Within the cannabis market, the terms marijuana and hemp are commonplace. Despite all the mainstream attention this subject has received, many still ask “what is hemp?”.
Distinguishing between marijuana and hemp is crucial to understanding today’s cannabis legislation. Both of these plant varieties are of the same species, Cannabis sativa L. They are both subspecies: and as such, they share many traits. The defining factor between marijuana and hemp is the content of a plant compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This compound is exclusive to the cannabis plant species. THC is a psychotropic compound which has many useful attributes. Marijuana is famous for its high THC content ranging from 7%-28%. Hemp, however, contains under 0.3% THC.
In reality, hemp was brought over to this continent as early as the 1600’s. Hemp was used in war efforts all the way up to the 1930’s. The government requested its production at a high rate, even granting military immunity to farmers who were able to produce the crop. The items crafted by hemp ranged from fiber, cloth, and plastics. In modern times the hemp plant has been discovered as a vital source of paper and biomass fuel. This sustainable crop can create all kinds of novel products to help deal with the looming environmental issues of our times.
The THC compound we mentioned above is known as a cannabinoid. Within the hemp plant itself, there are over 100 phytocannabinoids or plant-cannabinoids. CBD is one of these phytocannabinoids. Cannabidiol, the full name for CBD, has become quite popular as a natural supplement. These CBD products, despite their association to marijuana, have no psychotropic potential. This gentle compound has many qualities and applications. Other phytocannabinoids are often contained in both CBD and marijuana products. CBD products can include a broad spectrum of useful phytocannabinoid compounds such as CBN and CBG.