Thanks to Wake Up World
Hemp has a long-standing history throughout civilization, but its illegality in the United States and association with marijuana has led many to wonder — what is hemp used for and why is it illegal?
What is Hemp?
As a renewable source for raw materials, hemp is incorporated into thousands of products from health foods and holistic body care to paper, textiles, and rope. In fact, hemp has been around for thousands of years—its earliest documented usage dating back to approximately 8,000 BC. So, what’s all the concern about? How does hemp differ from the marijuana we consume medicinally and recreationally?
Today, we’re tackling hemp 101. Our in-depth guide should give you a better understanding of the versatility of this material, it’s rich history, environmental benefits and importance as a cash crop.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: The Difference Explained
It’s a common misconception that hemp and marijuana are one in the same. While it’s true that they both come from the same cannabis family, they are genetically distinct. In addition to having a different chemical makeup, they are further distinguished by use and cultivation methods. To help you better understand the concept of hemp vs. marijuana, it’s important to first understand what cannabis means.
Cannabis (the plant family) is commonly used as an overarching term to describe both hemp and marijuana. This is the main reason why most people confuse the two plants. Hemp actually refers to the industrial, non-drug variant that is cultivated for its fiber, hurd and seeds. It contains all varieties of the Cannabis species that have negligible amounts of THC — the chemical the chemical component that gets you “high”. Let’s take a closer look at how these plants differ.
- Contains a maximum THC content of 0.3%
- Adaptable and grown in most climates
- Used for a variety for products like nutrition and health supplements, textiles, rope and construction materials
- Contains anywhere from 5 – 35% THC content
- Grown in a carefully controlled environment
- Used for recreational and medicinal purposes