The difference between hemp and marijuana really comes down to the amount of THC present. This comparative guide has you covered.

What’s the Real Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

The cannabis industry is expected to grow 32.04% from 2021 to 2028. This is well over the typical industry average, illustrating how high in demand cannabis is. 

While cannabis is still not federally legal, many states have legalized it for both adult medicinal and recreational use. Because of this, more people have gotten access to it than ever before. 

As a new cannabis user, one of the main questions you may come across is understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana. It’s an important one to know, as they differ in important ways, especially in their legal statuses. 

Keep reading below to learn about hemp vs. marijuana and become a cannabis expert. 

What Is Hemp?

Hemp comes from the cannabis Sativa plant, but it is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you high. It is considered hemp if it contains less than 0.3% of THC, which is a cannabinoid that has psychoactive properties. 

Hemp usually has a high CBD percentage and is characterized as a short, stalky plant. The average growth cycle runs 108-120 days. 

You can find tons of hemp products, ranging from shoes, to sunglasses, to lotions, to burgers. There are many benefits of hemp, and it is often used as a nutritional supplement, as it is rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. 

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana, like hemp, comes from the cannabis Sativa plant. It is considered marijuana if it contains more than 0.3% of THC, which makes marijuana psychoactive, as it will get you high. 

Marijuana can contain low or high dosages of CBD and is often used as a medicinal aid to help relieve chronic pain. When higher doses of THC and CBD combine, the entourage effect occurs, which makes both cannabinoids more effective at pain relief. 

The marijuana plant can be tall and stalky or short and bushy, and the growth cycle typically ranges between 60-90 days. 

The Main Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana 

The main difference between hemp and marijuana is their THC content and their legal statuses. 

Due to the Farm Bill, industrial hemp became federally legalized in 2018. This is why you can find so many hemp products in grocery stores and malls, and hemp farmers have official protection to keep growing hemp. 

Because marijuana has a higher THC content, marijuana consumption is not federally legal, but 38 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, and 18 states have legalized recreational marijuana. 

If you’d like to start your cannabis journey, consider reaching out to a medical marijuana doctor today. 

Get a Better Understanding of Cannabis

While hemp and marijuana are sometimes used interchangeably, their differences are important to note. The real difference between hemp and marijuana comes down to how much THC they have and how legal they are. 

Depending on what state you live in, you may be able to try both. Make sure always to check your state and local laws first, and you can be on your way to enjoying cannabis.

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