One of the most common questions asked in the debate of hemp vs. marijuana is, “which is more beneficial between the two.” While both share the same source – the cannabis plant, they differ in content and, sometimes, effects. If you want to learn more about the differences between hemp and marijuana, check out the information below.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a dried flower from the cannabis plant. It is a popular recreational drug that can give a high because of its psychoactive chemical content. Marijuana or weed is not legal in most countries and regulated in other countries.
Marijuana is widely accepted in its medical term, cannabis. This is because it’s a species from Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica.
Cannabis contains more than 500 cannabinoid chemicals, the most popular being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the chemical associated with the psychoactive effects of marijuana. Marijuana contains more than 30% THC, enough to make users get high. Because of this effect, marijuana is widely considered an illegal drug.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is various Cannabis Sativa, but unlike marijuana, hemp has less than 0.3% THC content. Therefore, it cannot make you high. Hemp is legally grown and used in making rope, fabrics, paper, and other industrial purposes because of its high fiber content.
Although hemp has a lower THC content, it contains a significant amount of cannabidiol (CBD), another chemical found in marijuana. Similar to marijuana, you can also smoke hemp but without the psychoactive effects. Click here to get more insight about hemp is & its relative terms.
How Is Hemp Different From Marijuana?
Aside from their distinct variety, hemp is more legally accepted than marijuana. The 2014 US Farm Bill allows the US Department of Agriculture to cultivate hemp with a THC level below 0.3%.
On the other hand, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug, meaning cannabis-based products are still regarded as illegal under federal law. However, some states legalize medical and recreational marijuana to some extent.
Hemp-Derived CBD vs. Marijuana-Derived CBD
Both hemp and marijuana contain some amount of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD has been proven to have several medical uses. As such, it is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.
Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. That’s why CBD oil became a popular option over THC because of its non-psychoactive effect on the brain. Some health benefits of CBD oil are:
- Relieves Pain: Studies have shown that the combination of CBD and THC can significantly reduce chronic pain.
- Reduces Anxiety and Depression: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most significant contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety ranks 9th. Medical experiments show promising results in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
- Alleviates Cancer-related Symptoms: One study of cancer patients found that those treated with both extracts (CBD and THC) experienced a significant reduction in pain compared with those who received only TCH extract.
- Other Potential Benefits: Anti-psychotic effects, substance abuse treatment, anti-tumor effects, and diabetes prevention.
The hemp-derived CBD is extracted from hemp leaves and flowers. The CBD oil that you usually find in the market is extracted from hemp. The other term used for this oil is hemp oil, CBD oil, or CBD hemp oil. CBD hemp oil is classified into three types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
Full-spectrum contains other phytonutrients, including 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum contains phytonutrients without THC. Meanwhile, isolate contains other cannabinoid chemicals.
The marijuana-derived CBD oil is extracted from the marijuana variety of the cannabis plant. Marijuana-derived CBD oil comes in various compositions, but they usually contain higher amounts of THC and CBD plus 500+ more cannabinoid chemicals.
These oils are technically called cannabis oil or marijuana oil. Medically speaking, cannabis CBD oil is still more potent than hemp CBD oil because marijuana plants have more cannabinoids than hemp plants. These cannabinoid chemicals from marijuana add therapeutic value. However, hemp plants contain more CBD, and it is more advantageous to reproduce because of its legal status.
Uses of Hemp And Marijuana
Aside from its most popular CBD oil source, hemp has also a rich source of fibers. In some cases, Hemp oil provides a wide range of health benefits to humans and animals. this is why they are so much popular nowadays.
- Hemp leaves and flowers are sources of CBD oil extracts. Hemp-derived oils are widely used as a treatment for a variety of ailments. CBD Hemp seed oils are also used for a variety of other health purposes.
- Hemp fibers are used for textiles, paper products, clothing, and other crafts. The other parts of hemp, such as its stem, stalk, or hurds, are harvested and used as bedding materials, particleboard, ceiling panels, and other industrial products.
- Hemp seeds as food products. Hemp seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids. Either raw seeds or oils can be used as food products.
- Hemp organic skincare brands. Hemp is a certified hemp-based brand in Australia
We all know that marijuana has many medical benefits. Aside from its recreational effects, marijuana has been medically proven to treat a wide variety of ailments. Among the most popular uses of it are:
- weight-loss aid
- cancer treatment
- anxiety treatment
- OCD and ADHD management
- Pet therapy
- Brain health
- Skin repair
- Sleep aid
Are Hemp And Marijuana Legal?
Cultivation and selling of hemp and hemp products had recently been legalized in the United States through the Farm Bill of 2014, followed by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.
This bill legalizes hemp agriculture and other by-products in 50 states. Moreover, under the Hemp Farming Act, cultivation is extended to farmers’ right to water, crop insurance, federal agricultural grants, and legal access to national banking.
On the other hand, marijuana is still prohibited by federal law in the United States. However, in Canada, medical and recreational marijuana is used legally nationwide.
CBD oil from both cannabis variants is growing in popularity among consumers and investors alike. There are also further studies of their medical potency. Both hemp and marijuana have similar medicinal benefits due to their CBD content.
However, the most important thing that sets hemp apart from marijuana is its legal status. Consumers and sellers can both benefit from hemp products without violating federal laws.
Meanwhile, marijuana is still considered an illegal weed in most countries because of its high THC concentration. Nevertheless, regardless of which of these two you decide to use, it would be best to remain a responsible consumer.