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Hemp vs Cannabis: The Differences Explained

The laws about cannabis use in the U.S. change every year, leading to some confusion. After the 2018 Farm Bill passed, it further muddied the waters.

Now you need to track the federal cannabis laws on top of your state’s regulations. People new to the cannabis world can get in legal trouble mixing up hemp vs cannabis. Not only that, using each plant delivers a much different experience.

Before using or growing cannabis, you need to learn the differences between the plant types. You’ll be disappointed after 4-5 months of growing a plant to find it’s not psychoactive. This guide explains the difference between cannabis and hemp.

The Big Hemp vs Cannabis Debate

The confusion about hemp vs cannabis stems from slang terms meeting legal terms. In reality, hemp is cannabis, and cannabis is hemp. They’re different names for the same basic plant.

Those new to cannabis cultivation or use assume all cannabis gets you high via THC. The strains of cannabis that make you feel euphoric fall under the marijuana title. In legal terms, this is any plant with over 0.3% THC content.

The U.S. government’s regulation states hemp is any plant under 0.3% THC content. Growing hemp is an easy process under the new federal laws. Marijuana cultivation, on the other hand, is regulated by individual state laws.

What Is Hemp Used For?

What good is a cannabis strain that doesn’t get you high? Hemp does everything from help your relax to turning into a pair of shoes.

Hemp fiber and seed products on the market:

  • Animal food
  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Hemp milk
  • Protein powder
  • Clothing and textiles

Have you seen CBD oil for sale online? All legal CBD products come from hemp instead of marijuana. This way it’s guaranteed to have the legal amount of THC content.

The FDA approved drugs made from CBD isolate to treat certain types of epilepsy. Research suggests CBD may help with other ailments and anxiety, as well.

The Differences Between Marijuana and Hemp

While hemp won’t get you high, it’s cousin marijuana will in an instant. It takes about 5 minutes for the THC in marijuana to work after inhaling it.

The quick relief from THC is one reason why medical marijuana is so popular. Its euphoric effects allow those with nausea to eat. Chronic pain patients find the head high gives them more mobility for a while.

Many states allow medical marijuana users to cultivate it for private use. Check your state cannabis laws to see how many plants you’re allowed to grow.

Growing marijuana is easy with the right lighting setup indoors. The tricky part is figuring out when to harvest so it is high in THC. This guide on when to harvest marijuana will help first-time growers.

You’ll Never Mix up Marijuana vs Hemp Again

Your hemp vs cannabis confusion is easy to understand given the current laws. Federal and state governments expect cannabis users to understand the difference. Failing to understand what plant you’re using or growing can land you in trouble.

If you’re planning to cultivate cannabis, do your homework. Buy your seeds from trustworthy sources. You don’t want to end up with hemp when you want to grow marijuana.

For more information on marijuana and hemp, browse our blog. We have articles ranging from cannabis history to how to cultivate it.

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