What Is The Difference Between Hemp And Cannabis?

  1. Hemp and Cannabis in Nature
  2. The Legal Definition of Hemp vs Cannabis
  3. The Farm Bill Loophole
  4. Cultivating Hemp and Cannabis

Hemp and Cannabis in Nature

When growing naturally, there is no true difference between Hemp and Cannabis. Both of these words describe a species of plants that fall into the classification of Cannabis sativa. While it’s true that today, hemp and cannabis are cultivated for different reasons, it is simply a result of legal classification that we have the two separate words to begin with. The only certain difference between the two based on today’s legal standards is that hemp contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, and Cannabis contains more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.

The Legal Definition of Hemp vs Cannabis

In 2018 the US Federal Government passed the current version of The Farm Bill, which is a set of laws and regulations covering a wide array of topics related to agriculture and the trade of agricultural goods both domestically and internationally. While this is something traditionally done every 5 years, what made 2018 different was that this version of the Farm Bill contained a provision that legally defined Hemp. As this definition states, any cannabis product containing less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC would be classified as a federally legal hemp product and that it would not be subject to traditional cannabis laws and regulations. This created a legal framework for hemp farmers to operate within the US to produce hemp goods as well as CBD and other minor cannabinoid products.

The Farm Bill Loophole

Since this definition was established in 2018, a lot has changed within the hemp industry. While many would argue that this legal definition was reached in order to provide wider access to CBD and hemp textile production, it has also allowed for the legal production and sale of psychoactive hemp derivatives such as Delta 8 THC and HHC, which are converted from legal CBD and do not contain more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. There are a number of additional minor cannabinoids involved in this conversation such as CBN and CBG, and the topic is heavily debated and legislated upon on a fairly ongoing basis.

Cultivating Hemp and Cannabis

As it stands, cultivation of these two legally defined plants happens for separate reasons. Cannabis is produced almost entirely for human consumption. These plants are bred for high THC content and are almost always meant to be enjoyed by smoking or vaporizing, or perhaps turned into concentrated oils or edible products.

Alternatively, Hemp is cultivated widely for use in textiles and building materials, and of course for the extraction of large quantities of CBD. With the CBD extracted, it can be used in a variety of consumable and topical CBD products. This CBD can also be further converted into a long list of minor cannabinoids like Delta 8 THC and HHC, which are often used to make federally compliant edible and vape products that offer similar experiences to traditional cannabis products.

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