So similar yet very different – hemp and cannabis or marijuana comes from the same plant species but are completely different from each other. A lot of people actually don’t know the difference between the two and they’re often mistaken for the other. Until now they’re very closely associated with each other which actually brings more harm than good. It actually started a long time ago, if you’re familiar with “Reefer Madness” then you know what we’re talking about. If you’re not, however, the term “Reefer Madness” is a scare tactic used back in the 90’s to ban the usage of cannabis or marijuana. Hemp actually got affected by it and thus it is now well associated with the narcotic drug.
But now, we know better! Like how the first line is stated, hemp and cannabis are very different from each other despite being similar. In a general sense, hemp is more on the industrial use while cannabis is of the recreational use. We’ll delve into the topic further so keep on reading!
Hemp and cannabis are quite different from each other, but they can be boiled down to 4 main differences:
- Genetics and Appearance
Yes, hemp and cannabis are practically cousins but they are different from each other. Both of them are bred differently as to achieve different goals. For example, hemp is actually bred differently because of its industrial use while cannabis is bred for its recreational use. Since they are bred differently, they would obviously look different; hemp is tall and sturdy while cannabis is short, stout but full of leaves. The tall stalk of the hemp plant is used for numerous textile that ranges from fabrics and ropes while the trichomes of the short plant are used recreationally.
As stated above, hemp is an industrial plant while cannabis is a recreational plant. The tall and sturdy stalk of a hemp plant has a huge variety of uses while cannabis is created for the THC content. While it’s true that hemp has some THC in them, it’s very minute and it’s not enough to be used recreationally. Hemp has a THC content of about 0.3% while cannabis has around 25%-30%.
- Growing Process
Since both of them are used differently, they need to be grown differently as well. Since hemp is used for its stalk, they are usually grown outdoors to encourage the plant to grow upwards which increases the amount of “stalk” that the plant has. Hemp plants are also predominantly male because it lacks a flowering stage which also encourages a fast and tall growth. Inversely, cannabis or marijuana is grown indoors due to the special attention it needs. If you’re a grower then you should know all the small but important details that marijuana needs to give a better outcome. Cannabis or marijuana plants are usually short but leafy which adds the trichome content of the plant which contains the THC for recreational use.
As you may know, all cannabis products, including hemp, are illegal in most states in the US. However, hemp is actually legal in a lot of countries outside of the USA! More than 30 countries actually legalized the cultivation of hemp for its uses! An interesting note here is that it’s actually legal to import hemp in the US! Marijuana or cannabis, however, is still illegal in most countries since it’s still widely regarded as a narcotic drug which impairs people.
Well, there you have it, folks! Even though hemp and cannabis are very close to each other in the genus, they are quite different from each other. They have different genetics, they are used differently, they are grown differently, and they have different legal status around the globe. So, now that you know, try avoiding using “hemp” when referring to marijuana as they’re essentially different!