It’s common to get these two drastically different, yet oh so similar plants confused. Once you know the difference, you’ll never get them confused again. Anyone who uses these words interchangeably is misinformed. Although the plants may look similar to the untrained eye, an informed person knows they have one very different distinction.
The Psychoactive Makeup
The biggest difference between hemp and marijuana are the psychoactive, or lack of psychoactive components. Marijuana, as we all know, has a psychoactive cannabinoid called THC in it. THC is what gives you the “high” feeling. Without the THC, weed wouldn’t have such a bad rap.
Although hemp looks similar to marijuana, it doesn’t have THC (trace levels) or any other psychoactive cannabinoids. Since it doesn’t have any THC, it’s impossible to get high from hemp.
The main cannabinoid in hemp is one we are very familiar with, called CBD. CBD is short for cannabidiol and it is a powerhouse. Research is still young, but it’s panning out to be great. Checkout this study to have a look at one of the possible uses for CBD. Neurodegenerative disorders are just one of the many things that research has shown promise that cannabidiol may be a clinically accepted treatment for one day.
Another difference between hemp and marijuana is how they were used throughout history. Hemp has been used for hundreds of years in the US. Some of the greatest men to ever call America home grew hemp. George Washington, our first president, is among them. He was very well versed in the different strains of hemp and their uses. He grew a lot of hemp on his plantation and used the fibers to make different materials.
Back then, almost everyone grew hemp. It was encouraged by the government because it’s one of the most versatile plants on the planet. It can be used to make paper, rope, clothes, fuel, and many more things. Hemp is a magnificent plant that is coming back on the radar of millions of people, thanks to the CBD research performed by many selfless scientist throughout the decades. To them, we owe it all.