The mention of hemp or marijuana usually elicits controversy. These two plants have often been misconstrued to mean one and the same thing, yet in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. For more than 10,000 years, hemp has played an important role in the society. It’s a plant that has been used in different industries, including the production of paper, food and clothing, ropes and sails during the World Wars.
It wasn’t until the 1930s when hemp had to suffer an unlikely fate faced by political turmoil and suffered the same fate as cannabis. More often, it’s the confusion regarding the differences between cannabis and hemp that usually leaves hemp on the wrong end of the law. The troubles for hemp started in the 1930s when the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was formed. The bureau was initially tasked with handling cocaine and opium, but would later start a campaign that involved hemp and marijuana.
Modern Challenges Facing Hemp
The 1930s were a different time, and things were understandably different back then. However, with all the information we have at our hand at the moment, why are people still confusing hemp with marijuana?
Well, these two plants usually go hand in hand, and seem to suffer the same consequences. Marijuana has, over the years, attracted the attention of a lot of activists, who have since formed organizations that are properly organized, and capable of championing for marijuana advocacy. It’s because of these advocacies and campaigns that hemp has seen proper representation.
There are different ways of telling apart marijuana from hemp that you should know about. To be precise, in terms of their physiology, marijuana and hemp cannot grow close to one another, neither can they be grown together. Even in terms of their uses, marijuana and hemp serve different purposes.
Here are some of the key differences you should be on the lookout for if you want to tell apart hemp from marijuana:
- Use Cases
In terms of the purposes to which they can be used, hemp is useful in different industries, such as the production of paper, clothing, beauty products, and healthy food. Marijuana, on the other hand, is popular for its recreational and medicinal value.
- Suitable Environment
These two plants can thrive in different environmental conditions, but never in the same one. Hemp is easier to grow, as it doesn’t have many restrictions. Marijuana, on the other hand, must never be grown less than 6 feet away from each other, especially if you’re growing it for medicinal purposes. Growing marijuana close to a hemp field or in a hemp field can dilute the psychoactive effect of the crop.
- Chemical Composition
This is one of the primary differences between these two plants. They all contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives the plant the psychoactive effect. THC content in marijuana is between 5 and 20%, while hemp has a THC content of no more than 0.3%. There are some strains of marijuana that have up to 30% THC.