Let's start with a quick history lesson. Both hemp and marijuana are members of the Cannabis sativa species, which is indigenous to Central Asia. But that's about where the similarities end. For thousands of years, humans have cultivated cannabis for a variety of uses, including rope, paper, and textiles. In fact, the word "canvas" is derived from the Old French word "cannabis."
Both hemp and marijuana contain CBD.
In recent years, there has been a lot of confusion surrounding hemp and marijuana. Part of the reason for this is that both plants contain CBD, or cannabidiol, which is a non-intoxicating compound that has been shown to offer a range of potential health benefits. However, hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound that produces the "high" associated with marijuana use. That means that you can't get high from using hemp-derived CBD products.
So, now that we've got that out of the way, let's take a closer look at the two plants to see what sets them apart.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: The Difference in THC Levels
One of the most significant differences between hemp and marijuana is their THC content. THC is the compound responsible for marijuana's psychoactive effects. It's worth noting that THC levels can vary significantly from one plant to the next. For example, some strains of marijuana may contain more than 30% THC while others may have less than 1%.
In contrast, all commercial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. This low level of THC is why you can't get high from using CBD products made from hemp. It's also worth noting that CBD products made from marijuana may contain higher levels of THC than those made from hemp since marijuana plants are typically more potent in terms of THC content.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: The Difference in Appearance
Another way to tell hemp and marijuana plants apart is by their appearance. Marijuana plants tend to be short and stocky with large leaves while hemp plants are tall and thin with smaller leaves. Another key difference is that hemp plants have around 16% CBD content on average while marijuana plants have only around 12%.
Hemp vs Marijuana: The Difference in Cultivation
Hemp and marijuana also differ in terms of how they're cultivated. Hemp is typically grown outdoors in fields with lots of space between each plant while marijuana is typically grown indoors in smaller spaces where each plant has more room to spread out. Hemp plants also grow much faster than marijuana plants, which is why they're often used to make CBD oil.
Marijuana cultivation also requires more attention than growing hemp since growers need to closely monitor temperature and humidity levels as well as ensure their plants have enough water and nutrients.
So, what's the bottom line?
Is one better than the other when it comes to CBD? While there are certainly some differences between hemp and marijuana, they're both capable of producing CBD oil that delivers all the potential health benefits associated with this compound. So, it really comes down to personal preference as to which one you choose to use.
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