You probably know about Cannabis but do you know about Hemp? Are they both one and the same thing? Is one a strain of the other? Can one smoke hemp? Is it even legal? If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions then this blog post is for you. Educate yourself about these two lest you misinterpret them and probably make a huge blunder.
What is Hemp and what is Cannabis?
Cannabis is divided into two major pure strains – Indica and Sativa. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa strain. However, although both Cannabis and Hemp are from the same species, they have very diverse applications. Cannabis Sativa and Indica strains are mostly used for psychotropic and medicinal uses. However, Hemp is almost purely used for industrial uses.
Differences in plant anatomy
Hemp and Cannabis plants have very identical anatomies. To the amateurish eye, both might look like one and the same – but they are not. They both have thin stems and a similar leaf pattern usually with about 5 to 7 leaflets. They even have similar flowering anatomies. They feature buds and colas. The main difference, however, is the height of the plants. Cannabis Indica and Sativa plants are not that tall. Indica plants are especially short. Hemp plants, on the other hand, grow to be much taller and can reach heights of up to two meters.
Differences in Uses
Cannabis Indica and Sativa strain are mostly used for psychotropic uses – to get high. This psychotropic use can either be recreational in nature or medicinal. Cannabis is also used to prepare meals if applied directly or by using extracts. In all these uses, it is the buds that are harvested for their THC content.
Hemp on the other hand is mostly used for industrial purposes. The stalk and the seeds are the main usable parts. As one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet, Hemp has for centuries been used as a viable eco-friendly option in the manufacture of fabric, clothing, paper, plastic, insulation, mulch, litter, animal feed, and human food, among others.
Differences in THC concentration
Cannabis has psycho-active effects because it contains considerable amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This is the stuff that gets you high once you eat, smoke or dab weed. Usually, the amounts range from 10 -25% in regards to potency. However, with Hemp, the THC content is very low – usually less than 1%. As such, Hemp has negligible psycho-active uses. You just can’t get high from it no matter how much of it you consume.
Differences in legality
Both Hemp and Cannabis are classified as drugs in the US. That is because they are both Cannabis plants and contain THC (even though the THC concentration in Hemp is almost negligible). However, just as Cannabis is legal in some states for recreational or medicinal use, Hemp is also legal in others for industrial and research use.
And now you know. So if your buddies try to claim that they have been getting high on hemp, you can go ahead and call their bluff, and then proceed to educate them why.