With the legalization of cannabis across many states in the U.S., together with the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing the industrial cultivation of hemp, there’s a lot of confusion around when it comes to the differences between the two.
Some people call it pot, some call it weed, while others call it ganja. There are probably more than two dozen nicknames for this much loved and recently legalized plant, but some people don’t even know the striking differences between cannabis and hemp. However, probably the main reason it’s so important to know the differences between the two now is because of the rising popularity and rapidly ballooning market for CBD.
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a fairly recently isolated compound inside both cannabis and hemp plants which many people use medicinally. Unlike THC, the compound abundant in cannabis (but not hemp), CBD carries no psychoactive or disorienting (stoned) effects. It does, however, help many people suffering from anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and chronic pain, to name a few conditions CBD is considered effective for.
Cannabis is a flowering plant (although technically it’s a herb according to some) from the Cannabaceae family. This family consists of three main species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Due to decades of prohibition, the terminology became warped, and general terms were given to “weed” whether cannabis or hemp. As the era of legalization moves forward in leaps and bounds, patients, recreational users, doctors, and police officers are all equally confused as to which is which.
Let’s take a closer look at cannabis and hemp and understand the differences between them.