Hemp vs Marijuana: What Are the Differences?

Modern scientists believe the earliest roots of the cannabis plant extend well beyond 10,000 years ago to the Altai Mountains in Central Asia. Mankind has found many uses for this plant since its initial cultivation.

The cannabis plant does not only have one purpose. Its many by-products fulfill many different functions for the modern human. Knowing the difference between hemp vs marijuana is the key to unlocking the potential of both.

Hemp is a versatile tool that has aided our species’ utilitarian development. Marijuana is a different by-product of the cannabis plant. It inspires artists, musicians, and enthusiasts across the globe. Read on to learn the difference. 

What Is Hemp?

Thomas Jefferson and most of America’s founding fathers grew hemp. But why would such high-prestige men grow this crop? The answer lies in the cannabis plants’ versatility.

Hemp, the raw fibers of the cannabis plant, was a crucial material for early colonists. Colonists crafted many different tools from it. Here are a few examples, many of which are still relevant to modern times.


Hemp rope is one of the toughest and cheapest types of rope, particularly in the maritime world. Considering most of the pre-industrial world was traveled via sailboat, hemp ropes did indeed make the world go round.

Even today, hemp rope plays an important part in our daily lives. Most modern ropes are made of hemp or other synthetic material. Hemp rope is in the organic wick you used to light your joint and on the Navy’s most recent ship.


Hemp clothing goes back to ancient times as hemp was one of the earliest crops cultivated by humans. Hemp clothing is fibrous and tough. One of the most common types of hemp clothing nowadays is the classic Baja hoodie.

Due to its fibrous nature, hemp clothing can be a bit itchy. That’s why many clothing manufactures line the inside of hemp clothing with cotton, wool, or other less abrasive materials for a more comfortable fit.


In addition to clothing, the fibers from hemp can be woven to create hemp cloth. In a historical context, hemp cloth was often used to make sails. Sometimes it was woven with other materials to increase its functionality.

Today hemp cloth makes all sorts of different blankets, tapestries, and other cloth items. Even shoes can be made of hemp cloth. It is a durable shoemaking material similar to canvas.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is the bi-product of the cannabis plant that has medicinal, relaxing, or psychoactive effects on those who consume it. Marijuana’s chemical composition contains hundreds of cannabinoids.

Some of these produce a mind-altering high, while others provide health benefits and relaxing effects. Scientists are just now beginning to understand the true extent of marijuana’s effects. Here are some different types of it.

THC Marijuana

THC is the active cannabinoid in marijuana that produces a “high” in the user. THC marijuana products are smoked, vaped, or eaten. THC enters the lungs or stomach and travels into the bloodstream. 

From there it interacts with the brain’s endocannabinoid system and produces a high. Three categories of marijuana are Sativas, Hybrids, and Indicas. Sativas produce an uplifting high, Indicas a relaxing one, and Hybrids a balanced one.

CBD Marijuana

CBD (cannabidiol) is another cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant. It does not get you high in the same way as THC but it does relax the user and provide some positive health effects. There is much debate about what these are.

Things such as reducing inflammation, cancer treatment, and pain alleviation have all been attributed to CBD. CBD marijuana is consumed in the same ways marijuana is through smoking, ingestion, or vaping.

Marijuana Concentrates

Marijuana comes in a raw plant form that can be processed into a variety of stronger concentrates. These products often have higher concentrations of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids hence their name.

Tinctures, vape cartridges, hash, hash oil, and dabs are all examples of concentrates made from marijuana. You can use tincture concentrates in the kitchen to produce a ton of different marijuana edibles as well.

Growing Hemp vs Marijuana

Both hemp and marijuana are products of the cannabis plant but growing each is a very different process. First of all, the seeds of marijuana plants have been selectively chosen by growers for their high THC/CBD contents and yields.

Seeds for hemp are selected for different properties. Growers choose them based on high yield properties and climatic resiliency. When growing marijuana male plants must be isolated from the females. This is not necessary for hemp.

Finding Hemp Guidelines

You can find raw hemp growing at many farms across the United States since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. This piece of legislation legalized hemp cultivation at the federal level and also legalized many CBD products.

You can find hemp products in stores across the nation. From clothing to blankets and shoes some of your local retailers are sure to have them. Find CBD products at specialty stores, supermarkets, or dispensaries.

Finding Marijuana Guidelines

Until the past decade or so your only option to find marijuana was to look on the black market and contact a drug dealer. Today there are a ton of medical and recreational dispensaries and even online stores where you can buy it.

Depending on what state you live in marijuana may still be illegal in the recreational or even medical context. Most states have medical marijuana however so setting up an appointment with a doctor is your best option.

Marijuana vs Hemp Know the Difference

Knowing the difference between hemp vs marijuana is very important. One is a substance that will alter your mind, the other is a versatile tool. If you smoke hemp all you will get is a sore throat unless it contains CBD.

The same can not be said for marijuana which will provide your brain and body with a ton of effects. If you are looking for a reputable source of marijuana or CBD marijuana, contact us today for your medical marijuana license.