Although the words ‘cannabis, ‘hemp’, and ‘marijuana’ are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. To begin with, cannabis is the name of the plant from which hemp and marijuana are sourced. Also, hemp and marijuana themselves differ from each other in terms of their uses and in terms of the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they contain.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hemp is a type of cannabis plant that’s been cultivated to produce hemp fiber and cannabidiol (CBD), while marijuana is grown by cannabis farmers for primarily recreational and medicinal purposes.
CANNABIS: THE SOURCE OF HEMP AND MARIJUANA
Cannabis is a type of flowering plant from the Cannabaceae family. It is related to Humulus, the plant that is known as the hop and is used for brewing beer. There are three types of cannabis: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis has been used as medicine and for the manufacture of fiber since prehistoric times. Its best-known derivatives are industrial hemp and marijuana. These come from the plant’s Sativa and Indica branches, respectively.
Cannabis also contains many compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and several micronutrients. Two of the best-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Of these, THC has intoxicating properties, while CBD is believed to have wellness potential.
HEMP: A SOURCE OF CBD AND MORE
Hemp is a type of cannabis plant belonging to the Cannabis sativa family. It is a rich source of CBD and has a low THC concentration. According to US federal law, it can only be defined as hemp or industrial hemp if it has a THC content of less than 0.3%. Apart from being a source of CBD and several other beneficial compounds, hemp has a wide variety of uses. Its fiber can be used for the manufacture of ropes, canvas, and paper, and its seeds can be used to make oil. Besides, its high nutrient content makes it a great source of food.
MARIJUANA: A SOURCE OF THC
Unlike hemp, marijuana contains a high proportion of THC. Samples of marijuana extract have been known to contain as much as 80% THC. Marijuana is derived from Cannabis sativa plants containing more than 0.3% THC or from Cannabis indica plants. The latter is typically associated with higher THC levels than Cannabis sativa. Due to its high THC content, marijuana is intoxicating. It is, therefore, often used as a recreational drug. However, it has medicinal uses as well.