The first documented use of cannabis dates back to 2800 BCE. It is thought to have originated in central Asia or western China and was used as medicine by Emperor Shen Nung.

Since then, the use of cannabis has transformed and changed, especially in North America. More people are getting on board the cannabis train, especially as states across the nation push to legalize it.

With all of this change comes a bit of confusion. What is the difference between marijuana vs cannabis? Is hemp the same thing as marijuana?

If you are considering trying out cannabis products, you must first familiarize yourself with these basic terms. We’ve got you covered below, so keep reading our cannabis guide to learn all you need to know.

CBD and THC Explained

Before you learn the difference between cannabis and marijuana, you must first learn what CBD and THC are and how they affect cannabis products.

Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. THC is a compound that has psychoactive effects, meaning you’ll get “high” when you consume it.

CBD does not contain psychoactive effects, but it does have many health benefits, such as helping to reduce stress and alleviating chronic pain.

When you consider the legality of cannabis, it all comes down to its THC content – more on that below.

What Is Cannabis?

So, what exactly is cannabis? The term “cannabis” refers to a genus of flowering plants that are in the Cannabaceae family. There are more than 170 plant species within this plant family, which include Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.

So, when you hear someone call something cannabis, it could be a wide range of products.

Anything that is derived from the cannabis genus is considered cannabis, which includes marijuana and hemp.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant, so it is considered a species of cannabis. You cannot use the terms marijuana and cannabis interchangeably, as marijuana comes from cannabis and not the other way around.

It is considered marijuana if it has more than 0.3% THC content. It is the only species that will get you high, which is also why it is still federally illegal.

Marijuana may also contain certain amounts of CBD, but the THC content is generally higher.

Marijuana vs Hemp

While both Marijuana and Hemp are cannabis, they have very different properties and applications.

Hemp is categorized as cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC content. So, while it may contain trace amounts of THC, hemp will not get you high.

It generally has higher levels of CBD, making hemp great for medicinal purposes. CBD also has the ability to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC, so if you are worried about that, always look for strains high in CBD.

Hemp became federally legal in 2018 due to the farm bill, which allowed more companies to begin manufacturing hemp products. While marijuana is still illegal at a federal level, many states have legalized it for both medicinal and recreational use.

There are certain studies that show that using cannabis that has both THC and CBD makes it more effective, rather than just using strains with CBD. This is known as the “entourage effect” and is a big reason that many people want more access to marijuana.

How to Use Cannabis Products 

Now you know the difference between cannabis vs marijuana vs hemp, but do you know how to apply it?

There is a wide range of cannabis products you can try. If you have joint pain, you can apply hemp lotions and balms. If you have severe menstrual cramps, putting CBD oil on your stomach can help alleviate that pain.

There are also studies that show cannabis and traumatic brain injury treatments. Using either hemp or marijuana instead of narcotics is an excellent way to get through traumatic injuries without getting addicted to pills.

You also have the option to find hemp flower or marijuana flower. So, if you like to smoke your cannabis, you can do so in whatever way works for you. Roll a blunt or joint, smoke a bong or pipe, or use a vaporizer with concentrates.

You can also ingest cannabis, as there are hemp and marijuana edibles available. In-store, you can find CBD drinks and snacks for sale, which generally contain no THC content.

If your state has legalized marijuana, you can find edibles that contain THC at cannabis dispensaries. There are candies, baked goods, gummies, and much more. You can also choose to make edibles yourself.

In areas where marijuana has been legalized for quite some time, there are chefs that will make entire meals using THC and CBD.

The key to using any cannabis product is finding what works best for you. If you think that THC may be too much, focus on using CBD products. If you find CBD isn’t enough, try incorporating THC a little bit at a time.

Marijuana vs Cannabis: Know the Difference

If you’re a newcomer to the cannabis world, understanding the difference between marijuana vs cannabis can seem a bit confusing. Just know that cannabis is the genus, while marijuana is the species.

What is most important is understanding that there are many different species of cannabis, and they will all affect you differently. Don’t be afraid to try them out, but always use caution when using a new cannabis product.

If you’d like to enjoy more cannabis-related content, browse through the various sections of our website today.

By Manali