by Christine Athens
Within the past few years, cannabis has shed its bad reputation. It’s now in the spotlight, with hemp making waves for its health and wellness applications as well as its industrial use. Of course, the gap between the people who understand and advocate for hemp versus the people who don’t quite get it yet is pretty extensive. Their most common concern—does hemp get you high?
The terms hemp and marijuana are often thrown around interchangeably. Some go as far as to say that the difference is in the gender and species. It’s common miss-information that marijuana is the “female species” while hemp is the “male species.” For most people, all they have to do is hear one of these terms or see an image of the cannabis leaf, and the floodgates of scrutiny and confusion open up wide.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the differences between hemp and marijuana. And, just for the record: hemp does not get you high. You can still smoke it, though!
Hemp vs. Marijuana: The Difference
To explain the difference between hemp and marijuana, it’s necessary to start with the source—cannabis. Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants from the Cannabacae family. A genus is a classification of a family member, kind of like a first cousin.
Within the cannabis genus are three primary species: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. What are the differences between the three? Mainly, the location they’re indigenous to and their appearance. They also differ in the type of “high” they give, which is due to concentrations of THC and CBD. (We’ll get into that some other time!)
When we talk about marijuana and hemp, we’re specifically referring to a variety of the Cannabis Sativa species. While they’re often referred to as “subspecies” or “strains,” taxonomically, that’s incorrect.
Strains deal with specific genetics, while subspecies refer to geographic distinctions. The term variety deals with the commonalities of a species that’s consistent throughout each geographical location.
Here’s a closer look:
Hemp and Marijuana
Both hemp and marijuana, as mentioned, are varieties of the Cannabis Sativa species. The most significant difference between these two varieties outside of the law is their concentrations of THC and CBD.
Marijuana contains a higher concentration of THC and very little CBD. THC is the psychoactive compound associated with the famous high, which is precisely what the plant is used for. That’s both medically and recreationally speaking, of course.
Hemp, on the other hand, contains a higher concentration of CBD, and only trace amounts of THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive compound that’s becoming a household name for its natural and therapeutic benefits.
The two share several lesser-known cannabinoids as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and so on. They’re also both used for medical and therapeutic applications, and they’re very similar in appearance. However, hemp is also used in industrial applications, such as textiles, papers, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and even fuel.
We get it—the science behind it all can be a little much. So, if you take anything away from this article, please let it be the answer to the question: does hemp get you high? The answer is no, but it’s very beneficial to your overall health and well being. Not to mention, it’s good for the environment!
Whether you’re looking to try CBD products for the first time or in need of more CBD hemp products, Dr. Strains CBD is here for you. Visit our online shop or reach out to us with any questions or concerns.