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what is the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. CBD and hemp

Industrial hemp and marijuana

Does CBD come from industrial hemp or marijuana? The difference between industrial hemp and marijuana is a frequent topic, but it is not well understood.
As demand for CBD continues to grow worldwide, the CBD industry has evolved into a separate, independent market. However, it shares its terminology with the cannabis industry, including its controversial reputation and variable legislation.
Because of the confusion and complications this can bring to CBD users, it is very important to understand the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana, and their relationship to cannabis.

What is the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana?

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants from the Cannabaceae family, which consists of three primary species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis.
Although industrial hemp and marijuana are regularly referred to as “types” or “strains” of cannabis, they cannot actually qualify as either.
Therefore. industrial hemp and marijuana are simply broad classifications of cannabis that have been adopted in our culture. However, they are not a legitimate nomenclature for the cannabis plant.
To explain the difference between cannabis and marijuana, we will first explain what each of these terms actually mean and how they relate to Cannabis.

What is industrial hemp?

“Industrial hemp” is a term that classifies varieties of cannabis which contain 0.3% or less THC (dry weight).
The name “hemp” describes non-narcotic hemp, grown for industrial use. Throughout history there is evidence of usage of industrial hemp, including the discovery of 10,000 years old hemp made materials.
The possibility of producing key resources such as food, ropes, textiles, clothing, paper, building materials etc. allowed industrial hemp to be seen as a catalyst for the earliest human innovations.
Industrial hemp can be seen as a catalyst for the earliest human innovations, due to its utilization in creating key resources such as food, ropes, textiles, clothing, paper, building materials etc.

What is marijuana?

“Marijuana” is a term that classifies varieties of cannabis which contain more than 0.3% THC (dry weight) and can cause psychotropic or euphoric effects on the user. This term is extremely inadequate and misrepresents cannabis. Most knowledgeable individuals and organizations in the cannabis industry refuse to use this term.
For example, in early American history, the term “marijuana” did not exist, and “cannabis” was the primary term for classification of this plant.

The confusion created by the terms hemp and marijuana

Based on the context used to describe eatheir plant, we can make a conclusion that the most obvious difference is based on one key factor – the amount of THC.
The narcotic properties of both plants are certainly an important factor that must be taken into account. However, the categorization of cannabis as industrial hemp or marijuana, based on a single characteristic, is a distorted view of cannabis which prevents users from fully understanding its diversity and properties.
The categorization of cannabis as industrial hemp or marijuana is akin to classification of all citrus fruits into sweet or sour, without recognizing different characteristics of each fruit.
In addition, they can often be mixed up due to lack of understanding. The lack of understanding their differences has led to numerous legal problems and confiscations of industrial hemp, which is legal, because it looks like “marijuana.” It is obvious that these things never existed; however, now that these concepts have become deeply ingrained in our society, this issue will be difficult to resolve.
Equating them in our society is widespread. It will take a long time to understand and accept their differences.
The only solution is to continuously inform the public over a longer period of time.
In the meantime, make sure that you understand what is hemp vs.what is marijuana. How are they used in our society and our legal system? That way you will know your rights and avoid complications when using hemp products or CBD.

The key difference

As varieties of the same plant species, they have many similarities and may even look almost the same.
To understand how different these two are, consider the following four key differences between industrial hemp and marijuana.The difference in the composition of industrial hemp and marijuana

Both industrial hemp and marijuana can contain large amounts of CBD, which does not have intoxicating effects. However, the amount of THC in them varies significantly.
While industrial hemp cannot possibly have more than 0.2% of THC in its dry mass, marijuana can contain up to 30% of THC.

The difference between industrial hemp and marijuana is the percentage of THC content. For this reason, legal regulations are very different for these two plants.
In many countries, industrial hemp is no longer on the list of controlled substances. On the other hand, marijuana is still on that list and illegal in many countries.

The difference in the cultivation

Industrial hemp and marijuana differ in their harvest. Harvest of hemp and marijuana is for different purposes, therefore, of course, they need different growing environments.
Growth of varieties of marijuana in controlled environments is for optimization of characteristics of the breed and produce female plants that give budding flowers.
In order to properly grow a marijuana plant, the grower must pay attention to all stages of its life cycle. Maintenance of specific environmental conditions is necessary, such as adequate temperature, lighting and humidity. In contrast, growing industrial hemp is to increase its size and yield. To achieve this, hemp is usually grown outdoors. It does not require such control and care necessary to grow marijuana.

The difference in the usage

Usage of industrial hemp and marijuana is different due to differences in their composition.
Because of its strong psychoactive effect, THC can directly bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system and cause euphoric effects.
Although marijuana’s recreational use is typical, studies have found its potential for a wide range of therapeutic applications.
Compared to marijuana, industrial hemp lends itself to other uses, including:

  • industrial products such as paper, clothing, building materials and plastics
  • food products such as cooking oil, hemp flour and hemp seed products
  • products such as Full Spectrum CBD oil


CBD derived from hemp and CBD from marijuana

Both industrial hemp or marijuana have CBD.
If it is exactly the same at the molecular level, CBD should be legal whether it comes from either plant, provided it has less than 0.2% of THC, right? The correct answer is NO.
CBD derived from industrial hemp is legal if it contains 0.2% of THC or less.
CBD derived from marijuana is illegal and it is still classified as a controlled substance regardless of its percentage of THC.


Despite the dysfunctional use of the terms “industrial hemp” and “marijuana,” these terms are how our culture and society uses it. The difference between industrial hemp and marijuana is obvious.
There is definitely a need to raise public awareness about industrial hemp and marijuana. It will take a long time to achieve this result. Since these terms are used in a legal context, it is important to understand three things – their meaning, their differences, and the way they relate to the concept of cannabis – in order to understand your rights and obligations. In turn, this will allow legal understanding and help you avoid potential legal complications when using CBD products.

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