Daily News

Update your self with Us

What's The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp? Here's What You Need To Know

Did you know that the hemp industry is worth billions?

After all, its market value back in 2017 was around $3.9 billion. It’s only expected to grow from there since there is a constant demand for hemp-based food products as its driving force.

But isn’t hemp the same as marijuana — to the surprise of many, there’s a big difference between marijuana and hemp.

It’s okay if you’re a bit confused. Don’t get lost in the shuffle of discussions on message forums and amateur blogs - we’re here to help you sort out the truth.

The good news is that the difference is easy to explain. If you’re interested to know more, read on and learn.

The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp

It’s clear from the get-go that Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana are different things.

A lot of people seem confused due to lack of information and acceptance of common misconceptions. But the truth is that Cannabis isn’t a single plant - it’s a whole family of plants split into two main groups: Indica and Sativa.

Marijuana is versatile since it can be a member of either classification.

But Hemp is different since it’s only a member of the Sativa branch. With this, the two still has its similarities since they belong from a similar plant classification.

It’s important to remember that each plant’s biological makeup makes them distinct from one another. If you want a more in-depth discussion of hemp vs. cannabis, you can learn more about it here.

1. Anatomy

To most untrained eyes, the two plants have similarities. But if you give a closer look, you’ll see that marijuana features broader leaves with denser buds. It has this short, bushy appearance.

In comparison, hemp’s leaves are skinny and more concentrated toward the plant’s topmost part.

It’s taller and skinnier compared to marijuana, sporting a few branches under its upper part. That’s why it’s easy for people to compare the plants when placed side by side.

2. Composition

The cannabis plant family has a lot of different compounds known as Cannabinoids. Out of these, two of the most dominant ones include Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Both of these compounds show benefits to the betterment of the human body.

But the difference is that the former will induce psychoactive effects while the latter doesn’t. If you’re asking, “is hemp the same as weed?”, this is the main difference—the concentration levels of these compounds.

Hemp has a low concentration of THC while Marijuana has an abundance. To give a reference on the disparity, the former only has about 0.3% or less while the latter ranges from 15%-40%.

Due to this, companies grow hemp for industrial purposes. As for marijuana, they’re often used as a medicinal and recreational drug.

3. Usages

Marijuana’s natural abundance of THC makes it perfect as a recreational drug due to its psychoactive nature.  

You can smoke, inhale, ingest, or inject it to your bloodstream. Companies extract the THC from the plant and use it in a lot of different products like vaporizers, edibles, and others.

On the other hand, hemp’s use is to make a lot of important resources like paper, clothes, building materials, organic fuel, oils, and more. CBD’s popularity is growing, which means that hemp acts as a better substitute for THC-free CBD products.

4. Legality

The THC levels in both plants play a defining factor on how legal each is. Remember, all states and countries will have their own set of laws that govern Hemp’s production. It all depends on the THC content of the specific strain of hemp plant.

For example, a vast majority of states allow hemp as long as its THC level remains 0.3%. The rest of the world is stricter since they only allow 0.2% THC. But the good thing is that the legal consequences for cultivating hemp when illegal are often minor and inconsequential.

Marijuana’s high THC levels make it illegal in most parts of the globe.

Some countries and states legalized it due to its potential to become useful in the medical field. There’s a high possibility of its total legalization in the long run, but for now, it’s illegal.

5. Cultivation

Another striking contrast between marijuana and hemp is the environment they grow. Hemp farmers grow the plant as close as they can—as close as 4” apart. In normal situations, they use multi-acre plots to grow these plants.

Hemp can grow in a lot of climates, meaning it’s easier to start cultivating the plant no matter where you are. The average growth cycle of the plan ranges from 108-120 days.

Marijuana is more delicate since you need a controlled environment that’s warm and has a humid atmosphere. This helps promote proper growth, with its growth cycle lasting between 60 and 90 days. Also, you can’t grow medical marijuana too close to each other.

The marijuana plants often have around 6 feet of space to make it grow in a proper manner. Also, you can’t grow marijuana and hemp in the same field. If the latter’s pollen gets to the former, it dilutes the psychoactive capabilities of marijuana.


As discussed beforehand, hemp has high levels of CBD. It has a lot of benefits like pain relief, anti-inflammation, and anti-anxiety. It helps you get through these problems without the risk of getting high.

With the non-psychoactive effects, CBD gained more popularity as medicine.

This is one of the common reasons why the United States allows hemp. Take note, most CBD oil in the country come from foreign sources, making it difficult to regulate when it comes to quality.

Learn the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp Today!

With our guide, it’s a lot easier now to understand the basic difference between marijuana and hemp.

Rely on these points when you’re trying to distinguish both plants. Don’t hesitate to try and learn more if you’re still looking for definitive ways, especially when you’re seeking legal advice.

Regardless, there are a lot of CBD oil products out there you can use. They’re legal, after all, so you can use them for pain relief and other health benefits.

But why stop here? You can launch your own CBD site today! Simply register today and let us help you build an effective site today!

Go Back


Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.