The cannabis plant has been around for a long time. Human beings wove hemp fiber into some of the earliest articles of clothing, and accounts of people ingesting marijuana are thousands of years old. Today, we grow two major strains of the cannabis plant across the world — hemp and marijuana. Despite major differences between the two, people still get confused about which is which. Granted, it’s all the same plant, with the same unmistakable fan leaves, and a lot of misinformation has existed around the subject to date. So what exactly is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
The cannabis plant
Hemp and marijuana are two different strains of the cannabis plant. They both create substances called cannabinoids, just not the same one. Marijuana plants produce the cannabinoid called THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the psychoactive substance that, when ingested or inhaled in sufficient amounts, produces a high sensation. Hemp plants produce less than .3 percent of THC. Instead, it focuses on producing CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD has many of the same physiological effects as THC, without getting anyone high.
As of now, marijuana has restrictions state by state for growing and using. Farmers in almost all states can grow hemp with a proper license. Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Dakota still ban production within their borders.
Hemp’s close association with marijuana kept it from legalization in America until 2018. Of course, before that, certain states did legalize marijuana use. In places like Colorado or California, medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal. It’s a testament to the strength of America’s war on cannabis that the plant continues to face an uphill battle when it comes to marijuana legalization. Legalizing hemp was a big win though.
Obviously, marijuana can get you high and hemp can’t, which means they have different uses. Both plants may help alleviate certain medical conditions. The way the cannabis plants are grown affects what other materials you can harvest from them.
Marijuana growing and uses
Today, marijuana gets used for medicinal and recreational purposes. The positive effects of the drug go way far back. Where it’s legal, the marijuana strain of the cannabis plant is one of the most important and profitable plants grown today. Farmers grow marijuana to access the plant’s flowers and buds. More often than not, growing indoors can allow you to control the conditions, so bud development is perfect.
Hemp growing and uses
Hemp can be grown for a lot of different purposes. It’s one of the reasons it’s such a hot topic now. Farmers growing hemp for CBD or CBG plan to extract CBD from the plant. This oil then goes into a variety of products from gummies to tinctures. Farmers growing industrial hemp will harvest the stalk. This gets used for fiber, food, or becomes hemp oil for other industrial purposes. It’s one of the most versatile plants grown today.
Grow the perfect hemp crop with Arbor Vita8
Hopefully now the differences between hemp and marijuana are very clear. It’s an important distinction. They both fill such different shoes in our economy. At Arbor Vita8, we’re passionate about educating hemp farmers across the country. We want to empower you to grow high-quality hemp, regardless of experience. We’re here to guide you through the entire process, from seed to sale. Contact us today!