If you hear the word “hemp”, you might immediately think about weed or cannabis. Initially, you might think that these two are the same thing. While these are both derived from the Cannabis sativa species of plant, they’re actually two very different things.
If you’re a little more familiar with these two, you might think that the difference is that one is legal while the other isn’t. Others might say that one would be a male plant while the other is a female plant. While this isn’t wrong, the differences between hemp and cannabis go beyond that.
Hemp is said to be the male Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis sativa plants are known to have two active ingredients: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and (cannabidiol). THC gives cannabis its psychoactive properties, while CBD is known more for its health benefits (e.g. anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulant). In Hemp plants, levels of THC are very low, while the CBD levels are high. Because of this, hemp has become legal in many places around the world.
Aside from this, the hemp plant has more uses in the industrial setting. The plant has several byproducts, ranging from biofuels, textiles, and even building materials, to name a few. It’s also a source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the human body needs. What makes it even better is that it’s easy to grow, requiring very little maintenance and care. Because of this, hemp is becoming more widely used as it is seen as a sustainable material.
What Is Cannabis?
While hemp is said to be the male Cannabis sativa plant, cannabis is the female plant. More commonly known by names such as weed or pot, these plants have high THC levels and low CBD levels. It’s because of these higher THC levels that people use this plant for recreational purposes. These levels also make it illegal in certain places. As it contains high levels of a psychoactive substance, consuming this plant helps people reach a state of euphoria or elation. Usually, people smoke this plant. But, cannabis can also be consumed through teas, concentrated oils, and even put in food, among several other methods.
While the entire hemp plant is utilized for all its different industrial uses, the leaves and the flowers of the cannabis plant are what are mainly cultivated. These parts of the plant contain the most THC, which is what these plants are sought after. But, unlike hemp, which can grow without much maintenance, cannabis plants are more sensitive. These plants can only grow in a specific environment, therefore needing more care and maintenance.
Because of the high levels of THC, cannabis is mainly used for both recreational and medicinal uses. For example, cancer patients can use cannabis to help with the pain. It can also be used as an appetite stimulant for these patients as cancer treatments make it harder for them to eat.
Hemp and cannabis do come from the same plant species, but these two are very different from one another. But, despite these differences, both plants are beneficial in their own respect. Each offers some benefits, such as cannabis in medicine and hemp in the production of industrial products. Because of this, these plants have to be considered for their benefits, hopefully becoming more and more widely accepted because of the good they can do.