What is the Difference between Hemp and Cannabis?

March 1, 2019

What is the Difference between Hemp and Cannabis?

Many people think cannabis and hemp are the same, but that is not correct. Certain things distinguish one from the other. In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between hemp and cannabis (marijuana) and why medical marijuana doctors are on the increase these days as well.

Marijuana is different from hemp in its cultivation, function, and application. Hemp and marijuana also serve different purposes. For instance, medical marijuana doctors use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes.

But hemp is used in a variety of applications – which marijuana cannot withstand – such as in skin products, dietary supplements, accessories, and clothing. Research has shown that hemp can – and has – been used in more than 25,000 applications worldwide.

Cannabis (Marijuana) vs. Hemp

Environment for Cultivation

The environments in which cannabis and hemp are grown or bred are incredibly different. For instance, cannabis – or marijuana – is produced in an environment that is carefully controlled, i.e., it needs a humid and warm atmosphere to thrive well. The growth cycle of marijuana is 60-90 days. Furthermore, medical marijuana can’t be grown close together but are grown at least six feet apart.

Hemp can be grown close together – at least four inches apart – and are bred in large plots. It can also be cultivated in different climates and has a growth cycle of 108-120 days.

Typically, marijuana is never cultivated close to a hemp field or else, hemp pollen will ruin the marijuana plant, thereby diluting its psychoactivity and effectiveness.


Hemp has skinny-looking leaves that are somewhat concentrated in the upper section. Only a few leaves or branches exist beneath the apex of the plant. It also typically looks taller and can grow up to 20 feet.

But marijuana looks different; it is a plant with broad leaves or tight buds, much like a short, fat bush. The difference between industrial hemp and medical marijuana is contrastingly clear when you compare one farm with the other.

Chemical Composition

This is where the main difference lies between marijuana and hemp, especially when it comes to the chemical composition of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major constituent or chemical that is responsible for the psychological effects of marijuana.

A batch of marijuana, on average, contains anything from 5% to 20% THC content. Premium marijuana contains up to 30%. Orlando marijuana doctors and others are therefore cautious when it comes to administering marijuana-laden medication to patients unless they have undergone proper screening and tests that show they need this type of medication.

The maximum THC level in industrial hemp is approximately 0.3%, thus making it virtually impossible for anyone to get “high” or feel any psychoactive effects. Even countries that have legalized the use of hemp still ensure heavy regulation is in place to maintain the threshold of THC in hemp.

Hemp also has a high concentration of CBD (cannabidiol) which is THC’s antagonist or neutralizer, thus rendering even the trace amounts of THC present in hemp virtually useless.

There you have it: we hope this article has cleared the air about the difference between hemp and cannabis. So, the next time you hear about these terms or what medical marijuana doctors are doing with cannabis, you will know which one is used for therapeutic purposes or dietary supplements.

We hope you enjoyed the article, if you have any questions or are interested in seeing a marijuana doctor in your area, please contact us or visit our website to get started today.