If you're up to date with the news, you've at least heard the term CBD (cannabidiol) floating around somewhere. CBD is an active ingredient found in cannabis which is both hemp and weed.
This mainstream and somewhat widespread interest is due to the recent 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp federally; essentially makes it easily accessible but leads to the more questions regarding hemp and weed.
The fact that you have hemp federally legal while cannabis is still regulated per state means things aren't exactly as defined as we expect it to be.
How do you differentiate Hemp and Marijuana?
In order to differentiate between hemp and weed, we need to look at the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Hemp has generally low concentrations less than 0.3% per dry weight so as to be non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating. Hemp is still cannabis and is similar to some of the strains we know.
Weed, on the other hand, contains up to 0.3% or more THC and is generally grown to maximize the growth of flowers and increase the concentration of THC to produce the effects desired.
4 Key Points Between Hemp and Weed
We've highlighted the basic differences between hemp and weed in their THC levels but let's dive into a detailed explanation.
Both can produce high amounts of CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabis compound; however, THC is produced at very different levels as stated previously.
While hemp can contain no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, marijuana can contain up to 30% THC content producing the psychoactive effects.
CBD: Hemp vs Weed
CBD can be derived from either hemp or weed and they are chemically similar which should make CBD completely legal if hemp is legal right? Wrong.
Only CBD which is "derived from hemp and hemp-derived products" are legal while CBD from weed, even having 0.0% THC content would still be considered illegal.
Basically, if you don't want any issues, get your CBD only from hemp-derived sources.
How it's grown and cultivated
Hemp is grown to maximize the overall size of the plant so and that’s usually achieved by growing outdoors as hemp does not require the level of control as it would be to growing weed.
Weed, though not all, is mostly grown indoors, so cultivators can control how the flowers grow by taking into account many variables such as light cycles and soil nutrients.
How it's used
Hemp products have always had wider availability and exposure than weed products even before the start of legalization. This is due to the hemp being one of the most durable natural materials available.
Hemp can be used in a variety of industrial applications such as paper, plastics, clothing, food products, and CBD products.
Weed, on the other hand, is known for its psychoactive capabilities used for recreational and medicinal purposes as well as therapeutic.
Regardless of which one you prefer, the important thing is to be well informed about the differences between hemp and weed especially in the legal aspect of things.
*Note: Image source credited to: https://cbdorigin.com/hemp-vs-marijuana/