For a cleaner burn, consider lighting your hemp flower with hemp wick. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Although hemp and marijuana are both classified biologically as cannabis, there are a number of important differences between them. Here we’ll break down the anatomy, history, use, and legality of the hemp plant to get to the heart of not only what distinguishes hemp from marijuana, but also what makes it such a viable, versatile commodity.
How are hemp varieties chosen?
The whole hemp plant, from stalk to seed, can also be used to make fuel and feedstock. For more specific applications, hemp can be divided into four categories:
The specific order of crop rotation and types of crops being rotated with hemp will depend on the location of the farm. Hemp is also used as a rotational crop at farms where it is not the primary agricultural product.
Hemp products from pre-Columbian native civilizations were also found in Virginia. Vikings, who used the plant for making rope and sails, may also have brought seeds with them when they attempted to colonize the New World.
Hemp seeds can be used for a variety of everyday purposes and have been for years. The seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant are highly nutritious and can be found on the shelves of your local health food store. These seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, granola, and any other kitchen concoction you can scheme up in their processed form.
Fueled by widespread acceptance and removal of regulations, the hemp and cannabis industries are growing rapidly across the globe. They may technically be the same plant from a scientific standpoint, but in lawmakers’ eyes, two classifications exist with their own set of rules and regulations. Understanding the difference between hemp and cannabis seeds is a critical step for anyone involved in these industries – from seed to sale.
Recent developments regarding hemp and cannabis regulations have expanded hemp from grocery shelves to alternative health clinics and corner stores across the country and beyond. Hemp oil has various uses and benefits (which is why people use cbd lotion, take it as a tincture, and use it in cooking, to name a few), while being the fuel behind the recent boom in the CBD market.
These seeds are essential both to the businesses and farmers who grow the cannabis crops and the consumers who use the many different varieties of cannabis products currently available. And while there are numerous methods to growing and producing the plant itself, the entire industry relies on the ability to use viable cannabis seeds obtained from a reputable and reliable source.
Another big difference between cannabis seeds and hemp seeds is cost. Since cannabis seeds are most often sold for purposes of growing cannabis plants, their seeds will typically cost you more than what you’d pay for hemp seeds at the grocery store. The rise of legal hemp and the CBD market has increased the value of hemp seeds a bit, but cannabis seeds will almost always cost considerably more.
Yes. Whether it is pleasant or not depends on what kind of hemp you smoke. If you’re smoking hemp grown for the production of CBD flowers, then the experience will bear little difference to smoking recreational weed (except you won’t get stoned). However, if you’re smoking hemp grown for its fibres, you might find it a little unpleasant. Moreover, you might struggle to find enough flowers to smoke in the first place!
In the States, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the first legal restriction placed on cannabis cultivation. However, it wasn’t criminalised until 1970, at which point Cannabis sativa in all its forms became illegal. However, that has now been reversed in much of the world.
Now, where we place CBD on the hemp vs weed argument is a matter of contention. Legally, CBD-producing plants tend to fall into the hemp category. But in nearly all of their other characteristics, these plants are much more similar to marijuana. However, if we take the legal definitions for hemp, then yes, hemp is used to produce the lion’s share of the world’s CBD products.
Can You Smoke Hemp?
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis sativa. To understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, we need to know a bit about the s ubtypes, or cultivars, of the cannabis plant. Cultivars are breeds of a plant species bred for different purposes. The three types of cannabis cultivars are:
Marijuana, on the other hand, is used for the chemicals found within its flowers—namely, cannabinoids and terpenes. THC is only found in high quantities in marijuana, so recreational users (and some holistic users) will opt for this variant of the plant.
Despite originating from the same species, hemp and marijuana have very different uses. Hemp tends to be used for its fibres, as it is grown to be taller and less bushy. The fibres are then used to create a wide range of products, such as clothes and paper.
The top uses for hemp are: