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Hemp vs. Weed – Differences

CBD Products » Blog » Hemp vs. Weed – Differences

It is a general misconception that hemp and weed are obtained from different plants and have different chemical constituents.

In actual fact, they are not different from each other; it is just different names for the cannabis plant. Cannabis is a plant where you can obtain both hemp and marijuana. In fact, you can get hemp and weed from cannabis of the same species.

Also, you might wonder why hemp is legal, and weed is illegal since they have similar constituents and can be extracted from cannabis of the same species. In this article, Happy Garden CBD will enlighten you on the definition of hemp and weed, the difference between hemp and weed, and why hemp is legal, and weed is illegal. 

What is Hemp?

Hemp is any strain of the Cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent of a cannabis chemical constituent known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, a psychoactive substance that makes you high) in dry weight. It is obtained from a specific cannabis plant known botanically as Cannabis sativa.

In the U.S Controlled Substance Act, the thin line differentiating hemp from weed is the percentage composition of THC in it. Plant with above 0.3% THC content is considered marijuana, and it remains illegal for use in any product federally.

Hemp is one of the most high-end useful plants globally, with virtually all parts functional. For example, the hemp plant stalk is helpful for manufacturing textiles or the development of biofuels. Furthermore, hemp seed can be eaten raw or extracted for therapeutic purposes, such as hemp seed oil. In addition, cannabidiol (CBD) can be obtained from its flower and be used to produce different CBD products such as CBD Oils, CBD creams, balms, etc.

What is Weed?

Weed is any strain of the cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3 percent of the intoxicating constituent of the cannabis plant known as THC in dry weight. It can be obtained from several species of the cannabis plant, such as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and other related species of the plant. The word ‘weed’ of often used interchangeably with ‘Marijuana.’

This strain of cannabis is known for its psychoactive effect on the brain due to the high level of THC present. Weed remains federally illegal in the U.S; however, hemp is legal under some state laws. In addition, the states have regulative programs for the cultivation and dispensing of weed for medical use only.

Like hemp, weed is extracted from the plant to form a concentrated extract that can be sold and taken in various forms. One of the significant forms is as dried, powered, or cured flower of the cannabis plant.

Differences between Hemp and Weed

Recently, the term ‘cannabis’ has been referred to as ‘weed,’ and the words are used interchangeably. Technically, cannabis refers to the entire genus of plants where hemp and weed can be obtained. Cannabis contains several cannabinoids, including THC, used to majorly differentiate between hemp and weed. The following are the major differences: 

Growth Habit: Hemp vs. Weed

Hemp and weed from the same species of cannabis plants have similar characteristics, e.g., hemp and weed from Cannabis sativa. However, other forms of weed obtained from related species of cannabis plants, such as Cannabis indica, have shorter and thicker leaves.

Another significant difference in the growth habit of hemp and weed is the thickness of the resin produced in the flower bud. The resin produced in the weed strain is thicker than the hemp strain.

Percentage Composition of Chemicals: Hemp vs. Weed

Chemical composition is the primary differentiator between the two plants. As previously stated, the hemp strain of cannabis contains less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dried weight. Therefore, anything with greater THC composition in hemp is considered a weed.

Other cannabinoids in the plant also vary in composition, and some hemp contains cannabidiol (CBD).

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol is one of the numerous cannabinoids which become helpful for therapeutic purposes since the federal legalization of hemp. Recently, many people have used CBD products for numerous health benefits.

Cannabidiol is found in many species of cannabis plants in different amounts (it is present in both hemp and marijuana). In addition, CBD products are federally legal if they are derived from hemp with less than 0.3% of THC.

A word from Happy Garden CBD

Technically, hemp and weed are similar, and they can be obtained from the same species of cannabis plants.

The primary differentiator of the two is the percentage composition of THC. It must contain less than 0.3% THC  by dried weight; else, it is a weed.

Manufacturers can extract cannabidiol from both hemp and marijuana.

Contact us to learn more about sources of cannabidiol, its uses, and why you should purchase a CBD product


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