Since the dawn of time, cannabis has been used for its fibers as well as for wellness purposes. Prehistoric colonies of people have been discovered by archeologists who found people wearing hemp clothing and hemp rope that they made from hemp fibers. Archeologists have also found remnants of medicinal herb kits that contained cannabis. Wild animals even instinctively consume cannabis plants and reap its therapeutic benefits. The seemingly “new” tradition of utilizing this plant for our gain isn’t new at all.

 After 100 years of misinformation, we are finally getting to a point where the potential of this wonderful plant is being appreciated and applied to our everyday lives. People throw around the words hemp and marijuana, but there often isn’t much clarity as to what the differences are between the two, and little direction on how to navigate the current governmental legalities. 

In short, hemp and marijuana differ due to varying levels of the intoxicating phytocannabinoid THC, but are both considered the cannabis plant. Hemp (non-intoxicating cannabis) differs greatly from marijuana (intoxicating cannabis) in its functionality and how it can be used.

Anatomically, though, they might look similar, once you take a closer look you can distinguish one from the other. Hemp (non-intoxicating cannabis) is known for its sturdy, tall stalks, and low levels of the phytocannabinoid THC. Hemp can be used for many agricultural and wellness purposes. Hemp is legal in all 50 states and its high levels of the phytocannabinoid CBD are currently offering huge promise for the budding cannabis-based wellness industry. There has been a boom of hemp-derived products such as hemp extract oil, topical creams and salves that are all made from hemp extract. 

Marijuana (intoxicating cannabis) is hemps short, bushy sibling. It’s legal for medical and recreational use in select states, but still federally illegal. Marijuana is known for its high THC levels, which causes the intoxicating “high” that weed is known for. Though typically known for the “high” it produces, Marijuana and THC are also known for their therapeutic qualities in cannabis-based and holistic wellness industries, although more difficult to navigate due to current legalities and federal prohibitions.

Check out “What is CBD and Why is it Popular” to learn more.