Hemp vs Marijuana

To the untrained eye, it is next to impossible to find a single difference between marijuana and hemp, and understandably so, as they both look identical, have the same smell, and have a similar taste.

Moreover, both of them have sticky crystal-shaped trichomes along with round bulging heads attached on top of the buds.

If they are so identical, how exactly can one distinguish one from the other? Such questions are understandable and extremely normal to have in one’s mind.

While the answer to this question is fairly simple and straightforward, just the sheer amount of misinformation on the internet is enough to understandably confuse anybody.

However, if you are willing to know a clear-cut answer, you are at the right place. Through this article, I will mention some clear distinctions between hemp and marijuana and hopefully clear the air around this question.


So What Is Hemp? 

Cannabis that contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC is often termed “Hemp”. Cannabis plants that are harvested for industrial purposes by three major markets including, fiber, oil, and seed are often referred to as “industrial hemp”.

The term “Hemp” is also commonly used to describe whether cannabis is psychotropic or whether it is not. Although hemp does contain the Delta-8 THC compound in some amounts, it’s not nearly enough to cause any psychotropic effects on humans.

So hemp is popular for having rich amounts of CBD and its inability to have any psychotropic effects on humans.


What Is Marijuana? 

Unlike hemp, cannabis that contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC is often termed as “Marijuana”. A cannabis plant that has the ability to cause a mind-altering or psychotropic effect on humans is often termed “Marijuana”


The Difference Between Marijuana And Hemp

Even though they look, taste, smell, and are pretty much the same product, the sheer amounts of Delta-9 THC are the major distinguishing factor between the two.

For example, if a raw cannabis flower contains 0.5% Delta-9 THC, it is classified as “marijuana” by the Government. On the other hand, if it has less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is classified as “industrial hemp” by the government.


How Are They Grown:

While they’re both harvested for completely different purposes, marijuana, as well as hemp, are more or less grown the same way, albeit, they both rely on completely different conditions and circumstances to grow.

For example, growers often choose to keep the plant indoors during its crucial stages where they maintain different conditions such as temperature, lighting, humidity, and environment to appropriate levels in order to produce female plants with budding flowers.

However, hemp does not require the same level of care and attention so it is completely fine to grow them outdoors.

These plants should not be allowed to cross-pollinate because if they do so, they might end up producing a higher yield of Delta-9 THC compounds, in order to avoid this, farmers need to give utmost care and attention to not let that happen.

If by some or the other way, the plants end up cross-pollinating, it could cost the farmer millions of dollars because under no circumstances should the Delta-9 THC content be more than 0.03%, if it crosses said mark, the product will no longer be considered legal.


The Entourage Effect:

When active cannabis compounds are introduced or combined with inactive compounds they significantly enhance or increase the activity of the inactive compounds, this phenomenon is known as the Entourage Effect.

The two compounds, instead of being solely dependent on the isolated compound, are combined with each other with complete synergy in the Endocannabinoid System in order to increase the effects significantly.

Simply put, instead of consuming insanely large quantities of a single isolated product, just to achieve the same result, the cannabinoids inside a full spectrum hemp product (containing all cannabinoids without any type of extraction or isolation whatsoever) work with each other in order to deliver a greater effect.


The Relation Between Delta-8 And THC

Even though most of the information that we have regarding the Entourage Effect is based on combining the Delta-9 THC variant along with other terpenes and cannabinoids. It should not come off as a surprise to you that the Delta-8 THC works in the exact same way due to the many similarities between them.

Just the molecular resemblance between both Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is suggestive of the fact that there is a strong relationship between them.

They have also been known to deliver many of the same characteristics and effects that they deliver. Hence with all the knowledge that we have yet, we can safely conclude that the Delta–8

THC can initiate enhanced effects when combined in an Entourage Effect rather than consumed as an isolate.


Introduction To Terpenes

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in the hemp plant, they also exist in various other plants as well. While we are well aware of the existence of cannabinoids in hemp plants, they also contain traceable amounts of terpenes them.

There are more than 20,000 types of terpenes of which the hemp plant alone is responsible for producing more than 100,

The most commonly found terpenes found in cannabis are Alpha & Beta-Pinene, Camphene, Alpha-Bisabolol, Caryophyllene, Limonene, Terpineol, Humulene, Eucalyptol, Linalool, Myrcene, etc.


Why Delta-8 THC Is More Effective Than Terpenes?

The reason why the Delta-8 THC is much more effective than terpenes is simply that terpenes can be used to both enhance or counteract the flaws of Delta-8 THC.

According to Dr. Ethan Russo (Neurologist and pharmacologist currently studying various cannabis compounds)  when a person’s memory is compromised due to THC, Pinene helps to counteract the compromised memory.

Aside from terpenes, there are a number of terpenes that when combined with Delta-8 THC further enhances and boost its powerful and effective benefits.