difference between hemp and marijuana

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Did you just hear him call hemp “pot”? Yikes.

Inspired by a recent conversation with a friend, it’s time to weed through all this terminology confusion. Pun intended.

Cannabis isn’t What You May Think

We’re constantly becoming more opening minded to “taboo” topics. Now that we’re opening up more about cannabis, it’s time to clear some confusion.

First, let’s get something straight —something I didn’t even know until I accidentally stumbled into this industry a few years ago.

Cannabis is everything. It’s the mother of every single word you’ve heard; ganja, weed, pot, medical marijuana, sativa, indica, mary ja–okay, you get the point.







If I told you to picture an apple tree, you might not picture exactly the same thing as me…because there are hundreds of different types of apples, varying in color, size, flavor, etc.

Although they share similar appearances and chemical makeups, you can’t call a fuji apple a honeycrisp apple or you might seriously tick off some honeycrips-enthusiasts.

So we can agree that all apples are apples, but fuji apples are not honeycrisp apples —right?

This poses an interesting question…


Why on earth do we keep calling everything “marijuana”?


All cannabis is cannabis, but hemp is not marijuana. Typical misconceptions and stigmas surrounding cannabis seem silly once you understand that we’re pointing the finger at distinguishably different plants.

What is Marijuana?

When you watch or read the news, 99.9% of the time you’re met with these terms:

  • Marijuana
  • Weed
  • Pot

Those terms all refer to marijuana, which is the infamous type of cannabis that causes mind-altering effects in users.

Marijuana is carefully grown indoors with special equipment known as hydroponics. It requires quite a bit of “babying” because the goal is normally to produce a plant with very high levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol —which, thankfully, is better known as simply THC.

THC, and THC only, is the reason marijuana is psychoactive.

THC belongs to a class of natural chemical compounds called cannabinoids. You can find some cannabinoids in other plants but they were first discovered in cannabis, so that’s where the name came from.

There are hundreds of different cannabinoids –any of which you can find in cannabis. This is where it gets interesting. Out of ALL of those compounds…THC is the only one that causes a “high.”

Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of cannabinoids, though. Although interest is growing in other cannabinoids, the most abundant and commonly researched are THC and CBD.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is an amazing plant. Here’s why.

  1. It can easily be grown indoors, outside, in the shade, sun…anywhere. It requires little water and is naturally resistant to molds and pests, so it can grow HUGE in little time with no need for pesticides or any other chemicals.
  2. Hemp cleans the air and soil as it grows.
  3. Hemp can be made into building materials (like hempcrete) to make houses that clean your air and better maintain the temperature. That’s why this guy built a house out of hemp to help his sick daughter live a healthier life.

You could say hemp is an innocent, distant cousin to marijuana. No matter how much you consume, it can not make you “stoned” because it lacks sufficient THC.

Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, which is extremely little, so it’s non psychotropic.

Growing hemp is easy, fast, and clean. Oil extracted from hemp can have high amounts of Cannabidiol (CBD).

World-wide, scientists have studied CBD for many amazing benefits related to anxiety, inflammation-based pain, mood, sleep, depression, cancer, arthritis…the list goes on.

CBD hemp oil products are becoming increasingly common for two reasons.

  1. When sourced properly, it’s legal and can be shipped to all 50 U.S. states.
  2. You can get the CBD health benefits while keeping your mind in-tact; no “high.”

CBD is safe and calming.

Short Version: The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

  • Marijuana is grown for high levels of the compound THC, which has psychoactive effects on the mind and body.
  • Hemp has EXTREMELY low-THC; instead it has CBD, which is the medicinal side of cannabis. So it’s healthy with no high.


Why is Marijuana Illegal?

Now that you know the difference between Hemp and Marijuana, you might be wondering, where and when did all this confusion start?

The word “marijuana”  (or, as it used to be written: marihuana) was conjured up years ago to scare people by honing into the unfortunate racism of the era. The most popular newspaper of the time, lead by an openly racist William Randolph Hearst, was used to create a lot of public hysteria through alarming headlines and fabricated stories. History suggests that Hearst and Dupont sought to create fear and panic to destroy the plant’s place in the market in favor of their patents on chemicals used in the manufacturing process of plastics and paper.

“Most marijuana smokers are colored people, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” — Harry Anslinger  

A movie called Reefer Madness came out in 1936, depicting marijuana as a dangerous drug that turned people into insane rapers and murderers.

Of course, nowadays that sort of racism and bigotry would never be accepted. But we we all are well aware, this wasn’t always the case. The sad truth is, cannabis prohibition was successful in large part due to the racism, propaganda, and yellow journalism of the time.


The Future of Cannabis

Things are changing! We’re excited to see what lies ahead in the next couple of years and hope to see more people gain easy and safe access to natural ways of reclaiming their health.


Check out our selection of CBD for sale online.