Cannabis vs. Hemp

There is much more to know about cannabis and hemp than one would think. With the popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabis products on the rise, it’s important to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is why cannabis and hemp research and testing in a professional environment like Csalabs is vital to the medical industry and your safety. Read more about this leading lab in cannabis, hemp, and CBD testing here.

What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis, often referred to as marijuana or weed, is one of three species in the plant world. Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. The most commonly available variety is cannabis sativa, and hundreds of recreational strains are cultivated throughout the US. All three contain psychoactive properties, which means that cannabis affects the way your brain functions, thinks and feels. For this reason, cannabis is regulated.

The substances found in cannabis are referred to as cannabinoids, and the ones you need to know about the most are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. Both offer health benefits for treating certain medical conditions as part of a holistic health regime. The THC content in a cannabis plant determines whether you will get high from smoking or ingesting parts of this plant. It means that calling cannabis marijuana or weed is not wholly correct unless the strain of cannabis you are using will make you high. Read more about CBD regulation here.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is a type of cannabis sativa plant that won’t get you high because it doesn’t contain enough THC. A cannabis plant is considered hemp when it contains less than 0.3% THC. This seemingly arbitrary figure was first determined in 1979.

That is not to say that hemp is useless; it is a valuable crop. Hemp seeds are nutritious and offer a great plant-based source of protein, while hemp oil is good for acne, among other things. You can read more about the uses of hemp here.

Cannabis Versus Hemp in a Nutshell

Your main takeaway should be that hemp is a cannabis plant that does not contain enough THC to alter your mind significantly. In contrast, cannabis plants that contain enough THC are often called marijuana or weed and get you high and are regulated. Both have medicinal and/or nutritional value and many cannabinoid compounds, but the two we know most about are THC and CBD. For more information on various CBD products, visit