Difference between Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana

Difference between Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana

Hemp and Marijuana are both Cannabis species. The term Cannabis, to be more precise, refers to the entire genus of both Hemp and Marijuana plants, but they are not the same.

The main difference between these 2 plants is the level of THC.
If the content of the THC level is below 0.3%, it is a Hemp plant. If the level of the THC is above 0.4% – it is considered as Marijuana plant.

Interesting Fact:
A popular misconception is that the Hemp is a male plant and the Marijuana is a female plant. That is not true – there are male and female versions of cannabis, no matter where you are in the spectrum. 

But let’s go deeper into the differences and main characteristics of those terms. 

What is hemp? 

Hemp is a type of cannabis family technically known as Cannabis Sativa L. the Main difference to Marijuana plants is that Hemp plants contain very low levels of the intoxicating cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high levels of the nontoxic phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD).

All parts of the Hemp plant are used in different industries for the manufacturing of textile, biofuels, cosmetics and food supplements, which makes this plant an universal natural tool with great potential. 

What is cannabis?

This is the biological reference to the whole family of these plants and includes in its meaning more than 150 identified species. The cannabis plant originates from very old ancestors according to the scientists, and it could be traced back millions of years ago.

To completely clarify the term, cannabis is actually a family of species that contains both hemp and marijuana plants. 

What is marijuana?

Marijuana plants are part of the big cannabis family. The main characteristic is the toxic profile due to the high levels of THC in the different strains. This is why there is a clear legal and chemical distinction between hemp and marijuana plants all over the world. In many countries, due to the high levels of the toxic compound THC, this plant is illegal for growing and consumption.  

The difference between hemp and marijuana? 

The golden standard for distinguishing hemp from marijuana plants is the absence or the presence of the THC compound. This main difference shapes in present days the cannabis industry and gives a clear idea about the legal aspects all over the world. There are many more biological and chemical differences between these two species, but the THC compound, due to its toxic nature has become the main tool to differentiate hemp from marijuana plants.


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