Feb 19 , 2019
How are hemp and marijuana different?
Cannabis sativa has several alter egos, but marijuana and hemp are the two best known. Though both plants look the same, their chemical composition is quite different.
The chemical difference has to do with the presence or absence of certain enzymes. Both marijuana and hemp contain a chemical substance called cannabigerol (CBGA), which is concentrated mostly in the flower buds of the plant. Marijuana contains an enzyme that converts CBGA into THC; hemp contains a different enzyme that converts CBGA into CBD (cannabidiol).
Whereas marijuana contains both THC and CBD, hemp contains almost exclusively CBD — THC occurs only in very trace amounts. Remember, though, that there are many varieties of marijuana and hemp plants, and their concentrations of THC and CBD vary. Those with high THC are used primarily for recreational use; plants with low or no THC and high CBD are best for medicinal use. Only cannabis with less than 0.3% THC can be legally classified as hemp.