I Used To Think Hemp And Marijuana Were The Same Stuff Until I Read This

Bob Marley smoking weed

One thing you can’t hide about marijuana is its unmistaken aroma. It pervades the atmosphere, soaks into your sweat and clothes. You just can’t hide the smell if you are a user.

Marijuana or cannabis,  locally referred to as Igbo, weewee, pot, weed, ganja, kaya (Jamaican), is often mistakenly referred to as HEMP. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis sativa plant used primarily for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is one of the 483 known compounds in the plant. It totally blew my mind to discover that marijuana and hemp are completely different.

Bob Marley smoking weed

Bob Marley smoking weed

So much has been said about marijuana. Bob Marley extolled its quality of getting you high. So many musicians do ascribe their creativity to the use of ‘ganja’. But I’ve always thought that hemp was just another name for weed.

Hemp vs marijuana

Hemp vs marijuana

Hemp and marijuana are varieties of Cannabis sativa. While they actually look and smell alike, they are chemically and structurally different. Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest-growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago. 



Structurally, hemp grows tall and strong. Marijuana on the other hand has flowers that have psychotropic and euphoric effects when smoked.

The major difference is the levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp has as little as 0.3% to no THC, while marijuana contains 5 to 20% THC. 

It must be emphasized that despite the notoriety of marijuana, hemp is actually a very useful plant. Check out some of its usefulness to man.

1. Natives of Taiwan may have been the first to use hemp.

Archaeologists found pottery bearing impressions of the cannabis cord while unearthing a Stone Age Taiwanese village dated to 12000 years ago.

2. Hemp will not get you high, but it may give you a headache.

Hemp contains just 0.3 percent of THC, the chemical that causes feelings of euphoria. If you ingest hemp seeds with the hopes of getting high, sorry o! You might just end up with a headache instead.

Man smoking marijuana

Man smoking marijuana

3. Hemp is a laxative.

You might also prepare for some toilet time due to its strong laxative property. Studies have shown that hemp seeds have significant constipation-curing qualities.

Hemp is a strong laxative

Hemp is a strong laxative

4. Hemp is an industrial raw material 

The North American Industrial Hemp Council estimates that hemp can be used to make more than 25,000 products, from the paper pages of Bibles to building materials for homes. Here is a list of products made from hemp:

I. Clothing materials for swaddling infants and covering the bodies of the dead which were mentioned in the sacred Confucian texts known as the “Book of Rites”.

ii. Common household items can be made with hemp, from birdseed to ice cream. Handbags and bath products are also among many items made from hemp. 

iii. The hemp fiber has long been valued for its strength and versatility. The fibers were used to make rope, boat caulking, and sails during the time of the Vikings. The word canvas can be traced back to Greek cannabis and Latin cannabis, or hemp.

iv. Historians claim America’s first flags were made of hemp cloth.

v. Henry Ford fashioned a car panel from a plastic derived from straw, pine, hemp, and ramie in order to help farmers during the Great Depression.

Hemp is used to make many products

Hemp is used to making many products

vi. Hemp oil penetrates better than linseed oil, which makes it a better industrial lubricant.

5. Hemp seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids 

Hemp seed contains a nutrient also found in breast milk. The Oil found in hemp seed is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a nutritious unsaturated fatty acid, which is also found in breast milk.

In addition to GLA, the hemp seed oil is packed with other omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, making it a healthier alternative to many other vegetable oils, Ambrose told PBS NewsHour.

Hemp seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids

Hemp seeds contain unsaturated fatty acids

6. Leftover hemp stalks can be used to store energy

A team of scientists led by David Mitlin at the University of Alberta made a supercapacitor, an energy storage device, out of leftover hemp.

While supercapacitors store less energy than regular batteries, they can be charged in a shorter amount of time and deliver that energy in a speedier fashion.

7. Hemp is a great source of Cannabidiol (CBD)

This is a compound that helps relieve anxiety, arthritis, stress, and other conditions. Hemp-derived CBD sales in the United States reached $190 million last year, and one report projects the CBD oil market will reach $1 billion by 2020.

Hemp gets a lot of hype over CBD products such as oils, supplements, and vapes. Although CBD can come from marijuana, too, it’s simpler for companies to use hemp-derived CBD because the extract is now legal in all states in the US.

Hemp is a great source of cannabidiol CBD

Hemp is a great source of cannabidiol CBD

Final Word

Hemp has always been mistakenly treated like marijuana for decades. Since 1970, it has been classified as a schedule 1 drug on the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances, alongside heroin, LSD, and marijuana, but a new bill in the US has taken hemp off that list.

Totally stoned

Totally stoned

So for all you crack heads who love getting high on weed, now you know why after a snort of your beloved weed you don’t get high, instead, you get a nasty headache. Probably you just had a sniff of hemp.

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17 thoughts on “I Used To Think Hemp And Marijuana Were The Same Stuff Until I Read This

  1. Kord Blog

    I should laugh at myself because it’s the first time I hear about this “Hemp” thing. Can anyone differentiate Hemp from Marijuana By only seeing leaves?

    1. Anthony Garland Post author

      I got the same feeling too, bro. Like, okay it’s when I smoke it and I don’t get high, right? Then it’s hemp? But I’ve never smoked before, so how can I tell?


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