Is Marijuana Better Than Hemp? What’s the Difference?
When it comes to cannabis, despite so much debate and news around the topic, there is a lot of confusion and unawareness among people. And not just people who are not familiar with the plant. Even people who have been actively supporting and using the plant for several reasons may not know a lot about the plant, except it helps them with its calming effects.
The legality of marijuana is questionable especially because hemp is legal federally. A lot of people don’t know hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, and there is a population that uses hemp and marijuana interchangeably.
What’s the deal with hemp and marijuana? Are they the same? What’s the difference? Why should I get a medical cannabis card when I can easily get hemp? How is it even worth it? There are so many questions that you must have as well. Let us help you out a little here.
Hemp vs Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
First things first, marijuana and hemp are the same yet different. No we don’t mean to confuse you. It is important to understand that both these plants are cannabis sativa. So, if you think cannabis is good or bad for you, it should apply to both marijuana and hemp.
However, that does not mean both marijuana and hemp have exactly the same properties and effects. There is a significant difference between hemp and marijuana and probably that’s the reason why one is federally legal and the other is still considered a schedule 1 drug.
Legality of Cannabis
Legality of cannabis is confusing. Marijuana is legal in the majority of states in the US as a medication for several health conditions. There are states that have legalized its recreational use as well. But federally, possession and consumption of marijuana and its derivatives is illegal. So, while you may be allowed to purchase, possess, and grow medical marijuana by our state if you have a qualifying health condition, you may still end up attracting legal repercussions at the federal level.
But, hemp is federally legal. Now, here are terms and conditions applied to this as well. Only hemp plants and products that have THC less than 0.3% are legal. That means if you possess hemp or hemp derived products that have THC more than 0.3% you are still exposed to legal repercussions.
Perhaps, THC has a lot to do with the legality of the plant.
Without beating around the bush, let’s directly dive into THC, shall we?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-9 THC or simply THC, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that is known for its psychoactive effects. When we say cannabis, we mean both marijuana as well as hemp plants. So, where does the difference lie? In its concentration. Marijuana has a higher concentration of THC whereas in hemp, it is available in traces (less than 0.3% to be precise).
THC is the “bad guy” here that offers you the infamous ‘high’. Well, it’s not really a bad guy as a lot of people assume it to be. Just like other cannabinoids and components found in the cannabis plant, THC has medicinal properties as well. Anyway, this suggests that marijuana can offer you psychoactive effects whereas hemp cannot.
Cannabidiol, CBD, the famous cannabinoid for its medicinal and non psychoactive properties, is also available in different concentrations. Hemp has a higher concentration of CBD whereas marijuana has comparatively low concentration of CBD. This is probably one of the reasons why CBD infused products are made using hemp plants.
Hemp vs Marijuana: Which Is Better?
Well, both the plants have something completely different to offer. So, to answer which is better, one must know what you are looking for.
Hemp is the cannabis plant that can offer you medicinal benefits of cannabis without psychoactive effects. You will get high CBD content and because traces of THC and other cannabinoids are present as well you will experience the entourage effect.
Marijuana has a considerable amount of THC and other cannabinoids present along with CBD. So, you can expect some psychoactive effects. However, these psychoactive effects may or may not be intoxicating. It completely depends on your body, metabolism, and the amount of marijuana you are consuming. Because of higher availability of THC and other cannabinoids, you may experience a stronger entourage effect than what you can expect from a hemp plant.
It is important to have an open mind and understand that psychoactive effects are not bad. Feeling high is not wrong. These psychoactive effects can help you feel calm and relaxed as they can alter your mind and alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. These effects can help you be creative or sleepy depending on the strain you choose to consume.
So what is better? Hemp or marijuana?
Well, whatever works for you is the best. If you want something non psychoactive and subtle, hemp should work for you. And if you are okay with psychoactive effects and want a cerebral or body high, go for marijuana.
What do doctors recommend?
Well, doctors recommend medical marijuana. But that’s because you don’t need a doctor’s recommendation to use hemp.
Is Hemp Derived CBD Different From Marijuana Derived CBD?
This is something a lot of people ask. And honestly anyone can question this because of the confusion in legality and the way hemp derived CBD products are marketed. But the answer is no. Hemp derived CBD is not different from marijuana derived CBD. The cannabinoid remains the same. Its chemical structure remains the same even if the sources are different.
The difference lies in the concentration of CBD in hemp and marijuana plants but that does not change CBD. so the effects of CBD remain the same as well, despite being derived from two different sources.
But, again, marijuana derived CBD is illegal at the federal level. This is confusing but marijuana and its derivatives are illegal at the federal level even if they are exactly the same as the cannabinoid that is legal.
Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis yet there is a major difference in their legal status. The reason behind that is probably the concentration of THC. hemp has less than 0.3% THC whereas marijuana has a significantly higher concentration of THC available. But to say which plant is better, we believe the answer is different for different individuals. For purely medicinal effects and properties hemp is better whereas for stronger entourage effect, more benefits, and stronger therapeutic properties marijuana would work better.
Moreover, different plants and strains would work better for different health conditions. We highly recommend consulting a medical marijuana doctor online to understand better what shall work for you. Don’t forget to get an online medical card in case you decide to try medical marijuana for your health condition.