You might have heard of incidents where police mistakenly seizing hemp thinking that it is marijuana. Why does this happen? Is it too difficult to tell marijuana and hemp apart? Well, to the untrained eye, hemp and marijuana look very much similar. So how can you differentiate between hemp and marijuana? Let us see.
What Are The Similarities Between Hemp And Marijuana?
Before we discuss the differences between hemp and marijuana, let us see the similarities that make people mistake one for the other.
Both hemp and marijuana are plants of the genus Cannabis. Sativa, Indica and Rudelaris are the three species of cannabis. Hemp and marijuana have similar smells and their looks are also seem similar. If you observe the flowers of hemp and marijuana, you will realize why telling them apart is a tough job. They look quite similar and it will be very difficult for the untrained eyes to find the difference between the two.
What Are The Differences Between Hemp And Marijuana?
If you were to observe hemp and marijuana plants, you will notice some key differences. Hemp leaves are much thinner than marijuana leaves. Marijuana plants look more or less like a short bush while hemp looks tall and thin. That doesn’t mean marijuana plants cannot reach tall heights, but even the tallest plant will be reminiscent of a typical bush. Then leaves of the hemp plant mostly grow at the top.
The aforementioned differences are associated with the appearance of the hemp and marijuana plants. What about their chemical composition?
Hemp and marijuana plants have various cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBDA, THCA, CBG, CBN, and more. THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid that can make the users go high. Marijuana usually has a very high percentage of THC, while on the other hand, hemp contains only less than 1 percent of THC. This is the most significant difference between hemp and marijuana. All the legal regulations regarding hemp and marijuana are framed by taking into account their THC percentages.
Products derived from hemp and marijuana have several therapeutic applications. However, the sale and possession of hemp and marijuana products are dealt with differently in the US. The Farm Bill has legalized the production and sale of hemp-derived CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC. However, the production, sale and possession of marijuana-derived products are dealt with according to the marijuana laws of the US states.