Ever since Canada legalized marijuana and CBD in 2018, many questions have surfaced from new users. One of the top questions asked – “What are the differences between cannabis vs marijuana vs hemp?”
It’s normal to be a bit confused, especially when the term cannabis can be used to describe so many things.
Cannabis is a plant that grows in many different climates, but marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants. One of the biggest distinctions between cannabis and hemp is that while marijuana has psychoactive properties (and can be smoked or eaten), hemp does not.
Many people in the cannabis community use these words interchangeably, but there are actually many differences between them.
In this article, we’ll look at what each of them means, and compare all three of them to each other.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that is made up of different species.
Three main subspecies fall under the cannabis genus: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Both marijuana and hemp can be classified as cannabis, but the two plants have different properties.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is what people typically think of when they hear “weed.”
Once grown, the flowers of the marijuana plant, called buds, are harvested and then consumed in several ways like smoking it, consuming it in edibles like cookies or gummies, or using it as cannabis oil.
The two main chemical compounds that marijuana contains are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These are called cannabinoids, and these plants will contain a wide variety of them.
Marijuana plants are typically very high in THC, while being lower in CBD.
THC gives weed its psychoactive properties; CBD helps with pain relief and other ailments without making you high.
What is Hemp?
Hemp has been around for centuries but was first used by ancient civilizations to make things such as paper, clothing, rope and more. It’s not only good for your skin but can be used as a renewable resource for many products, as well as in cooking.
Hemp is not the same as marijuana, but it is still considered cannabis. Hemp grows naturally very high in CBD and low in THC.
It is used to produce CBD oils and other CBD products, which has been shown to help with certain conditions such as epilepsy or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, chronic pain, acne, eczema, and much more.
The CBD hemp oils are made of high concentrations of CBD in pure form; It’s legal in Canada, but many people may still confuse hemp with its sister product: marijuana.
Marijuana is typically more potent than hemp when it comes to THC concentration; however, some strains on the market are now being grown specifically for medical purposes with lower THC contents.
The differences between CBD and THC
THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is more commonly associated with the mind-altering effects of cannabis; CBD has been linked to several medicinal benefits, including reducing anxiety, inflammation, nausea and chronic pain.
THC primarily interacts with CB1 receptors in the brain which are responsible for producing feelings of euphoria.
THC does have quite a few medicinal benefits, including reducing pain and nausea, and it has even been shown to help fight cancer cells.
Many people are turning more towards CBD for the benefits of cannabis, however, as it doesn’t produce a high in users.
Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System
There are over 100 different cannabinoids that are produced by the cannabis plant, each with its own unique effects on human biology.
Cannabinoids work synergistically with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a system of neurotransmitters that regulate how we experience pain, mood and anxiety levels every day.
The ECS also helps to maintain homeostasis for other systems in the body such as sleep patterns and digestive health.
CBD interacts primarily with CB receptors, called CB1 and CB2, found throughout the body instead of binding solely to brain cells as THC does.
Cannabinoids work by attaching themselves to receptors within the ECS and stimulating them to speed up or slow down various bodily processes.
For example, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stimulates the CB1 receptors in our brain, which can cause a euphoric effect by increasing our dopamine levels.
This makes us feel good as it alters how we experience pain, increases appetite, boosts moods and has other psychotropic effects on users.
Conclusion – Cannabis vs Marijuana vs Hemp
It’s important to remember that there are two types of cannabis, marijuana and hemp.
Both have their benefits but in different ways. Marijuana is much higher in THC, which gives the user a high feeling, while hemp lacks this effect.
If you’re looking for health benefits without the risk of the intoxicating effects of THC, CBD oil may be the best option for you.