Hemp and Marijuana are as different as a river and an ocean. The term ‘Hemp’ commonly refers to the industrial/commercial use of the Cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents, plastics and building materials. The term ‘marijuana’ refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers.
Hemp is grown in rows one to two inches apart. The plants are grown very close together and shoot up toward the sky till they are taller than full grown men. They have a woody core and are stiff and hard to walk through. Marijuana on the other hand is grown with lots of room to bush out. You want 18″ or more worth of space between the marijuana bushes. You want them to have lots of low branches (something that doesn’t happen on hemp), leaves, and soft flexible stems. These growing methods encourage THC development, making it better for use as a drug.
Generally, THC-producing marijuana plants grow to an average of five feet in height. Industrial hemp on the other hand is grown to a height of ten to fifteen feet before harvest.
Cannabis plants contain unique compounds called cannabinoids. Current research has revealed over 60 different cannabinoids so far, but THC is the most well known. THC is credited with causing the marijuana high.
Marijuana plants contain high levels of THC, hemp contains very little of the psychoactive chemical. Hemp plants produce more CBD than THC, while marijuana produces more THC than CBD. Interestingly, research has shown that CBD acts to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, separating hemp further from marijuana.