There is a huge misconception surrounding hemp and marijuana which forms the assumption that these two are the same. While it is indeed true, hemp and marijuana come from the same family of plants, cannabis sativa, the differences in them, and what they are able to do are actually quite different.
As such, the uses for these two will likewise be very unique in terms of what they can and are used for not to mention the availability of said products to the general public. To dispel the myths that these two are the same, you need to truly have a comprehension of what makes them so different.
The Truth About Hemp
Starting with hemp, this plant has such potential for greatness but is stifled by the stigma of its sister, the marijuana plant. It is true, these two are very similar yet very different in the same breath.
When referencing hemp, it is referring to the industrial hemp plant and its finished products which typically contain less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol or more commonly referred to as THC. This is a cannabinoid which causes the psychoactive state when consumed, smoked, etc.
Growing to be nearly 20 feet in height, hemp is easily cultivated and requires little to no pesticides or fertilizers. Its fibers are incredibly strong and can be used to make a ton of consumables like paper and clothing. Hemp is often used in a whole plant form, from the seeds to the stem and more.
A truly useful plant which has been lauded by our ancestors for thousands of years, it is a very underappreciated natural resource with an abundance of uses. Evidence of materials made from hemp stem back nearly 10,000 years and many believe that hemp was the first crop ever cultivated by mankind.
The use of hemp is truly vast. Because the fibers in the stalks can be used to make actual products such as clothing, rope, building materials, and much more, it has the capability of being much more than what it is currently being cultivated for in today’s day and age. The whole hemp plant, from stalk to seed, can also be used to make fuel and feedstock.
When it comes to medicinal or even topically applied uses, one of the best ways to make the most of the nutrients and minerals found in hemp is by pressing the seeds of the plant to make hemp seed oil. The high content of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids found in hemp seed and hemp seed oil is truly beneficial for a variety of uses from skincare, anti-aging products, pain relief creams, joint relief pills and so much more. What makes it ideal is the fact that it can be used physically but also consumed. Whichever way you choose to incorporate hemp seed oil into your life, you will be pleasantly surprised as to how much it’s already been at the forefront of many companies who create products harnessing the goodness it provides.
The uses for it in everyday life are abundant as mentioned but where have you likely seen it and didn’t realize? From foods to creams to clothing, there is much to be lauded for when it comes to the many uses of hemp.
Hemp Seeds – When consumed as a food item, hemp seeds offer a huge dose of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Considered to be a superfood and rightfully so, these seeds offer much needed fatty acids which your body does not produce on their own work to provide heart-healthy fats which calm inflammation. They can be added to cereal, smoothies, oats, or just about anything you desire.
Hemp Seed Oil – This oil is pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant and has many different uses. The potency of those precious omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids is now in a more concentrated form which is beneficial in not only an ingestible manner but also for use as a skincare treatment. Acting alone, it can help to calm skin due to its natural soothing abilities.
When paired with other active ingredients hemp seed oil makes a great supplement to anti-aging serums, elixirs, moisturizing lotions, and pain relief creams. Why hemp seed oil makes such a great partnership is the fact that it is non-comedogenic which means that it doesn’t clog pores but still absorbs into the skin easily. This allows for the rapidness of topically applied treatments to do their magic on your skin.
For use in a pain relief cream, ointment, or otherwise, the soothing and absorptive components of hemp seed oil make for the ideal co-pilot. Hemp seed oil has been making more of an appearance on the skincare scene as more and more consumers are becoming more aware of its usefulness by the minute!
Clothing and Fabric-Based Consumables – As a fiber, hemp has a reputation for being an extremely durable resource. Used in many items such as clothing, shoes, accessories, and much more, the inclusion of hemp fibers can really add an element of reliability to these products. Additionally, it’s natural ability to be moisture wicking makes it ideal for clothing and products such as socks, knee braces, gloves, etc. where garments can cause an issue of causing excess sweat.
CBD Oil – The flowers and leaves of the hemp plant are where CBD (cannabidiol) oil is extracted from. There is often confusion as to the effects of CBD. It is not a psychoactive agent–that’s THC. CBD has a highly powerful medicinal effect on the skin and body which provides relief to pain and other ailments. WIthout that THC component, it is safe to use for various products and can be found more readily.
When you hear the term marijuana, the natural inclination is to reference the psychoactive drug also referred to as “weed” or “pot” and various other nicknames. The cannabis plant in which marijuana is derived from while very similar to that of hemp, varies in a few ways. The first being that it is typically grown indoors in a more controlled environment as the cultivation process entails many different strains and THC levels.
Any product containing more than 0.3 percent by weight THC is considered to be a marijuana product. It is predominantly grown for the use of its flowers or buds where the concentration of THC and CBD is the highest. While like the hemp, is still technically a weed, it does not grow to be nearly as tall as hemp, reaching around 6 to 8 feet in height. While there are many strains of the marijuana plant, the main purpose of its usage is for medicinal or utilizing it for its THC psychoactive properties.
Having up to 30 percent THC levels, marijuana can be used in a variety of forms when it comes to utilizing it for its mind inducing capabilities. One known way is for recreational purposes in the form of smoking the dried flowers and buds. While the use of marijuana in this form has been practiced for thousands of years, it is in the most recent 100 years that the stigma surrounding it has become a sore spot as the reputation of a “gateway drug” was bestowed upon it.
Depending upon the laws of each U.S. state, the legalities in terms of recreation usage varies. For those suffering from debilitating conditions such as cancer, the use of marijuana has been shown to greatly improve the appetite and as well as a pain management tool to cope with the struggles of chemotherapy. As of late, the incorporation of marijuana has expanded into oils as well as the creation of THC infused food. “CBD can be derived from either hemp or marijuana” as it also contains this cannabinoid, however, to be able to be sold and used in the mass market, it does need to contain the standard 0.3 percent or less of THC.
Because hemp and marijuana are so close in terms of looks and abilities, they are commonly confused and can be misunderstood in terms of its overall benefits. The easiest way to discern the two is that hemp is used for everything but getting high.
It is found in a variety of forms from textiles, paper, food, apparel, animal feed, and plastic. Safe to use for all ages and formats, it is the most versatile in terms of where you can find products that utilize hemp. It is not nor should it be considered a drug as it does not have any mind-altering capabilities. Hemp should be no different than say a sunflower or any other plant used in normal consumable goods.
The misconception is evident, however, the more it is being used in today’s world, the better understanding everyone has of the difference and benefits of each.