In the world of cannabis, there are many names and terms for one plant family. Whether it is cannabis, hemp, or marijuana, they are all plants in the Cannabbaceae family. Within the Cannabbaceae family, one cannabis species is the Cannabis Sativa. Both hemp and marijuana are the same species of plant – Cannabis Sativa. They can look similar in appearance, however, they differ in their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC levels) which has caused many legal complications. In this article, we will break down the differences between hemp, cannabis, and marijuana.
What is Cannabis?
The word “cannabis” refers to all products originating from the plant Cannabis sativa. The Australian aboriginal term for cannabis is ‘Yarndi’. The genus is further divided into three species – Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. The most famous are the Indica and Sativa species. Each species have different qualities and characteristics and hence has different outcomes for each person. Sativa gives a feeling of euphoria and a “head high” while Indica makes “body high”. This means that Indica can curve one’s aches and pains and that it is more for medicinal use. Generally speaking, there is no difference between marijuana and cannabis as they describe the same thing. To compare, cannabis includes approximately 170 different plant species, and they contain about 540 chemical substances. People often use parts of the cannabis plant like dried leaves and seed oil for recreational and medicinal purposes. With the help of the cannabis plant, people can receive pleasurable effects and soothes their pain by smoking it or extracting it into concentrates.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana and hemp share the same species but marijuana is the intoxicating cousin of hemp. Marijuana refers to cannabis products that are from cannabis plants’ dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds. Another term for “marijuana” is “weed”. Legally, marijuana contains a large amount of THC. The THC level is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana and it is what makes people feel “high”. To be specific, marijuana is any cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC in dried weight. Marijuana is sold in many different ways. Cured and dried flower of the marijuana plant is the most common product. People usually consume it in the form of edibles, topicals, and more.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contains different properties than the usual cannabis. There are five parts to the hemp plant, the inner fibres (Hurd), the outer fibres (bast), stalk, buds, and seeds. Since hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, it is not normally used as a recreational drug. Instead, it is for industrial purposes such as making paper, clothing, and fuel. In fact, hemp is one of the oldest plants for producing textiles. This is due to the fact that hemp can grow faster than other kinds of trees as it is more sustainable. With the small amount of THC, It is unlikely that hemp will make you feel high.
What are CBD and THC?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant that is growing in popularity ever since legalising hemp. Unlike THC, CBD won’t produce any psychoactive effects so it will not affect one’s emotions and behavior when consumed. THC is a substance that will have effects on a person’s psychological state. Most people consume CBD products for their health benefits. And generally, all kinds of cannabis plants contain some amount of CBD as well as THC. However, the marijuana plant contains both CBD and THC. Click here to learn more about the chemicals CBD and THC in the cannabis plant.
Overall, cannabis is the general name for drugs like marijuana. And hemp, as well as marijuana, are both the same species – Cannabis sativa. Cannabis is mostly used for medicinal purposes such as treating symptoms like depression, anxiety, migraines, autism, and chronic pain.
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