A big question coming up nowadays is, what is the difference between hemp and cannabis?

Hemp seed and leaves

Well after digging thru many articles and research my opinion falls wit the Canadian explanation. Hemp is cannabis sativa that has less than .03% THC.
So all hemp is cannabis but all cannabis is not hemp! Hemp is a species of the genus cannabis.

Cannabis is a genus that contains basically three varieties. Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis.

Popular types of Cannabis

Cannabis Sativa, the most popular, is a tall thin plant with many buds that usually contain high cannabinoid properties such as THC and CBD. There are over 60 known cannabinoid compounds in cannabis plants. Hemp varieties Hence Marijuana is usually cannabis sativa. Cannabis Indica has less of both cannabinoids and usually higher in CBD and is shorter and bushier. Cannabis Ruderalis is the smallest variety, very low in THC and high in CBD. It is grown mostly for medicinal uses. It also is much hardier and grows well in adverse climates. Cannabis Sativa has been bred for thousands of years for thousands of uses. Cannabis Indica was discovered in India while Cannabis Ruderalis was discovered in Russia.



Industrial Hemp

Industrial Hemp as defined by Canada Health is Cannabis Sativa that has less than .03 % THC. In the USA industrial hemp is defined as that cannabis sativa with 0 THC. That is why it is still illegal to grow hemp of any kind in the USA except under special permit for research. An interesting side note here is that Schedule one marijuana is Cannabis Sativa specifically.

There are many rumors that go around about hemp being the male plant and cannabis the female or that cannabis is a drug and hemp is not that are just untrue. They both are the same plant with different qualities. This misunderstanding is due to the prohibition and improper classification of the plant. A 1976 study published by the International Association of Plant Taxonomy concluded “both hemp varieties and marijuana varieties are of the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis Sativa.

Industrial hemp is bred to be tall and thin and have low THC concentrations. It has many uses including oil, fuel, rope, clothing and food. Marijuana is cannabis sativa that is bred to have high THC concentrations in the oily resinous glands called trichromes, the psychoactive part that gets you high. So we see that human manipulation of the plants qualities can achieve widely varying results. Cannabis Sativa is the choice for Medicinal marijuana as it has high concentrations of the most useful compounds THC and CBD. The plant can be artificially manipulated to be higher in CBD and very low in THC. In the US most CBD oil is imported as it is extracted from industrial hemp.

hemp fields

The varied uses

Industrial hemp has so many uses it’s hard to describe all of them. It has been bred to be used as food, fiber and fuel. The 3 F’s of survival. Food, Fuel, Fiber.

hempuses chart


Hemp also is a much more practical source for paper. You get 4 times the pulp per acre of hemp than wood and you can harvest twice a year as opposed to years of maturity for wood. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted on hemp paper. Man has been using hemp for paper for 2 millennia. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that we started using wood. Hemp paper production uses less energy and doesn’t emit the over 2000 known harmful toxins that tree paper processing does.


Food derived from hemp is becoming more and more popular every day. Stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods abound with over 25000 different hemp products (an increase of over 300% in recent years) like seeds, oils, spreads and energy bars. Hemp in it’s natural form has the second highest amount of protein of any food, soy being the highest. Note that hemp protein is more like that found in our blood than soy protein so it is more easily digested and used.


Health and Beauty

The health and beauty industries are using hemp oils and particularly CBD oil in their products more and more. It has great moisturizing and replenishing properties. Hemp oil containshempoil in spoon gamma linoleic acids which are generally not present in oils but are very helpful to skin care and body maintenance. Hemp oil is a good source of GLA’s.


Hemp is also a great source for fuel. Hemp Biodiesel and Hemp Ethanol/Methanol. Vegetable oil is not a new idea at all. In 1895, Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed his combustion engine to run on peanut oils and later Henry Ford developed an engine to run on hemp biodiesel.

So you can see that the difference between hemp and cannabis really boils down to the fact they are in the same family. The real problem stems from the differences in marijuana and hemp. Which are both varieties of Cannabis Sativa. In our society we generally relate the term Cannabis with Marijuana.

The potential benefits of legalizing hemp are incredible.

Posted by ATTN: on Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Prohibition of Cannabis is slowly coming to an end and we can all help by learning and understanding the amazing properties of this plant. Understand what the difference between hemp and cannabis is. Stay informed, be proactive. You can make a difference. Sign up for my newsletter.

I really would like to hear your thoughts on these subjects. Leave a reply or comment or shoot me an email to dennis@usagreenrush.com.

Thanks for stopping by, Dennis Darragh
                                                Dennis Darragh            


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