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The leaves of a cannabis hemp plant.

What Is Hemp? And How Is It Different from Marijuana?

People are usually looking for the differences between hemp and marijuana, but this subject is usually misdescribed. Since CBD is becoming quite popular, CBD industry has developed into a unique market that is associated with the cannabis industry, including its various legal statues and controversial reputation.   

With these complications and confusion among CBD consumers, it has become essential to understand the differences between marijuana and hemp and how they relate to cannabis. In this guide, we thoroughly discuss hemp and marijuana and how they are different from each other.    

What is CBD?   

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is excessively present in cannabis and hemp plants. One must understand that CBD does not contain any amount of THC, especially when it’s extracted from the CO2 method. THC is a compound that causes the euphoric sensation amongst its consumers. Most CBD products are primarily derived from hemp and not marijuana.  

Following are the details of hemp and marijuana plants; let’s have a look!   

What is Hemp?   

The word ‘hemp’ is trending in the cannabis market. People frequently search for the term ‘hemp CBD’ with an increase in the consumption of cannabidiol products. But do you actually know what hemp is?   

Industrial hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa plant, but it cannot be consumed as a recreational drug. This hemp is currently used for extracting CBD to produce food supplements. Hemp consists of a sufficient amount of CBD, but its users have never experienced a ‘high’ as CBD is really low in the psychoactive properties.   

Unlike CBD, THC is an intoxicating compound and famous for causing the high related to marijuana use. It is present in cannabis plants, including hemp – but hemp only has low quantities. The federal law defines industrial hemp as cannabis plants having less than 0.3% THC. This amount is not even near to get a consumer high.   

What is Marijuana?   

On the contrary of hemp, marijuana contains enough quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Each marijuana plant consists of more than 30% THC, making them quite potent. This is the drug that has been used for centuries.  

The high concentration of THC in marijuana causes a ‘high,’ including a feel of relaxation and euphoria. It’s also used for several medicinal purposes in different states where its consumption is legal.   

There are many forms of marijuana, like Indica varieties and Sativa varieties. The effects typically depend on the strain, such as Indica-dominant and sativa-dominant. On the other hand, hemp is always a Sativa-dominant, while marijuana can be a cross-bred mixture of anything.   

Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana   

After having a better understanding of marijuana and hemp, we can now switch to the distinct differences between these two compounds. Following are the most fundamental differences:  


Although both hemp and marijuana are derived from cannabis, they are grown differently than one another. The cultivators of marijuana have to be very careful, monitoring humidity and temperature cautiously throughout the growth. Both plants are grown spread far apart or separately, and nutrient intake is also well-controlled.   

On the other hand, the hemp plant can be grown easily. The hemp plants are grown in any conditions and very close together. It is a hardy plant and doesn’t need a lot of care. Cultivators can grow hemp quickly without using any fertilizers or harmful chemicals. Hence, most of the hemp plants are grown organically.   


Being members of the cannabis plant, both marijuana and hemp consist of cannabinoids. Each type has a different sort of cannabinoids in it. Hemp comprises less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana has 5-20% THC. Some strains pack up to 30% of THC, making them highly potent. Also, hemp comprises a higher concentration of CBD, and only 1% of CBD is present in marijuana plants.   

With such a low concentration of THC in hemp, it is impossible to catch a high.   


There was a time when both marijuana and hemp were illegal. As both plants come from the same species, the government mistakenly outlawed hemp as well. It was quite unfortunate because hemp was used for many health ailments worldwide before it became illegal.   

After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD became legal, while marijuana is still illegal to use on a federal level. The legality of marijuana also varies from state to state. Some states use marijuana for recreational purposes while others use it for the medicinal cause.  


Marijuana is used for limited purposes, like to get high, for recreational cause, or for therapeutic advantages. It depends on the state where you live.   

As for hemp consumption, it is used for various reasons. Before it became illegal, the cellulose-rich fibers of the hemp plant were used to make sails for ships. Not only that, fibers were also used for producing clothes and in the construction industry. The seeds of the hemp plant were also used for the nutritional purpose.   

Benefits of Hemp Plant   

May Contain Neuroprotective Properties   

CBD oil may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders thanks to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system – particularly some forms of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. In the central nervous system, CBD has been shown to have a calming effect, mediated by interaction with CBD 1 and 2 receptors, among others.   

May Make the Heart Healthier   

CBD tends to reduce the cardiovascular response to stress by affecting the survival and migration of white blood cells and platelet aggregation – and each of it is associated with stress.   

An animal trial was done in 2005, and it was noticed that oral use of CBD slowed down the progression of atherosclerosis. Later, it was suggested that cannabinoids are potentially therapeutic for atherosclerosis conditions. In 2007, another animal study occurred and showed that CBD may protect the heart from having heart attacks.  

Where to Buy CBD?  

If you are looking for the original and best quality hemp product, there are several platforms you can entirely rely on. They offer CO2 extracted, 100% natural, and non-GMO hemp products to every client – all you have to do is look for the right manufacturer.   


As mentioned above, both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis species; they grow differently and have different effects. It’s complicated to tell the differences between these two plants, especially going on appearance alone. Now it has become more important than ever to learn the differences.   

Hemp is truly essential in the CBD industry. The better one understands hemp, the better CBD users can get the best and safest quality of CBD products.