What is the Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana?


It is often a common thought that Hemp and marijuana are the same things when in fact, they’re completely different. They may be from the same family but they have completely different functions, use cases and backgrounds. With using hemp and the association with the cannabis plant, the vast majority of people out there who have not heard of or used CBD automatically think, drugs, weed, getting high, stoner when in fact they may not be massively different in scientific terms but when it comes to legal matters - they are worlds apart. 

When it comes to differentiating between hemp and marijuana, the main differentiator is the THC content. Mirijuana has a considerably higher THC content than Hemp, typically around 5-30% THC content, whereas Hemp THC content is around 0.2%. The main thing you want to know is where does our CBD come from? It is derived from Cannabis Sativa-L (Hemp) 

What is Marijuana?

What comes to your mind first when someone says Marijuana? Weed? Cannabis? Getting high? These terms are all technically correct as the THC content typically associated Marijuana does get you high. Legally speaking, marijuana is defined by cannabis that is more than 0.3% dry weight THC, but this can vary from strain to strain as some can contain up to 30% THC. 

What is Hemp?


Hemp, again derived from cannabis but differing from marijuana massively. Hemp is a plant that has a vast array of uses all over the globe, not just for the purpose of making CBD, it actually has over 50,000 uses from all part of the plant, here are some uses: 

stalk - textiles, hurds, insulation, animal feed. 

Seeds - oil, seed cake, beer, paint, baking, protein powder, granola

Roots - medicine and organic compost 

leaves/flowers - animal feed and medicine. 

Many factors are responsible for the sector’s poor performance: the vaping crisis, an unclear and sluggish regulatory environment and an overly optimistic and frothy outlook for the sector coming into this year are all partially to blame for the downturn. Another factor plaguing the sector is that grey and black market activity is still alive and well in an industry with a complex regulatory framework. This activity is having a dilutive effect on the revenues of those playing by the rules. Dozens of small operators are constantly popping up taking advantage of the lack of clarity in the business. They are willing to take risks and generate revenue in areas the regulated leaders in the industry won’t touch which is further contributing to the negative stigma associated with CBD and cannabis, especially within the UK. 

Brief timeline of Hemp: 

2800BC - Chinese emperors infused cannabis into tea. 

1839 - 1st study published by William O’Shaughnessy on the therapeutic effects of cannabis 

1940 - CBD extracted from Cannabis Sativa plant for the first time by roger Adams. 

1946 - Dr Raphael Mechulam identified CBD’s 3D structure to work with. 

1980 - Positive effects of CBD on epilepsy discovered and published by Dr. Mechoulam

1998 - British Pharmacopeia began official trials on the medical use of CBD

TODAY - many areas of the world have legalised CBD and it is being used by millions across the globe. 

A brief insight into american history - in the early 20th Century due to the mexicn revolution a lot of mexicans migrated over to the United States which lead to an increase in racism, at this time it was legal to bring cannabis across the border. The word “marijuana” had hardly been used before this period, instead, the word “cannabis” was the scientific name and far more commonly used. However, in the 1910s and 1920s, the word “marijuana” became associated with Mexicans, who were stereotyped as people who frequently used cannabis.

The U.S. government then used the term “marijuana” in anti-cannabis propaganda to cement the association between cannabis and Mexican immigrants. This anti-cannabis propaganda spread a great deal of myths around cannabis while also perpetuating racist stereotypes. 

In the 1930s, this propaganda persisted and heavily contributed to cannabis becoming illegal and there are still debates today on whether or not we should be using the word marijuana due to its links to racism. 

Going back to as early as 2800 BCE Hemp cultivation was recorded in Central Asia. This was practised in the Mediterranean countries of Europe early in the Christian era, spreading throughout the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. Going back more than 10,000 years, in 1606 when hemp was first discovered, farmers first grew hemp in America for a variety of uses. 

We know what you're thinking, where does CBD fit into all of this? 

Due to the increasing popularity of CBD combined with the ever growing amount of research on the powerful plant - more and more people are looking into the origins of the plant and where the products they are buying are coming from. 

Some amount of CBD is found in all cannabis strains but the chances are that if you are buying CBD within the UK it will have come from hemp due to its THC content 

Closing statements: 

Hemp and Marijuana are both the same species but can differ massively from use case and the effect that they have on the body. 

Hemp is the plant that the vast majority of CBD comes from (but CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana) with a THC content of 0.3% or lower, anything above that is classed as marijuana.

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