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The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana

The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana

Hemp and the Law

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed by Congress, H.R. 5485, legalizes industrial hemp that has less than 0.3% concentrated Tetrahydrocannabinol (otherwise known as THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana), thus removing it from being a Schedule I substance as part of the Controlled Substances Act. Additionally, H.R. 5485 allows industrial hemp to be eligible for the federal crop insurance program and allows it to be incorporated into certain USDA research grants.

What is Hemp?

Image of Hemp leafBut, what is hemp and how does it differ from cannabis? Hemp is actually a word that is used to classify cannabis that contains less than 0.3% of THC. There are three types of cannabis: Cannabis sativaCannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

Additionally, many people also confuse hemp and marijuana, which contains higher percentages of THC. However, hemp is not the same thing as marijuana. While it’s true that hemp and marijuana are both cannabis, they are actually different varieties of the Cannabis sativa species.

While marijuana is often grown indoors so as to be able to better control light, moisture, and nutrients, hemp is typically grown outdoors so as to allow the plant to grow as quickly as possible.

The Many Uses of Hemp

Image of hemp seedsHemp has long been used for industrial reasons as its fibers are strong and resourceful. Hemp has been used to create fabric and twine. And because of its rapid growth, hemp is often seen as a more sustainable resource for creating fabrics. In March 2019, the Levi Strauss company announced a clothing collection made from cottonized hemp.

Its seeds are high in fiber, protein, and magnesium. Shelled hemp seeds are often sold in health food stores and used in salads, smoothies, and granola. Hemp seed milk is sold as an alternative to dairy milk.

Hemp and CBD

Image of cannabis budThese days, however, the most common usage for hemp is to make CBD oil and products that use CBD. CBD’s medicinal properties are increasingly being identified, studied, and utilized.

The best CBD products, such as pre-rolled cigarettes or unprocessed hemp flower buds, are all natural, with no fillers or damaging chemicals.

Whether customers make use of hemp by smoking it, using it in a cream or lotion, or ingest it in gummy format, more and more people are discovering why hemp has been touted as a “miracle plant.”

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