Cannabis Sativa L.
Hemp is not Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are often used interchangeably, however, the two plants are very different. They are both derived from the Cannabis Sativa L plant, however, they contain key genetic differences which impact their consumption effects and legal status. Industrial hemp is legal in the United States, and cultivated for a number of commercial applications. Marijuana is only legal in some states, and is primarily grown for medicinal and recreational use. Below, we discuss the key differences between hemp and marijuana, and how different genetics make all the difference in the world.
Hemp = CBD
The different genetic structures in hemp and marijuana cause vastly different effects, and each are utilized for different purposes. Marijuana contains 10% - 30% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), whereas industrial hemp contains less the 0.3% THC. This miniscule amount of THC in hemp is not enough to cause euphoric feelings associated with a marijuana high.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), like CBD (Cannabidiol), is also a type of phytocannabinoid; however, its properties are far different. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that is cultivated for recreational and medicinal purposes. In contrast, cannabidiol has no psychoactive effects.
The Key Differences
Industrial hemp and marijuana are similar, but they are far from identical. They each contain different levels of key chemical compounds, and are cultivated for different purposes. Industrial hemp has greater commercial application, while marijuana is mostly produced for its medicinal and psychoactive qualities. Industrial hemp is a true cash crop, since the whole plant can be used to produce another product. Hemp is used to create industrial building materials, textiles and fabrics, plastics, biofuel, nutritional items like hempseed, hemp oil products, among other things.
Currently, recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal in certain states, and is governed by the laws and procedures within their respective territories. Marijuana is not federally legal, however, public opinion is largely in favor of legalization, and the federal government has allowed states to govern their businesses with little interference.
Industrial hemp is federally legal to cultivate in America under the Agricultural Act of 2014, commonly know as the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill is enforced and governed on the state level, however, not every state has opted to produce industrial hemp, yet. More than 30 states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp. At least 16 states have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes and 20 states have passed laws allowing research and pilot programs.
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