hemp seeds vs weed

Hemp seeds vs weed

The history of cannabis has been a turbulent one, and one that still faces confusion and misunderstanding. Due to how closely related the plants are, the government outlawed hemp and hemp seeds at the same time marijuana was made illegal. Cannabis was an early target of the “War on Drugs” in the 1970’s, and led to the misconception around hemp, lumping both hemp and marijuana into the same conversation.

If you thought hemp and marijuana were the same thing – you are not alone. When it comes to understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana, it can get a little confusing and details are often improperly explained. With a greater amount of hemp products in the market, from supplements to beauty products, it is important to understand the exact nature of what you are buying. We aim to deconstruct this confusion and explain to you what hemp really is and dive a little into the history of cannabis, so that you can choose wisely and confidently.

Does Hemp Have THC?

Hemp is incredibly versatile and the entire hemp plant can be used in a myriad of ways . Follow along as we deconstruct some of the most popular uses of hemp.

A Brief History of Cannabis

One of the most common uses is hemp seed oil, which is full of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. You can use hemp seed oil in salad dressings and other cold dishes – we don’t recommend using it for cooking as it has a very low smoking point.

Hemp seeds vs weed

Hemp stalks are processed through decorticating, a multistep method for removing the long fibers from the rest of the plant. This can involve field retting, a process in which the plants are cut and laid out in the field for four to six weeks. During this time, any bacteria on the plant’s surface will break down the outer layer of the stalk. The retted stalks are then dried.

Many countries differentiate hemp from marijuana by the amount of THC produced by the plant. In the US, industrial hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa L. that does not contain more than 0.3% THC. The European Union has set the limit at 0.2%, while in the UK the limit is zero, unless growers have a cultivation license to grow industrial hemp with no more than 0.2% THC.

Hemp seeds

In the US, industrial hemp is defined as Cannabis sativa L. that does not contain more than 0.3% THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Depending on the desired final product, hemp cultivars are chosen based on several factors, including:

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There’s the added bonus of increased bioavailability. Through the act of inhalation, your bloodstream absorbs CBD much faster than it would after eating an edible or using a tincture under your tongue. Your body will also have access to a lot more of the CBD in the smoke or vapor when it’s inhaled. When consumed, a CBD edible goes through the digestive tract, and some of the potency is lost in the process.

Hemp seeds vs weed

However, the earliest written reference to cannabis use for medicinal use was back in 1500 BC in Ancient China.

Cannabis indica (<em>C. indica</em>)

Both hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD products and marijuana-derived products, on the whole, are incredibly beneficial, simply because they carry a whole arsenal of plant compounds, including CBD, THC, minor cannabinoids (CBN, CBC, CBG), terpenes (linalool, limonene, etc), and flavonoids.

Legality

“I treat patients with both hemp and marijuana CBD products and I couldn’t say one is more effective than the other. I can concur that most of my patients find that having THC, even the 0.3% found in hemp-derived CBD products, more effective than products with 0% THC”, adding, “I do believe, however, that CBD-rich marijuana extracts offer greater therapeutic value than full-spectrum hemp CBD, as it pertains to specific medical conditions”.