Hemp vs. Marijuana

Aug 30th 2020

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Generally, the difference between hemp and marijuana is in the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The legal definition of hemp in the United States is Cannabis Sativa l with less than 0.3% Total THC by dry weight.These levels are so low in concentration they are considered to be non-psychoactive.

Some in the marijuana industry have propagated the myth that hemp is the male plant of marijuana. This is false. It is also false that hemp is the waste product from marijuana (stems, stalks, leaves, and roots) that dispensaries throw away.

This confusion exists because marijuana was created by selectively breeding and genetically altering hemp to increase levels of Tetrahyrdocannabinol (THC). THC is the major differentiating factor between hemp and marijuana.

What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

HempMarijuana
THC ConcentrationLow (Less than 0.3% Total THC by law)High (More than 0.3% Total THC by law)
CBD ConcentrationHigh in varieties grown specifically for CBDLow
PsychoactiveNoYes
Female Plant RoleProduce seeds or flowersProduce seeds and flowers, but seeds not desired except for reproduction
Male Plant RoleStrong fibers, pollinate plant for seeds. Removal desired when growing for CBD.Will pollinate female. Removal necessary.
Growing StrategyOutdoor row crop. Normally seeded, but cloning possible for CBDNormally indoor or greenhouse. Commonly cloned.
ProductsCBD extracts, health foods, cosmetics, composites, building materials, plastics, industrial oils, paper, textilesLeafy material, THC extract, other finished marijuana products (edibles)