Before diving in, a key component of this conversation is a crucial vocabulary word you'll see when researching hemp: phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids are the primary chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant. The two most well known phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD.
To get started, let's clarify some common points of confusion between hemp and marijuana.
Some common questions about hemp vs. marijuana:
Hemp is psychoactive, right? No.
Hemp and marijuana are in the cannabis family, so that makes them the same? No.
Do I need a medical marijuana card to buy hemp extract with CBD? No.
Are the plant chemicals identical in marijuana and hemp? No.
Hemp vs. Marijuana Breakdown
Let’s shed some light on these incredible and controversial plants:
- Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis and contain phytocannabinoids. Phyto means “plant.” Humans and all mammals produce what are known as endocannabinoids. Endomeans “within.” These compounds are key players in normal immune and central nervous system function. Hemp’s phytocannabinoids work with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a vast receptor system that helps support homeostasis and health.*
- Marijuana has > 0.3% THC (the only phytocannabinoid that gets you "high").
- Hemp has < 0.3% THC and is not psychoactive.
- Marijuana is most often associated with THC and hemp extract is often associated with CBD, a health & wellness phytocannabinoid.