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Cannabis, Marijuana, and Hemp | Terminology

If you are new to the world of cannabis and cannabis products you've probably heard these terms floating around.

But what do they mean?

The term "Cannabis" refers to a group of three plants known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

Industrial hemp plants are the same species as marijuana plants (which are both still cannabis plants), but they don't produce a substance called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). This is the precursor to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Hemp plants fail to produce this substance because they lack a gene that makes an enzyme to produce THCA.

In contrast, marijuana plants do produce THCA but don't create much of a substance called cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), which occurs in abundance in hemp but competes with THCA for raw materials. Thus, hemp is rich in non-psychoactive CBDA, while marijuana contains THC which users require to experience the psychoactive effects.

Long story short, legally Hemp refers to Cannabis plants that contain in dry weight less than 0.3% THC in the United States, less than 0.2% in the European Union, and 0% in the United Kingdom. Leaving the term Marijuana for any Cannabis plant containing higher levels of THC.

Legal or not, the term "Marijuana" is still under debate because it is a term that was used to vilify the plant during the 1970's war on drugs. This is why we at Best Buds refer to it as cannabis in an educational setting and/or weed if we are being a little more informal.

Let's talk more about hemp. Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa. It is also a dioecious plant, which means it can be separated into male and female plants. These plants have served a wide variety of purposes for more than 10,000 years.

And yes, you can smoke it!

Although smoking hemp won't produce the same psychoactive results as smoking THC-producing cannabis strains, you can experience the effects of other cannabinoids like CBD though this process. Although CBD edibles are easily accessible, smoking hemp will allow you to experience the effects almost instantaneously.

Some other uses for hemp include:

  • clothing

  • textiles

  • building materials - particleboard, ceiling tiles, etc

  • rope

  • paper

  • bedding materials

  • absorbents

  • compost

  • protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, omegas

  • cosmetics

  • printer ink

  • detergents

  • tea

  • beer

  • utensils

  • beauty products - shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, etc.

And so many more!


How is Hemp Grown?

As states:

"While marijuana cultivation requires ample spacing to reduce the risk of mold or bacteria, hemp can be planted more densely. Most marijuana crops are planted with one plant per 4 square feet. Hemp plants that are grown for oil are planted at roughly 40 to 60 plants per 4 square feet. Those grown for fibre are even more densely planted at a rate of about 100 to 120 plants per 4 square feet.

Hemp plants are almost always cultivated outdoors, as opposed to marijuana plants, which are often planted in greenhouses or indoor grow operations. Because hemp is susceptible to the same predators, diseases, and insects that attack marijuana, many cultivators employ a technique called crop rotation, in which alternating crops are planted in the same place, to avoid any buildup of these organisms and to allow nutrients to return to the soil."

As you can see hemp is not only sustainable but incredibly functional. With laws around cannabis production changing throughout the world, hemp products are becoming more readily available.

Here's hoping we continue down the path of sustainability by introducing more hemp products into our every day lives!

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