Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana…What’s What?
Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana…What’s What? Staff

The past few years have brought sweeping change throughout the United States in regard to the legalization of cannabis and it’s not stopping anytime soon. While cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, most states have legalized it for medicinal purposes, and many states have also legalized it for adult recreational use. It has been quite the hot and contested topic on the news and within communities, yet some of us are still confused with the terms being thrown around. Today, “cannabis” and “marijuana'' are often used interchangeably in the industry, which understandably creates confusion. Then there’s hemp, which was legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill and other trendy terms you’ve likely heard like THC and CBD. All of this is enough to make anyone’s mind spin! So, let’s clear it up once and for all so that you are armed with some basic knowledge.

Cannabis technically is a term referring to the genus of flowering plants that are members of the Cannabaceae family, which includes about 170 plant species. Hemp and marijuana both belong to the genus Cannabis, so technically it’s fair to say that they are both cannabis and therefore these terms are often used interchangeably.

Cannabis plants contain many chemical compounds called cannabinoids. So, hemp and marijuana both contain cannabinoids. Two of the more known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants and is what causes the “high” or euphoric effect. CBD is another cannabinoid; it does not cause a high or any psychoactive effect.

In today’s complex world of what is legal and what is not, it comes down to THC. The THC content has become the standard for the legal cannabis and hemp CBD industries. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less and plants exceeding the 0.3% THC limit are considered marijuana. Further, CBD derived from hemp is legal on the federal level thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, but CBD derived from marijuana is not legal on the federal level. Adding to the confusion and complexity is the fact that states can override the federal status, which is what we see happening today. If you’re not sure where your state stands, look it up!

Hemp is a very versatile plant; it has long been used in the textile and biofuel industries, as well as consumed as seeds, oil and milk. While hemp is low in THC, it’s typically high in CBD and has been responsible for the CBD product boom we’ve seen in recent years. Hemp also contains other cannabinoids such as Delta 8, Delta 10, THCP, CBG and HHC that go into making a huge range of products that you can find from

As mentioned, marijuana is the intoxicating relative of hemp and is typically high in THC and lower in CBD. Yet CBD is still often extracted from marijuana and many products on the market contain both THC and CBD. CBD can counteract or subdue the effects of THC, so combining the two into one product has become quite common.

While much more research needs to be done, cannabinoids have shown promise in offering a range of health benefits, such as: lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, treating anxiety, treating GI disorders, preventing seizures, and fighting cancer. And it’s possible to get these health benefits without getting high by choosing a product that has virtually no THC.

As you can see, there’s much more to cannabis than what old stereotypes might have you think. If you’re interested in learning more, visit for more info.

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