The popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) products is on the rise. However, things can get confusing with so many different products in the market. What is the difference between Cannabis and Hemp? How does Marijuana fit into the mix? What are strains? And how are Hemp and Cannabis grown?
Some of the most common misconceptions surrounding Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana and what the differences and facts really are.
In short, Cannabis is also colloquially called weed, grass, pot, as well as Mary Jane. It comes from a group of plants called the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is mainly cultivated for recreational purposes. This is because of its characteristically high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. This is the compound, that gives users the typical “high” associated with this plant. However, THC also has powerful therapeutic properties. Properties, that can help people suffering from various, serious medical conditions.
To name a few examples; Chronic pain, inflammation, mental health issues, and neurological disorders. Furthermore, it is said to be effective against some cancers (e.g. breast, colon, and lung cancer), HIV, and Glaucoma.
Hemp is a single strain of the Cannabis Sativa group of plants. It is grown primarily for use in industrial applications. Hemp has specifically been cultivated to produce long fibrous stems. It was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber, some 50,000 years ago! It is also one of the fastest-growing plants. This is why Hemp has low concentrations of THC, but high concentrations of CBD.
Let’s try and understand the difference between Hemp plants and Cannabis plants. To do so, it is important to first understand the system of classification for life on earth. This is otherwise known as taxonomy. All organisms are classified based on a ranking system. This starts with the kingdom and moving down from phylum to class. Then it is more detailed, to order, to family, to genus, and species. For plants, different species are then further divided into what are commonly called strains or cultivars.
Based on this system of classification, Cannabis is simply a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. Within the genus, there are three varieties. In biological terms, three different species. There are Cannabis Sativa, and Indica, as well as Ruderalis. Then, within these three species, you find a wide range of different cultivars or strains. Each strain has very different characteristics in terms of stature, leaf shape (cannabis leaf), growing conditions, and most importantly, cannabinoid profiles.
Based on this scientific system of classification, they are the same plant. They share the same genus and come from the same species. In other words, Hemp is nothing more than a single cultivar or strain of the species Cannabis Sativa.
Humans have bred Cannabis for different uses throughout history. Hemp plants, also called industrial Hemp, have been selectively bred. They were cultivated to produce long, fibrous stems. Hemp cultivation has been used for ropes, clothing, paper, and construction materials.
As a result, Hemp is very low in its THC content. Hemp is high in its CBD content, however. This makes Hemp plants ideal for extracting the full-spectrum CBD. Thereby manufacturing Hemp products used for therapeutic, cosmetic, and nutritional purposes. Nowadays, you can buy CBD online. uWeed offers one of the largest inventory of Hemp products in its CBD online shop.
Essentially, Cannabis and Marijuana are two different words for the same thing. The word Marijuana was originally introduced into the English language by Mexican immigrants in North America. They also brought with them the idea of smoking Cannabis recreationally.
However, the political and racially motivated Reefer Madness, anti-Cannabis propaganda from the 1930s specifically used the term “Marijuana”. The simple reason was to make its use sound foreign and sinister. And because of this, for many people, the word is now considered derogatory and racist.
That is why, especially for minority groups, the word marijuana is falling out of favor. They rather opt for using its Latin name, which is of course Cannabis. And that’s also true when seeking the health-related effects of Cannabis. One calls it medical Cannabis rather than medical Marijuana!
The only difference between Cannabis and Hemp is that Cannabis refers to a group of plants in the family Cannabaceae, while Hemp is a single strain of plant within that family. Hemp and Cannabis plants have almost identical anatomies, and both might look very similar.
But They Are Not.
Indoor growing is often preferred because growing conditions can be controlled and the plants are naturally protected against forces of nature. For instance, indoor growing can control for the 18-hour daylight cycles, soil and nutrients are customized for the vegetative or blooming phases, and fan-forced breezes keep temperatures under control. In addition, exotic cultivation methods can be incorporated to increase the growth rate and flower potential of indoor Cannabis. This can include things like adding carbon dioxide, low-stress training, and scrogging can be used.
The various forms of the plants are complex, containing various ratios of over 400 chemical entities. For instance, over 90 different types of cannabinoid compounds have been identified. However, the vast majority are in such small concentrations that they are difficult to detect.
The most abundant cannabinoids are classified as the three major cannabinoids, CBD, THC, and Cannabichromene (CBC). There are also five minor cannabinoids, Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromevarin (CBN), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), Cannabichromevarin (CBCV) as well as Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
Hemp and Cannabis plants also include various terpenes. Scientists have shown them to have their own sets of beneficial properties. This is because terpenes are formed in the same resinous trichomes as cannabinoids. The main hemp terpenes include caryophyllene, humulene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, ocimene, pinene, as well as terpinolene.
In addition, the extracts are also rich in fatty acids, amino acids, as well as proteins.
Hemp strains commonly have long, fibrous stems, very little THC, and a lot of CBD. They also don’t produce psychoactive effects when ingested. That is why Hemp is used for a wide range of therapeutic, health, cosmetic, and industrial purposes including:
The main active ingredient in Cannabis is THC. Some strains contain up to 30% THC. For this reason, it is mainly cultivated for recreational purposes. People smoke cannabis in various forms like blunts, pipes, and vaporizers to name but a few. They primarily consume it for:
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