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Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

What's the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Another common question we get at Kentucky’s Best Hemp is what’s the difference between hemp and marijuana? To explain, it’s important to know the basics! Let’s break down the differences between hemp and marijuana.

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family, which consists of 3 primary species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis (the rarest).

Marijuana and hemp are a subspecies of the Cannabis plant. The main difference between them is the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short). Marijuana contains higher levels of this cannabinoid, up to 30!

You may also want to read our blog “A Beginner’s Guide to CBD Terms & Lingo”, to learn more about all of the verbiage of CBD.

Okay, but how do I tell them apart?

The majority of the time marijuana and hemp are nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye. Hemp plants tend to be tall with large stalks and fewer leaves. Marijuana plants are typically short, bushy, and with lots of leaves and buds.

What's the difference between hemp and marijuana?

So what is hemp?

Hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa species. Hemp contains a reasonable amount of CBD, but it is really low in the psychoactive compound of THC. United States federal law mandates that CBD can only contain no more than 0.3%. This is not enough to create a “high”.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp. The high levels of THC create a “high” and intoxicating effects like euphoria and relaxation. Marijuana often contains the Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica strains.

Closing Thoughts

Hemp and marijuana are easily confused and it can be difficult to see the differences between the two. While they both are close relatives and members of the cannabis species they are very different. Always remember that hemp will NOT get you high!

What's the difference between hemp and marijuana?
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