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Hemp vs Cannabis: What is the Difference Between these Weed Plants?

When it comes to hemp vs weed, misconceptions always seem to come abound. A lot of people lump both together, despite them having wildly different properties. While one is legal and used on an industrial scale for its fibres and other derivatives, the other is still fighting the battle for legalization and is best known for is psychoactive qualities.

Hemp has long suffered an image problem due to the illegal nature of cannabis, but it is being rehabilitated slowly as people are starting to come to realise the medicinal power of CBD which is found in in this plant.

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By the end of this article, you will be an expert on this subject and you will be able to identify the distinct differences between these weed and hemp. Another added bonus is that you will know more about your rights as a weed user because as I just said one of them is legal. 

Same Plant Different Strains

Is hemp the same thing as weed? Genetically speaking, both of these are the same cannabis plant, or at least different strains of the same plant. This all comes back to the long history of domesticated cannabis. For thousands of years humans have farmed these cannabis seeds for their useful fibres and medicinal extracts, slowly but surely domesticating and modifying them to better serve human purposes.

Over time, a strain of the plant that had much stronger psychoactive properties was created due to the selection of those with a higher  content. This is where hemp and weed split off from each other, with the less psychoactive of the two being somewhat forgotten in the process.

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Recently however, it has seen a resurgence as more and more attention is being paid to the non psychoactive compound which has found wide application as a medicinal supplement. CBD oil is being increasingly used for medicinal purposes because it does not give the feeling of a ‘high’ that is associated with THC.

The confusion between hemp and cannabis are still causing a lot misunderstandings, which is why we will look at the differences in depth.

Hopefully, you will soon understand the differences between the effects of each flower and will be able to make the right choice of product for your situation.

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Weed?

As mentioned already, both types are actually just strains of the same plant. This really does bear repeating though as after years of misinformation the waters have been muddied on this topic.

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Some people even claim that hemp is just the male plant which is completely false. The official scientific name of this massively useful organism is Cannabis Sativa and all the other words we use to refer to it are cultural rather than scientific in nature. We separate the different strains mostly on the effect they have on us which is caused by two compounds: THC and CBD.

Those that have a higher concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol give us the traditional ‘high’ feeling and are cultivated for buds or oils that have a high concentration of this compound. In common terms, this is what we refer to as weed.

The benefits of weed

Couple Getting High

Of course the effect of providing a high, this has also led to the criminalisation of this particular strain, which has only started being reversed in recent years. Due to the high that it gives, this strain is easily the most well known and popular of the two.

The benefits of marijuana include:

  • Psychoactive Properties: The headline benefit is the psychoactive properties which give you that feeling of being high.
  • Calming: Many people find the calming and sleep promoting qualities of this strain particularly beneficial.
  • Medicinal: Many people with chronic illnesses have found the calming and pain reduction of THC particularly helpful in managing their illnesses.

THe side effects

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THC is not without side effects though and weed use is known to have the following disadvantages:

  • Anxiety: Unfortunately, it can cause feelings of anxiety which can exacerbate underlying conditions.
  • Hunger: Using products with a high concentration are likely to cause hunger, which could potentially lead to weight gain.

The Benefits of Hemp

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Can you get high off hemp? Research has found that this plant seems to have high concentrations of CBD instead of THC has a completely different set of effects. The difference between the two is actually phenomenal, because they almost look identical. These plants were not first cultivated for their cannabinoids though, instead, they were used for its tough fibres.

It quickly became evident that though you would not get a ‘high’ from smoking it, there were other medicinal benefits. Cannabidiol, in a concentrated form has a whole host of positive benefits that has made this oil very popular.

Just some of these benefits include:

  • Hunger Suppression: This compound actively suppresses your appetite, which has been found to help people lose weight.
  • Anxiety Reduction: For those who suffer anxiety, this oil can help to reduce these feelings and improve quality of life.
  • Anti-Depressant: Some studies have shown this product to have a positive impact on those who suffer from depression.
  • No High: The key benefit of this compound is that you can use it medicinally and avoid the ‘high’ caused by THC.

As far as negatives, there really are none to speak of. Some people have reported headaches caused by the extract, but such cases are quite rare. Just a quick note, we've reviewed a bunch of these products on a different page. 

So, Which Should You Choose?

Whether you use cannabis oil or CBD hemp oil is really down to the desired effect that you are looking for. Although it does pay to remember that these products with THC are still not legal in some states. If you are primarily after a high, then you have to go for cannabis oil, as CBD simply cannot give you this effect as the percentage of THC is miniscule in these products. Not that you know what is the difference between hemp and cannabis, it's a lot easier to navigate what kind of strain you need for your particular needs. 

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However, if you are looking towards cannabis as a medicinal herb, then maybe this product could be exactly what you are looking for. Hemp CBD oil has the full range of medicinal effects without any of the unwanted side effects. A lot of people always worry if they can get high from CBD hemp oil. Probably the most exciting of which is the appetite suppression, which is a game changer for anyone who is struggling with weight loss.

Now that I've clarified the million dollar question, "does hemp oil get you high?" you now know it's perfectly safe to use. For a 100% easy to use, natural and powerful medicinal product, it is hard to look past it, because it is already legal in a number of states due to the low percentage of THC and could really change your life if you suffer from depression, anxiety or need some help to lose weight.

​If you want to learn more about the benefits and effects of CBD oil then check out our complete guide right here.


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