Much to the surprise of some, hemp and cannabis are the same. A common fallacy is that hemp and cannabis—or marijuana—are two separate species of plant. But the fact of the matter is the two are almost synonymous.
The difference, however, is both in the legal definition and in use. In addition to having less THC than marijuana, the two have distinct and contrasting applications. This article defines hemp and explores the key qualities of hemp you should know.
Qualities of Hemp That You Should Know
Understanding how hemp and marijuana are different can be tricky, given they are technically the same plant. But there is a way of defining both. Let’s explore some of the defining characteristics of hemp and its uses.
- Hemp Has Less THC Than Marijuana
When we think of hemp versus marijuana, our first thought is likely that marijuana is psychoactive, while hemp is not. This is an important distinction between the two.
Hemp is a derivative of the species C. Sativa, one of several cannabis species. The Agricultural Act of 2018 classifies hemp as cannabis that contains 0.3 percent or less THC content by dry weight.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is cannabis that contains more than 0.3 percent THC content by dry weight.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is the primary cannabinoid that triggers the inebriated sensation often associated with cannabis.
- Hemp Is a Fantastic Nutritional Supplement
Some people opt to cook with hemp oil over more traditional cooking products such as olive or vegetable oils. The use of hemp oil in cooking is primarily due to nutrients and fatty acids. Hemp oil has benefits in various recipes, including dressings, marinades, and baked goods.
Luckily, because hemp oil contains such a small amount of THC, it is not psychoactive, and therefore will not cause any “high” when used.
- Hemp Makes a Superior Paper Product
When it comes to paper, hemp is superior to trees both in sustainability and in durability. A single acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper as two to four acres of trees.
Hemp paper is also of higher quality than paper made from trees. Paper from trees degrades and requires toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process. Hemp paper, however, can last hundreds of years and recycled more often.
- Hemp Is a Strong Textile
Many manufactures use hemp to make clothes, rope, and other textiles. Hemp is well known for its durability and sustainability in the textile industry. Hemp is stronger than many fabrics, including linen. It has a much longer lifespan than most natural fabrics.
And it is as comfortable as it is durable. Hemp gets softer after usage. Thriving on regular use and washing, hemp becomes more delicate and more pliable over some time.
- Hemp Is Used in Many Beauty Products
Much like its dietary value, you can find Hemp in various beauty products for its vitamins and health benefits. Medical uses for hemp include the treatment of eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. It is also useful for alleviating arthritis and joint pain.
- Hemp Is a Food Source for Livestock
With its sustainability and ease of growth, there is some support for using hemp as an alternative fodder for cattle feed. Some parts of the hemp plant are just as nutritious as alfalfa and thus attractive to farmers handling livestock.
- Hemp Is Used to Extract CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol. CBD is another cannabinoid found in the Cannabis Sativa plant and can be made from hemp or marijuana.
CBD has grown in popularity over the past several years and offers similar benefits to cannabis. However, it does not contain THC, and therefore no feeling of euphoria.
Still Curious? Learn More
Now that you’ve learned more about hemp, you may have an idea of what’s right for you. If you have more questions, be sure to talk to your doctor to learn more about your options.
Do you want to learn more about the various benefits of hemp and cannabis? Check out the rest of our website for more in-depth information.