Oftentimes, people confuse both hemp and marijuana with one another. Because they come from the same family and have some similarities in look, it is easy to confuse them; however, it is important to know the many distinct differences in the plants, their uses, and how they are cultivated and harvested.
Both hemp and marijuana have a long history of human use. Again, they are each used for different purposes. Legally, industrial hemp cannot contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Because hemp does not contain a significant amount of THC, it will not result in a high. On the other hand, marijuana can contain up to 28% THC, which will result in a high.
Therefore, whether you’re using hemp products topically or through consumption, you will not experience any psychoactive effects.
History of the Hemp Plant
Let’s discuss the history of the hemp plant. Hemp has been around for centuries and dates back to as early as 2700 BC in ancient China. The hemp plant served significant purposes for humans during this early time, as the hemp fibers were used to make clothing, textiles, ropes, paper, medicine, food, and more. One of the most fascinating things about the hemp plant is that it is still used today – and for even more purposes. This goes to show that the hemp plant is one of the most multifaceted and useful plants in the world, to date.
Another interesting fact about hemp is how easily it is grown. Hemp requires little irrigation and can grow in just about any environment and soil. This makes it very easy to grow hemp, providing a great amount of sustainability.
What Does the Hemp Plant Look Like?
The hemp plant is a form of the cannabis sativa L. plant. As previously mentioned, different cannabis plants appear similar in looks; however, there are distinct characteristics of each that make them different. In addition, hemp and marijuana are cultivated for completely different purposes.
Researchers claim that hemp plants generally have the following characteristics:
- Thinner leaves that mostly form at the top of the plant
- Contain little leaves or branching below the very top of the plant
- Can reach up to 20 feet
- Looks and grows much like a weed, as it requires little irrigation and can grow in a variety of different environments and soils
- Grows closely together
- Requires very little care
In addition, studies claim that hemp smells similar to a pine forest.
What Does the Marijuana Plant Look Like?
Contrarily, the marijuana plant differs in looks and generally has the following characteristics:
- Leaves that are firmly sprouted, wide, and may feature small buds that are covered in tiny crystals or fibers
- Generally look like fat, short bushes from afar
- More branches to promote flower and THC production
- Requires warm, humid, and controlled environment in order to grow
- Grows with spaced between other plants
Are Hemp and Marijuana the Same Thing?
As stated previously, hemp and marijuana are completely different plants. Although they come from the same family and the plants may look similar from afar, they are grown differently and have completely different purposes. If you know what to look for when distinguishing the two plants from each other, they can be easily differentiated.
Is Hemp Legal?
Hemp recently became legal after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. For years, hemp was grouped with marijuana, which made it illegal. However, now that industrial hemp has become legalized throughout the U.S., people will hopefully get a better understanding of the very misunderstood plant.
Legally, hemp must not contain more than 0.3% of THC. Otherwise, if it contains more than 0.3% THC, then it is considered to be federally illegal.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, in order to grow industrial hemp plants, farmers must have USDA-issued licenses in order to produce hemp and it must be done under strict regulations. However, in very specific circumstances, hemp may be grown under tribal or state approval, or unless it is grown under authorized research projects.
What Else is Hemp Used For?
Traditionally, hemp was used to create clothing, textiles, shoes, paper, ropes, and other products for thousands of years. Now, hemp is used for a myriad of purposes, including but not limited to:
- Food and drinks: Hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp milk are some examples of how the superfood has revolutionized the food and beverage industry. Hemp seeds can be added to a myriad of food, as well as hemp oil. Hemp milk is plant-based milk that is rich in protein and is similar in look, taste, and texture of regular milk.
- Pet products: Hemp pet products can be found in oils and treats, as some studies show that hemp may improve certain ailments. However, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before administering any hemp products or other types of supplements to your pet.
- Skin care products: Hemp seed oil and hemp creams are popular in the skin care industry and studies have shown that hemp products may improve skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
Building and construction materials: Hempcrete is one of the latest building materials used and is made from hemp, and lime, among other binders and can be made into bricks, panels, and more. It has set the bar in the construction industry for its durability, strength, and high power insulation and moisture control properties.
Dripp Extracts is a highly reputable resource for education, providing valuable insight surrounding hemp, cannabis, and related topics. Our team is committed to keeping you abreast with the latest news, information, and developments surrounding hemp, ensuring that you stay informed and connected at all times. Our team strives to continue being a reputable resource in the hemp and cannabis industry, utilizing years of experience, skills, and research to help you stay informed and connected. If you wish to learn more about hemp with Dripp Extracts, feel free to visit https://drippextracts.com/learn for more information.