Difference between Hemp & Marijuana

Industrial Hemp and Marijuana technically comes from the same species of plant -Cannabis Sativa, but it is from a different variety or subspecies.


However, since the 1950s hemp has been lumped into the same category of marijuana, and thus the extremely versatile crop was doomed in the United States.  


Industrial Hemp has low THC levels (the ingredient that makes one high), compared to marijuana specifically cultivated for personal psychoactive use.


Whereas marijuana that can be smoked usually contains between five and ten percent THC, industrial hemp contains about one-tenth of that.  

The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant.  


Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, and therefore lacks the primary components that forms the marijuana high.  

Furthermore, industrial hemp has concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction.

Further Differences:

Industrial hemp variety has a much stronger fibre.  

This fibre can be used in anything from rope and blankets to paper.


 Marijuana fibra has a low tensile strength and will break or shred easily, making it a poor fibrous plant when compared to industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp also grows differently than marijuana: 

Hemp is typically grown upwards, not outwards, because the focus is not on producing buds but on producing length of stalks.  

In this way, hemp is a very similar crop to bamboo.

The stalk contains the fibre and hard, woody core material that can be used for a variety of purposes, even carpentry.

THC-producing marijuana plants are grown to an average of five feet in height, whilst industrial hemp on the other hand is grown to a height of ten to fifteen feet before harvest (generally).

Also, it is fairly difficult to grow concealed marijuana within industrial hemp crops as the DEA* alleges.

Since industrial hemp is grown so close together and is generally a very narrow, vertical growth crop, any THC-producing marijuana would stick out like a sore thumb.  Its wide growth would require a large amount of space to itself in order to get adequate sunlight from beyond the tops of the competing industrial hemp plants.

The two also differ in the areas that they can be effectively grown.  

THC-producing marijuana must be grown in generally warm and humid environments in order to produce the desired quantity and quality of THC-containing buds.  

However, since industrial hemp does not contain these buds and the hardy parts of the plant are the more desired, it can be grown in a wider range of areas.

Generally, industrial hemp grows best on fields that provide high yields for corn crops.

Furthermore, since industrial hemp can use male plants as well as female plants (since the object is not THC production), higher crop yields can result.

Hemp also has little potential to produce high-content THC when pollinated.

As long as industrial hemp plants are pollinated by members of their own crop, then the genetics will remain similar with low levels of THC.

One would have to place several marijuana plants in close vicinity in over several generations in order to alter the genetics substantially of the offspring.


Since there are so many differences between industrial hemp and THC-marijuana, it seems to make sense that it would be a fostered, rather than demonized crop.


For a crop that has little-to-no potential to get people high, the current attitude is both irresponsible and draconian.

Industrial hemp could transform the economy GLOBALLY

in a positive and beneficial way and

     therefore should be exploited to its full potential!

Source: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/91602/differences_between_industrial_hemp.html?cat=37 (with some adjustments)

*DEA: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the U.S.Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States.





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