Hemp vs Marijuana

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What You Need To Know

In the current times dubbed as the “Age of Information”, it can be just as easily be dubbed the “Age of Misinformation”. Through the systematic attacks, propaganda, and the spread of false information, the world has created mass confusion on the facts of Cannabis.

Pro-marijuana and pro-hemp supports have been trying to undo all of this misinformation over the past few decades with nominal success. So, here we are doing our part in making one wrong right, one step at a time. With that being said, hemp and marijuana are of the same family, but very different.

Hemp vs. Marijuana: What Are They?

Hemp and marijuana both come from Cannabis Sativa, which is one of the two primary classifications of cannabis (The other being cannabis indica). Hemp itself is known to have over 25,000 possible applications (Hair, skin, dietary supplements, clothing, etc) that do not involve being used as a mind-altering psychoactive.

Marijuana is known to provide medicinal and recreational value through psychoactive effects and the reduction of numerous ailments.

In short, hemp can’t do what marijuana does and marijuana can’t do what hemp does. Although these two are astoundingly different, in 1970 the United States passed the Substance Control Act which grouped all forms of cannabis together, banning the plant and assigning it as a schedule I drug.

Reparations are underway through tedious legislation while the government and politicians come to a consensus on facts.

Physical Differences

The anatomy of hemp and marijuana are similar at the first few glances, but certain traits can be distinguished under closer observation. The marijuana plant, which provides psychoactive effects have the iconic broad leaves that you see on stickers, television and in illustrations.

It also has a very short and bush-like appearance which is due to its density of flowering buds.

These buds are exactly what you’re thinking, the pictures you see on Instagram, the ones you see on billboards and in glass jars. Hemp, on the other hand, features very skinny, short leaves that are usually concentrated near the top of the plant.

Hemp also grows substantially taller than marijuana plants and has a skinnier appearance as it does not produce tons of thick flowering buds.

Chemical Differences

Cannabis itself contains many compound elements which are called cannabinoids, each cannabinoid is said to have different properties and benefits. When comparing hemp and marijuana, they are usually defined by two major cannabinoids. One being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the other Cannabidiol (CBD).

With that being said, marijuana can contain anywhere from 15 percent to 40 percent THC levels with the majority of plants containing low concentrations of CBD, unless bred specifically for the opposite. Hemp on the other hand usually contains maximum levels of 0.3 percent THC content with high ranges of CBD content.

As you can see these two are each other’s yin and yang in terms of use and composition.


Marijuana is used both for recreational and medical purposes. Marijuana can provide a way for regular people to relieve some stress at the end of the day or just find a way to completely unwind without the adverse after-effects of substances such as alcohol.

Marijuana can be ingested through beverages, treats and meals, combusted through vaporization or an old-fashioned joint and even injected directly into your body. Hemp cultivation, on the other hand, is primarily used in industrial applications due to its high number of applicable uses (Around 25,000).

These applications include oils, food, building supplies, cleaning supplies, clothing, toiletries, biofuel and much more.

Marijuana vs. Hemp: Legal Status

Hemp was banned and made illegal in past substance laws, but due to the constant work of supporters, it is lurching towards legality. In most parts of the United States, the department of agriculture sets the legal threshold for hemp at 0.3 percent THC content. However, other countries of the world have opted for a 0.2 percent threshold.

Although there are times and space where growing hemp would be illegal, due to its nature as an industrial applicant rather than a drug, consequences are generally minor.

On the other hand, marijuana is still widely stigmatized and related to drugs, crime, and death, on a global scale. The reason being that marijuana provides psychoactive effects and the illegal market makes it very profitable for criminal organizations, which unfortunately have become the face of marijuana in many parts of the world.

With marijuana being a major player for illegal activity, punishments are very harsh in the majority of the world’s countries. In the United States, there are still 17 states that do not have any laws regarding the legalization of marijuana.

Cannabis Oil vs. Hemp Oil

Hemp vs Marijuana

Hemp oil is extracted by pressing the seeds and stalk fiber of hemp plants until oil is produced. It usually contains 18-27 percent CBD and trace amounts of 0.3 percent THC or lower. Marijuana oil is produced when the flowering buds of the plant are pressed to release their fat-soluble solvents.

Please note that cannabis companies press these two oils and refine them a second time in commercial FDA approved production while homemade production is usually performed in a less-robust and less-effective method.


Tetrahydrocannabinol is known to be a psychoactive recreational and medicinal cannabinoid that can help with a multitude of ailments and is found at high concentrations in marijuana plants.

Cannabinol is a cannabinoid that has been highly praised for its help with anxiety, pain, quality of life and use with ill children without the psychoactive effects (Ex: Crohn’s disease, seizures, etc).

It can be found at high concentrations in special strains of marijuana or the seeds and stalks of hemp plants.

Hemp Oil Benefits

The biggest attributes of hemp extract can be described as relaxing, moisturizing, soothing and calming. It has been used to achieve a better night’s sleep without the drowsiness that you usually get from other supplements or medications.

Hemp also reduces stress and anxiety which is a big part of why so many people use hemp oil on a daily basis.

The high CDB content also helps decrease inflammation/pain focusing around joints and muscle tissues. It has also gives a feeling of euphoria without necessarily making you high, which can bring an improved quality of life to the elderly and those suffering from chronic pain.

Marijuana Oil Benefits

The main attributes of marijuana oil are its recreational, medicinal and psychoactive uses. Marijuana oil has a proven track record to increase the appetites of those suffering from anorexia or nausea brought upon from chemotherapy. It has also showed increased lung conductivity which can potentially help those who suffer from asthma.

Stress reduction is another ailment that marijuana oil can fix and has been heavily used among those who suffer from anxiety and fear-based illnesses such as PTSD.

Pain reduction in physical injuries has also been proven to be aided through the use of marijuana oil. Just like hemp oil, you can use marijuana oil to get to bed faster at night.

These may seem like a lot of benefits already, however, more clinical trials are being conducted to uncover even more beneficial applications for marijuana oils.

Hemp CBD vs. Marijuana CBD

To clear up further questions, the CBD derived from hemp and the CBD derived from marijuana are the same thing. It is important to remember that both hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis sativa family.

Therefore, their concentrations of CBD may be different (High CBD in hemp and low CBD in marijuana) but the CBD cannabinoids in both plants are identical.

Difference Between Hemp And Marijuana

To wrap this lengthy discussion up, hemp and marijuana hail from the same family of cannabis sativa which is one of the two primary classifications of cannabis. Hemp is regularly used for industrial applications that are estimated to be around 25,000 different uses ranging from toiletries to building materials.

Marijuana is widely used for recreational and medicinal use regarding sleep, stress, and pain related ailments. Hemp contains high CBD and low THC which comes from its seeds and stalks. Marijuana contains high THC and low CBD which comes from its bundles of bud. Marijuana will provide psychoactive effects while hemp will not.

Hemp is legal in most parts of the world with minor consequences for infractions while marijuana is illegal in most parts of the world and carries heavy punishment.

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