What is the Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis?

We compare and contrast hemp and cannabis, including their appearance, chemical composition, and legal status.

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The Difference in Appearance

Hemp and cannabis both come from the cannabis sativa plant. However, they differ in their appearance. Hemp leaves are thinner and sleeker than cannabis leaves. They are also lighter in color. Cannabis leaves, on the other hand, are broader and darker in color.


Cannabis is a general term used to describe the two main types of marijuana: indica and sativa. Both of these varieties come from the Cannabis sativa plant, which contains more than 100 different cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Cannabis indica plants are short and bushy, with wide leaves. They typically contain higher levels of THC than sativa plants. Indica strains are often used for their medicinal properties and can be helpful in treating conditions such as anxiety, pain, and insomnia.

Cannabis sativa plants are tall and thin, with narrow leaves. They tend to have lower THC levels but higher levels of CBD. Sativa strains are often used for their cerebral effects and can be helpful in treating conditions such as depression, fatigue, and lack of appetite.


Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial purposes. It can be grown for its fiber, seed, or oil. Hemp plants contain low levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. They also contain high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive compound that has versatile medicinal properties but does not make people feel “high.”

Cannabis plants are classified into two groups: indica and sativa. While both hemp and marijuana come from the Cannabis sativa plant, they are different varieties. Hemp has been bred to contain high levels of CBD and low levels of THC, while marijuana has been bred to contain high levels of THC and low levels of CBD.

The main difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp contains less than 0.3% THC while marijuana can contain up to 30% THC. Because of this, hemp cannot make people “high” like marijuana can.

Hemp has a long history in the United States. It was commonly used to make sails and rope for ships, as well as clothing and paper. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper! The United States Constitution was also drafted on hemp paper.

Hemp was so important to early America that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp on their plantations. In fact, Washington encouraged American farmers to grow more hemp to help support the war effort during the Revolutionary War.

Despite its important role in American history, hemp was banned in the United States in 1937 under the Marihuana Tax Act even though it does not contain enough THC to get people “high”

The Difference in Cultivation

Hemp and cannabis are two popular terms that are often used interchangeably. However, these two plants are actually quite different.To start, hemp is a type of cannabis plant that contains little to no THC. This means that it won’t get you high. Cannabis, on the other hand, is a type of cannabis plant that contains high levels of THC. So, if you’re looking to get high, cannabis is the plant you want.


Cannabis is an annual, dioecious, flowering herb. The leaves are palmately compound or digitate, with serrate leaflets. The first pair of leaves usually have a single leaflet, the number gradually increasing up to a maximum of about thirteen leaflets per leaf (usually seven or nine), depending on variety and growing conditions. At the top of a flowering plant, this number again diminishes to a single leaflet per leaf. The lower leaf pairs usually occur in an opposite leaf arrangement and the upper leaf pairs in an alternate arrangement on the main stem of a mature plant.

Hemp is similar to cannabis in appearance, but it generally has a taller, skinnier stature. Hemp also has narrower leaves and grows in a dioecious pattern (separate male and female plants). However, hemp produces only trace amounts of THC (<0.3%), making it impossible to get high off of hemp products.


Hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa species, but it contains little to no THC (the psychoactive compound that gets users ‘high’). Hemp has been used for centuries in a variety of applications, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel.

The Difference in THC Levels

Hemp and Cannabis are both varieties of the cannabis plant, but they differ in their THC levels. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less, while cannabis contains more than 0.3% THC. This difference is important because THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that gives users the “high” feeling.


Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than 80 biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive and is being studied for its potential therapeutic benefits.

Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa and contains 0.3% or less THC. Hemp has been traditionally used for industrial purposes such as paper, textile, and biodegradable plastics. CBD oil can be extracted from both hemp and cannabis, but hemp typically contains higher concentrations of CBD.

The Different THC Levels:
-THC levels in hemp are 0.3% or less and do not produce a psychoactive effect
-THC levels in cannabis vary depending on the strain but can be as high as 30%
-The average THC level in cannabis is 12%


Hemp is a form of cannabis that contains very low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, and it is what makes users feel “high.” Hemp can be used to make a number of different products, including paper, clothing, biodegradable plastics, and fuel. It is also a popular food supplement, as it is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Difference in Uses

Hemp and cannabis are two very different plants. Hemp is used for a variety of purposes, including rope, clothing, paper, and construction material, while cannabis is used for its psychoactive properties. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the differences between these two plants.


The term cannabis (popularly known as marijuana) is used to describe a product of the cannabis sativa plant that is bred for its potent, sticky glands that are known as trichomes. These trichomes contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC), which is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis (commonly known as a “high”).

The flowers of the female cannabis plant are smoked, vaporized, or used to make edibles (such as cookies or brownies). The leaves can also be added to salads.

Cannabis plants can grow to be very tall, with some varieties reaching heights of over 12 feet. The plants are often grown indoors under special grow lights. They can also be grown outdoors in warm climates.


Hemp is a vital agricultural crop that has been used for centuries to produce a variety of products, including food, textiles, paper, and more. The hemp plant is a versatile and sustainable resource that can be used to create thousands of different products.

Hemp is also known for its strong fibers, which can be used to create rope, cloth, and other textiles. The seeds of the hemp plant are also a valuable source of nutrition, containing high levels of protein and essential fatty acids.

In recent years, hemp has been making a comeback as a popular agricultural crop in the United States. Thanks to advancements in technology and changes in the law, farmers are now able to grow hemp for commercial purposes.

There are many different uses for hemp, including:
-Making rope and fabric
-Creating paper
-Building materials
-Animal feed
-And more!

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