Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana: A Brief Analysis


A common question that comes in one’s mind when they hear about hemp and marijuana is whether they are same or not. 

First of all, to clear your misconception let us tell you. No, Hemp and Marijuana are not the same. But, their origin is from the same species of plant called Cannabis sativa. 

Nowadays, the CBD and Hemp industry are rather conventional and the products formed using them are common as well. 

Nevertheless, there are people who believe that the extremely useful hemp is marijuana and can make you high.

In this article, we are going to discuss hemp, marijuana, and the difference between Hemp and Marijuana in particular. 

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a classification of cannabis that incorporates THC more than 0.3% within it and can have a psychoactive effect on an individual.

Additionally, it is a greenish-grey infusion of the dried flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. It is consumed by rolling it up and consuming it in the form of cigarettes called joints or blunts. 

Moreover, it can also be brewed in teas and is usually used for medicinal purpose. Sometimes, it is also consumed in the form of edibles like brownies, cookies, or candies. 

What is Hemp?

Hemp is a Cannabis genus product in which the amount of THC is negligible. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is responsible for making a person high on consumption.

It is famous for its therapeutic properties and non-psychoactivity. Moreover, It can be used as a dietary product and is typically hulled in various ways.

Its seeds are pressed to make oil which is then used in salad dressing, painting, and formation of ink. Also, it is considered as a core ingredient in manufacturing body care products.

Hemp vs Marijuana: The Confusion

Hemp and Marijuana are usually confused and mostly the difference in them lies within its THC content. 

The amount of THC content within the cannabis determine whether it will make a person high or not.

Hemp and marijuana have the same appearance and can look exactly alike. However, the usage and effects of it are pretty different. 

Thus to keep you distant from all the confusions, here I have pitched 4 key distinctions between hemp and marijuana. 


The first and foremost difference between hemp and marijuana lies within its chemical composition.

Both hemp and marijuana comprise a high amount of CBD which is a non-euphoric cannabis compound. 

However, hemp does not contain more than 0.3% of THC while the THC content is Marijuana can be up to 30%. 


Another significant difference between hemp and marijuana lies with its legality. Hemp was considered illegal previously, but under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, it was legalized for consumption. 

This is due to its therapeutic properties and non-psychoactive property. On the other hand, Marijuana is federally illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. 

Cultivation Process

Both hemp and marijuana are harvested for diverse mission and thus the cultivation process of it is different as well.

Marijuana is bred in a particular environment, mostly to optimize the breed’s quality and produce female plants that yield budding flowers.

Therefore, to cultivate marijuana, it is crucial to pay close attention to the plant at each step of its life cycle and sustain a particular temperature, humidity, as well as lightning. 

Hemp is grown to increase yield and size. As it is grown outside, it does not require control and attention which is significant for growing marijuana. 


Hemp and Marijuana also vary on the basis of their usage. THC can immediately connect to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System. 

It induces a mind-altering effect which is responsible for making you high. Marijuana is famous for recreational use, however, studies show that it has certain therapeutic properties as well. 

Hemp is harvested to produce many products. Here are some of them listed below:

  • paper, clothing, building materials, and plastic
  • cooking oil, hemp flour, and hemp seed-based products
  • CBD oil tinctures and CBD-infused topicals

Side Effects of Hemp

Consuming hemp in any form cannot affect a person much and the side effects associated with it is pretty mild. 

However, there are still some side effects that can influence a person on daily consumption of hemp in any form:

  • Anxiety.
  • Appetite changes
  • Mood swings
  • Upset Stomach or Diarrhea.
  • Lightheadedness or Dizziness.
  • Feeling Drowsy.
  • Increase thirst or Dry mouth.
  • Feeling of Nausea.

These side effects are insignificant and do not affect a person much. Although, it is better to consult a well-recognized health care professional before consuming it in any form. 

Also, make sure to discuss the dosage as well as drug interactions that may take place on consuming Hemp with certain medications. 

Side Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is psychoactive and is responsible for controlling a person’s state of mind. Thus, there are certain short term and long term side effects that may get triggered by consuming or smoking Marijuana.


Short Term Side Effects

  • Short-term memory issues
  • Anxiety, including paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Panic attacks
  • Frequent Hallucinations
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Increased heart rate
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Improved risk of stroke
  • Problems with coordination 
  • Sexual problems 
  • Sexually transmitted disease

Long Term Side Effects

  • IQ declination
  • Poor school performance
  • Higher chance of dropping out
  • Impaired thinking 
  • Inability to perform a complex task
  • Lower life satisfaction
  • Addiction 
  • Abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Violence
  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Financial problems
  • Elevated welfare dependence
  • Greater chances of being jobless or not getting good jobs

Finishing Up  

Hemp and Marijuana are two different products from the same plant. One can produce psychoactive symptoms while the other cannot. 

However, the effects depend on various conditions like usage, dosage, cultivation as well as consumption.

In addition, hemp is legal and marijuana, on the other hand, is not. Thus, you should make sure to check its legality before buying any product. 

Both hemp and marijuana have some side effects that may trigger on consumption. Thus, if you are using it for a medicinal purpose, it is better to consult a health care professional who can clear your doubts regarding its consumption.