Hemp vs Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Hemp. Marijuana. Cannabis. These words are often used interchangeably, although they are not synonyms. As it turns out, all green is not created equally.
Cannabis is the overarching term to describe all recognized varieties of the plant: C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis. Cannabis is the genus to which each of these species belongs. Hemp and marijuana are casual terms used to describe different varieties (or strains) of these species and primarily indicates their uses.
The main difference between hemp-variety cannabis and marijuana-variety cannabis is the ratio of THC to CBD content.
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids, but hemp contains overwhelmingly more of the health-and-healing CBD (and proportionally less psychoactive THC). This is why hemp is touted for it’s unique versatility as a vegetable. Its chemical composition contains essential nutrients, pain relieving CBD, and its fiber offers a diversity of sustainable material applications. Hemp is distinct from marijuana in that is contains little to no THC - the compound responsible for marijuana intoxication. Hemp has less than .03% THC and its active ingredient also poses no public-health concerns or addictive properties!
Some confuse hemp and marijuana to be names for female and male cannabis plants, but this isn’t quite true. “Male” plants contain seeds, not flowers. Therefore, no male plants (of either hemp or marijuana) produce smokeable THC. “Female” plants of both hemp and marijuana flower, the difference is that marijuana flowers are rife with THC, and therefore are coveted for their use as a drug, while hemp flowers contain hardly any. "Just like all cannabis species, hemp plants can be male or female (or both, in monoecious species). It is the female plants that are grown to full maturity and harvested at the end of the season. Male plants die off shortly after they have completed pollination." To summarize, female marijuana plants are what contain the most THC (what people want to smoke), hemp plants are the most prized for hemp seeds, stalks, and oil. However, in order to get the long term success and desired genetics, male and female breeding is necessary for both marijuana and hemp varieties.
As cannabis increases in popularity, it is important to know the different applications of the plant. We’ll leave marijuana’s best uses up to scientists, but here are some of our favorite applications for hemp and its BFF, CBD.
Oils are the primary ingredients in moisturizers. It’s essential to replenish moisture that is lost during dry seasons and after washing your hands, face, and body. If you don’t replace your skin’s natural moisture after using cleansers, you risk over-drying your skin or overproducing sebum which can results in clogged pores and the face shine we all know and dread.
Hemp & CBD oil are great substitutes for other moisturizers, especially petroleum-based products (yuck!). CBD oil has unique anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that are especially healthful. We carry our favorite hemp-based skincare brands Herbessntls and Flynn & King in the shop!
We’ve discussed how important natural fibers are. Synthetics have got to go.
"Hemp fiber is one of the strongest and most durable of all natural textile fibers. Products made from hemp will outlast their competition by many years. Not only is hemp strong, but it also holds its shape, stretching less than any other natural fiber." - Hemp Traders