The Difference Between Marijuana And Hemp

“That is not a drug. It’s a leaf.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger

In A Nutshell

Hemp and marijuana both come from the same species of plant—cannabis. However, hemp is generally harvested from a subspecies of the Cannabis genus, which, unlike marijuana, has virtually no psychoactive properties. Hemp varieties are grown for their seed, oil, and fiber, whereas marijuana is grown for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual purposes.

The Whole Bushel

Although hemp often gets a bad rap because of its association with marijuana, in reality it has countless uses and is perfectly harmless. The confusion between the two arises from the fact that they both come from the species Cannabis sativa. But, just like Canis lupus has subspecies that range from wolves to poodles, Cannabis sativa includes a large assortment of plants with different characteristics.

The varieties grown for hemp are valued for their high fiber content and, because they have extremely low levels of the chemical THC, are unsuitable for medicinal or recreational use. On the other hand, the subspecies grown for marijuana has poor fiber quality but high enough levels of THC to cause physical or psychological effects.

Hemp is a highly versatile product and is used to make textiles, clothes, paper, building materials, and more. It’s a sustainable, rapidly growing crop which produces two to four times as much usable fiber as trees or cotton. Still, it is illegal to grow hemp in some countries, including the US, because of the worry that growers could easily hide the drug plant in a group of fiber plants.

Show Me The Proof

Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities
Hemp: Fuel Food Fiber Medicine Industry
How does hemp work?

  • virus

    LOVING THE WEED ALL DAY EVERYDAY haters gonna hate

    • Coocoocuchoo

      No one hates, in fact, no one cares

      • tim

        if that were true, there would be no legality issues in getting hiiiigh.

        • inconspicuous detective

          you could, say, not get high.

          • DarthPoot

            But why? I don’t because of work but would if I could.

          • inconspicuous detective

            Be a use it does damage over time and is illegal. Not saying whether t should r shouldn’t be but it is, which in and of itself is a good reason to just let it be ya know?

          • DarthPoot

            Everyone has a vice. This is one of the least harmful.

          • terry hanks

            Not good enough for me although I don’t use either plant.

  • kab

    It’s no a drug its a plant smoke weed everyday

    • pit_ci_nepit

      meditate and medicate !

    • Martin Stennis

      Most of our beer and liquor are made from various things. e.g. Vodka is made from potatoes. As I recall weed smokers main problem is that alcohol is legal but it does a lot of damage. That is a dumb arguement, reason being they are both from the planet and both have chemicals that have effects on the mind and body.


        difference here is,, weed is consumed in its natrual form and beer etc has to be brewed and altered,, weed can be used fresh from the plant,,in fact im smoking some headleaf from my babys right now,,pure organic weed,, and it tastes nice,,smells nice,,and gets me high enuff to be happy but not munted =) but itsd nice to get munted once in a while too lol

  • Sewo

    13 year old idiots…

  • Patrick Starr

    Link for HD copy of the pic please 😀

  • Interesting. That is something about which I knew nothing before reading this article, not being interested in Mary Jane to begin with, although it does certainly get a worse rap than it should.

  • Phil_42

    I have also heard that hemp plants absorb a remarkably high amount of CO2 making it quite an environmentally beneficial plant.

    • Jack Shen

      there’s a study out, on how well hemp / marijuana plants scrub the air. Every town in the US where there is an airport has extreme low air quality levels and high occurrences of respitory illness, except this one town in Mass. or Maine, which had no such issues. Well the EPA was stumped as to what was cleaning the air, until a guy who had been growing a field of pot near the airport was busted. He had been inadvertantly been keeping the air clean for 25 years. Now that he is gone, the town people are having health issues.

  • Hillyard

    Well now that WA and CO have allowed for recreational pot smoking, maybe other states will follow and the whole stupid mess will come to an end. Hemp would be an excellent cash crop for some areas, maybe a joint session of Congress could hammer out something.

    • Limesy

      A “joint” session? Niiiiiiice maaaaan

  • Glengarry Ricky Ross

    Hemp is a gate way plant that will lead to blankets and coats.

    • Aciphex

      Also… According to unbiased studies. Org soccer is a gateway sport to sword swallowing…

  • Chuck Norris

    Cant we all just get a…

    • DarthPoot


  • Lookaway

    Jack shen, that was from a list on cracked on April fools day.
    Always read down.

  • asianchick

    I don’t care much for marijuana but it should have never been illegal. It is a natural growing plant that was growing from the ground and its super natural from the earth and it was there for a reason. The government just wanted their cut if the money is all. But I say fuck it if its natural smoke away!

    • Aciphex

      I appreciate non smokers like you so much…. Level headed unbiased people who choose not to smoke and don’t judge the people that do…we don’t bother you and you don’t bother us so why is this illegal????


        greed cuntyness and human evilness

  • rhijulbec

    Why, why, why are people so scared of pot? You can’t even grow hemp in the US??? How ridiculous and paranoid is that?

  • Sewo

    lol ‘smoke weed everyday’ HAHAHA no

    You people are so dumb and ignorant. Jeezus fck.

  • Angelika Weisz

    Here in this blog they have explained the differences between hemp and marijuana and what are their key functions and for what things we can used it for.Thanks for sharing such a nice article.
    Cannabis Samen

  • CBDchick

    “The varieties grown for hemp are valued for their high fiber content and, because they have extremely low levels of the chemical THC, are unsuitable for medicinal or recreational use.”
    Incorrect. The medicinal part of the plant is the CBD which the hemp plant is particularly high in, as opposed to marijuana.

    • gotham77

      You’re only half right. “Medicinal use” covers a lot of different things, some people are using medicinal marijuana for the THC.

  • Jay M
  • Ian S Hulett

    What needs to happen is that the government needs to grow up and stop prosecuting those who grow hemp or marijuana. They need to grow up so I can grow hemp and make stuff for my mouse and hermit crabs with it. GROW UP GOVERNMENT! THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH CANNABIS!

  • Pam Stewart

    I really like the photo on this page. Where did you get it? Is it a stock image? Thank you.

  • Printers Help UK

    weed smoker just have their own excuse of taking weed. they say that it does less damage than alcohol.
    and some of our hollywood movies also shows weed as a cool thing.
    this should be stopped.
    using of weed and other things in movies scene should be banned