Hemp vs. Cannabis

First and foremost: There are significant and important differences between the industrial hemp plant and the cannabis plant. This is one of the most important facts to KNOW AND SHARE because people are flat out unaware that they are different. Oftentimes people believe that hemp is the male plant of cannabis. This is false. Hemp and cannabis are grown from genetically different strains of the cannabis sativa plant family.

As a plant cannabis has been recognized as illegal due to the fact that the primary psychoactive compound THC has been classified as illegal. THC is the only compound in cannabis sativa plants that was recognized in the U.S. and internationally as an illegal substance. Strangely, no distinction was made between cannabis and its cousin industrial hemp which does not contain the illegal THC compound in any significant quantities. Simply put, industrial hemp and cannabis are genetically different plants, with different chemical properties.

Cannabinoid-rich Industrial Hemp Farm


Difference between Cannabis and Hemp is the levels of THC

THC is technically known as Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannibinol and is the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis plants. The main reason hemp was considered illegal in the U.S. is because it contains trace amounts of THC (less than 1%). In many countries in order to legally grow the crop the THC content must be below 0.03%. It was not until 2014 that the United States officially recognized hemp as being different than cannabis and classified industrial hemp as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.03% THC. Neither of these percent levels are enough to give you the ‘high’ effects that one would receive from smoking cannabis.

Cannabis contains between 5% to 25+% THC levels. With modern technologies, research and knowledge, the cannabis in today’s society is on the higher end of the THC spectrum. This will give you the ‘high’ that medicinal and recreational users may want to achieve.​

In conclusion, you cannot get high from smoking hemp and you will not get high or fail a drug test from eating/drinking hemp hearts, hemp protein powder, hemp milk, hemp oil, or hemp beer, among others. Moreover, it is generally legal to both import hemp and process hemp.

To learn more about the differences between hemp and cannabis, as well as the current status of the Hemp CBD market visit our News page here.

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Todd Brinegar
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