other plants cannot, and the roots are able to absorb toxins. Therefore, by planting hemp crops in areas with poor, toxic soil, the soil can be effectively cleaned.
Cannabis seeds, while again technically from the same plant as hemp seeds, are more often associated with the legal cannabis market for medicinal and recreational consumption. Anyone involved within the cannabis industry knows that the key to a high-quality cannabis product starts with the seeds used for production.
Another big difference between cannabis seeds and hemp seeds is cost. Since cannabis seeds are most often sold for purposes of growing cannabis plants, their seeds will typically cost you more than what you’d pay for hemp seeds at the grocery store. The rise of legal hemp and the CBD market has increased the value of hemp seeds a bit, but cannabis seeds will almost always cost considerably more.
The main distinction that separates hemp seeds from cannabis seeds sits in the amounts of certain compounds, called cannabinoids, present within them. The 2018 Farm Bill established a limit of 0.3 percent THC content for any Cannabis sativa plant to be classified as hemp in the US – seeds included. Some local jurisdictions on the state level (and other regions of the world) have their own definition of what distinguishes hemp from cannabis. Still, this 0.3% THC content threshold is quickly becoming an accepted standard.
Hemp seeds can be used for a variety of everyday purposes and have been for years. The seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant are highly nutritious and can be found on the shelves of your local health food store. These seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, granola, and any other kitchen concoction you can scheme up in their processed form.
These seeds are essential both to the businesses and farmers who grow the cannabis crops and the consumers who use the many different varieties of cannabis products currently available. And while there are numerous methods to growing and producing the plant itself, the entire industry relies on the ability to use viable cannabis seeds obtained from a reputable and reliable source.
Fueled by widespread acceptance and removal of regulations, the hemp and cannabis industries are growing rapidly across the globe. They may technically be the same plant from a scientific standpoint, but in lawmakers’ eyes, two classifications exist with their own set of rules and regulations. Understanding the difference between hemp and cannabis seeds is a critical step for anyone involved in these industries – from seed to sale.
Recent developments regarding hemp and cannabis regulations have expanded hemp from grocery shelves to alternative health clinics and corner stores across the country and beyond. Hemp oil has various uses and benefits (which is why people use cbd lotion, take it as a tincture, and use it in cooking, to name a few), while being the fuel behind the recent boom in the CBD market.
In this same book , Small discusses how “there is not any natural point at which the cannabinoid content can be used to distinguish strains of hemp and marijuana.” Despite this, Small continued to “draw an arbitrary line on the continuum of cannabis types, and decided that 0.3 percent THC in a sifted batch of cannabis flowers was the difference between hemp and marijuana.” As you can imagine, this has led to some controversy and confusion as to what truly constitutes the difference between hemp and cannabis.
In America, products derived from hemp seed, such as hemp seed spreads, hemp seed energy bars, hemp seed meal, and hemp oil – are widely available in natural food stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s supermarkets.
From hemp apparel and accessories to diets and hempseed oil cosmetics, the plant is seemingly found everywhere you look. Hemp can be made into wax, resin, rope, cloth paper and fuel, among many other things.
Hemp for Fuel
According to a 1976 study published by the International Association of Plant Taxonomy concluded “both hemp varieties and marijuana varieties are of the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis Sativa. Further, there are countless varieties that fall into further classifications within the species Cannabis Sativa.”
When trying to wrap your head around the differences between hemp and cannabis, it is important to begin with this simple concept: Both hemp and cannabis ultimately come from the same plant… just different parts. Whether you call something hemp or cannabis will depend on a variety of factors which we will explore in this article. However, despite the fact that the terms hemp and cannabis are often used interchangeably, they do have separate connotations.
“Health Canada defines hemp as products of Cannabis Sativa which contain less than 0.3 percent THC, whereas US law defines hemp as all parts of any Cannabis Sativa plant containing no psychoactive properties, except for defined exceptions.”
Unfortunately, prohibition has spurred a lack of education surrounding the cannabis plant. This has led to countless rumors about what makes hemp different from cannabis. Everything from “hemp plants are male and cannabis plants are female” to “cannabis is a drug and the other is not” are incorrectly being preached as common knowledge to unknowing bystanders. So, how are these terms supposed to be used? Let’s find out.