The Cannabis Plant
The cannabis plant is known to possess some wonderful therapeutic potentials capable of eliciting one or more medicinal benefits to man. This plant was used in ancient Roman and Chinese medicine for wound healing, menstrual disorder, seizures and tapeworm infection. The plant is made up of three important species which differ based on their growth pattern, and the concentration of plant-based chemicals. The plant is sub-divided into two broad categories, known as hemp and marijuana or cannabis.
In an early attempt to differentiate between the two categories, most people believe that marijuana comes from the female plant while hemp is derived from the male plant. In some cases, the classification was based on the fact that marijuana is a drug while hemp is not. Although these differences may not be wrong, it is clear that it was focused on the wrong criteria. Let’s take a look at each category and its specific characteristics.
The Hemp Plant
This is a class of cannabis plants cultivated primarily for industrial purposes only. Its low concentration of THC makes it a choice plant for the extraction and production of CBD products. Apart from serving as a raw material for the CBD industry, hemp is also a good raw material for the building materials, clothing, composite materials, cordage, cosmetic, food industries, paper, plastic, and textile industry.
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The Marijuana Plant
Cannabis, or marijuana, is a drug derived from the cannabis plant. It has been widely utilized for both medicinal and recreational properties. It has a high THC content which makes it not too suitable for the production of CBD based products. It contains more than 483 different compounds with the cannabinoids as the most active compounds. The THC is the component that causes people to feel “high.”
Differences between Hemp and Marijuana
The common differences between marijuana and hemp have been summarized below…
Hemp is more of an industrial plant than cannabis. It produces the toughest fiber in the world. Information gathered from the research reveals that scientists are presently exploring the possibilities of biofuel extraction from the hemp plant. The bulk of marijuana is channeled into medicinal and recreational use.
b. Growth pattern
Unlike hemp plants, marijuana produces flowers; thus the reason why it is often known as the female plant. Hemp plants are a product of several years of crossbreeding cannabis plant to eliminate the possible presence of THC. Hemp plants grow faster, taller and hardier than marijuana and may require a controlled environment for proper growth and development.
c. The concentration of CBD
As stated earlier, the hemp plant contains a higher concentration of CBD than marijuana; hence, the reason why it is legal in several parts of the world. Many farmers are starting to develop specialized strains of hemp solely for the purpose of growing a highly medicinal product.
d. Effects on the body
The high concentration of THC in the cannabis plant makes it a good source of psychoactive THC. This may interfere with brain activity and cognitive functions or even get the user high. Hemp produces little to no side effects on users.
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