Hemp, Cannabis, and Marijuana - Differences
In this study, we found that cannabis is the term used to describe the family of plants that are mainly classified as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. Marijuana is a colloquial term for the cannabis strans with psychedelic effects. A marijuana plant can belong to the cannabis sativa or cannabis indica species, and it needs to have a chemical makeup of 5% to 40% tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) to be considered psychoactive. On the other hand, hemp is a member of cannabis sativa with less than 0.3% THC in its chemical makeup and it is an industrial plant. Below is a detailed explanation of our findings.
Cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis are the species of cannabis. This means that cannabis is a family of plants. Marijuana is the colloquial term for cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. Cannabis ruderalis is “rarely farmed due to its naturally low tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) and small yield”.
There are quite a few differences between cannabis indica and cannabis sativa though it is still debatable whether they should be considered as distinct species. “Sativa strains are typically taller, loosely branched and have long, narrow leaves”, while indica has shorter strains that are densely branched and have wider leaves. Sativa is better grown outdoors because it can grow as high as 20 feet, while indica is better grown indoors. Sativa contains a higher concentration of cannabinoid enzymes that do not have mind-altering effects, while indica has a higher THC concentration, and THC is the compound that gives people the feeling of being under the influence. On the other hand, hemp and Marijuana are types of cannabis that can be differentiated in the following:
Marijuana’s leaves tend to be broad-leafed, with a tight bud, nugget-like with hairs, while hemp has skinnier leaves concentrated on the top. Marijuana looks like a short fat bush from a distance, while hemp is taller, and it can be up to 20 feet tall.
The chemical compounds in cannabis that respond the body’s cannabinoid receptors are called cannabinoids. THC is the most common cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s psychological effect. Hemp has less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana has around 5% to 40%. Hemp has also high cannabidiol that makes THC ineffective.
Hemp is grown closely together (4 inches apart) in cooler climates, while marijuana is grown in warmer/humid temperatures in a controlled environment. Hemp usually takes about 108 to 120 days to mature, while marijuana takes around 60 to 90 days.
Hemp has more than 25,000 applications including automobiles, body care, clothing, construction, food, plastic, soap concrete, and many more, while marijuana is used for recreational and medicinal purposes.
ESTIMATED MARKET VALUE
The US hemp market is valued at $452 million, while the marijuana market is valued between $10 billion and $120 billion.
As of December 2018, according to a signed farm bill, hemp is considered an agricultural product in the U.S. aside from Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska. Marijuana is still considered a drug and it is illegal in most states in the U.S.