You’ve probably heard the terms hemp, hemp seeds, or hemp seed extract used frequently in the news lately. Chances are you have a few questions about it, specifically if hemp will get you high.  It’s easy to confuse hemp with marijuana because they are from the same species of plant. Depending on the intent of your search, you’ll either be relieved or disappointed to know that it won’t. So, what’s the difference? Why can you get high from marijuana and not hemp? It all boils down to chemical makeup.

hands with hemp leaves

Hemp Vs. Marijuana – What’s the Difference?

Many folks think that hemp and marijuana are synonymous because they come from the same Cannabis sativa plant species. However, hemp and marijuana are simply cousins. Hemp (or industrial hemp), is grown specifically for commercial uses. You can find hemp in textiles, clothing,  papers, insulation, biofuel, food, and so much more. It grows super-fast (hence the colloquialism weed) and is a great sustainable crop.

“Hemp does not have enough THC to produce any type of psychoactive effect.”

Marijuana is also from the Cannabis sativa species of plant, but its phytochemical makeup is distinctly different from industrial hemp.  Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana that gets people high. Hemp, on the other hand, has a much lower concentration of THC and a high concentration of cannabidiol, or CBD, which works to decrease the effects of any present THC. The bottom line is that hemp does not have enough THC to produce any type of psychoactive effect. 

Hemp Seed Benefits

Hemp seeds are cultivated from the hemp plant. As we already established, they do not contain enough THC to get you high. However, hemp seeds are nutritionally dense, packed with protein and Omega fatty acids that do your body good. They have a light, nutty flavor and can be sprinkled on your favorite foods. Hemp protein from hemp seeds is easily digestible and is nutritionally comparable to animal-based proteins like milk, eggs, and meat.

hemp seed oil

Oil can also be made from hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil is also packed with the perfect Omega fatty acids ratio. It can be ingested (add to your smoothie, drizzle over your salad, etc.) and applied on your skin and in your hair. In fact, hemp seed oil is often added to cosmetological products like creams, shampoos, and soaps. It hydrates and replenishes the skin with nutrients for touchably soft and supple skin.

Hemp Seed Side Effects

Moderation is key when consuming hemp seeds and hemp oil. Since they are high in fat, albeit good fat, it can cause digestion woes, such as mild diarrhea, if consumed in large quantities. Sensitive digestive system? Try adding small amounts of hemp seeds or hemp seed oil to your diet to test your tolerance. Then eventually work your way to the regular serving size. Speak to your doctor to address any concerns you may have introducing hemp to your diet.

Hemp in a Nutshell

The bottom line is that hemp will not get you high. It’s an amazing plant that has so many uses — and has been used for thousands of years. Hemp is great for the planet, great for our economy, and great for you!