Fly High: What Is the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis?

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Interested in the world of legal weed? You’re not the only one.

It’s projected that by the year 2025, legal marijuana sales could reach as much as $23 billion. As the plant becomes increasingly available, more people are becoming curious about its terminology and other specifics.

One question we’re hearing a lot is this: what is hemp vs. cannabis? Is hemp the same as cannabis?

The two terms are very similar. In fact, it’s pretty easy to mix them up if you don’t know any better. 

Luckily, we’ve got all the information you need about distinguishing hemp vs. cannabis. Read on to learn what the differences are.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a genus of plants belonging to the Cannabaceae family. This family has three different categories, which are Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis ruderalis.

If you’ve done research on marijuana strains before, you might have heard about indica vs. sativa. The two have different compositions of cannabinoids, meaning they lead to different “highs” when smoked or otherwise consumed.

Despite this similarity in the name, marijuana and hemp are not the same as cannabis. In fact, hemp and marijuana are both considered classifications of the Cannabis genus.

If distinguishing between hemp vs. cannabis vs. marijuana sounds confusing, it’s probably because people often use the terms “marijuana” and “cannabis” interchangeably. This isn’t the case: Cannabis is the broader category, while hemp and marijuana are both subcategories.

What is Hemp?

Now that we’ve briefly touched on cannabis, what is hemp vs. cannabis? Hemp is actually a type of cannabis that contains a very low concentration of THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you “high.”

As you might have guessed, this means you won’t get “high” from hemp. Unlike marijuana, hemp is actually federally legal. This is largely due to its wide variety of industrial and commercial uses.

While no one is smoking it, hemp is still an incredibly useful plant. It’s known as the strongest fiber in the world and can be used to create a variety of textiles, personal care products, paper products, and more.

Some examples of hemp products include:

  • Clothing
  • Rope
  • Canvas
  • Netting
  • Cardboard
  • Packaging materials
  • Soaps/shampoos/body washes
  • Cosmetics
  • Inks
  • Fuel
  • Coatings
  • Foods such as hemp hearts and hemp protein powder

Hemp Vs. Cannabis: A Final Look

Now that we’ve gone over hemp vs. cannabis as well as the marijuana plant, hopefully things are a bit more clear. Once again, the word “Cannabis” refers to the broader genre of plants, whereas both “hemp” and “marijuana” are subgenres.

In other words, all hemp is Cannabis, but not all Cannabis is hemp.

Get Ready for High Times

The federal legalization of Cannabis is quickly progressing in America, so everyone is looking for a little more education on the topic. Now that you know the difference between hemp vs. cannabis, you can help everyone prepare for the high times that lie ahead.

For more topics, check out our other articles.