Both are part of the Cannabis Family which is believed to be one of the oldest domesticated crops. Throughout history, humans have grown different varieties of cannabis for industrial and medical uses.
History
Early civilizations grew these tall, sturdy plants to make a variety of foods, oils and textiles, such as rope and fabrics. These plants were then bred with other plants with the same characteristics, leading to the type of cannabis we now know as hemp.
Whereas other plants were recognized for being psychoactive and were bred selectively for religious and medical purposes. This led to unique varieties of cannabis that we now know as marijuana.
Cannabinoids
Cannabis plants contain unique compounds called cannabinoids, the chemicals that give the cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties. Current research has revealed over 60 different cannabinoids so far. The most prevalent and understood, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) interact with different receptors in the body to produce a wide range of effects, such as the “high” feeling from THC.
How Do Cannabinoids Work?
Cannabinoids are the chemical messengers for the endocannabinoid system,
which is the biological system which plays many important roles in the human body. Endo stands for endogenous, which means originating within the body. Cannabinoid refers to the group of compounds that activate this system.
The endocannabinoid system has two receptors: CB1 and CB2. Each receptor responds to different cannabinoids, but some can interact with both. Think of it as a lock-and-key system. Cannabinoids bind to the receptors like a key fits into a lock. The distribution of these receptors within the body and brain explains why they have certain effects.
Marijuana:
· A cannabis plant that is mainly harvested for its euphoric, psychoactive properties.
· The fibers and stalks of marijuana are not used commercially.
· It is cultivated specifically for its flowers, which contain the highest levels of THC in the plant.
· It’s often grown indoors so that conditions like light, temperature, and humidity can be closely monitored
· Grows shorter and bushier with lots of flowers.
· Is naturally lower in CBD than THC.
· Federally illegal in the U.S
Hemp:
· A cannabis plant that is harvested commercially for its seeds and stalks.
· Used to produce a number of products: including food, nutritional supplements, medicine, body care products, paper, textiles, building materials, plastic composites, and even biofuels.
· Is typically grown outside and grows sturdy and tall, up to 2 to 4 meters in height, without the need for herbicides or pesticides.
· For cannabis to be legally considered hemp, it must contain no more than 0.3% THC per dry weight. This level is 33 times less than the least potent marijuana strains.
· it’s impossible for hemp to get a user “high.”
· Hemp is naturally higher in CBD, one of over 85 cannabinoids that have so far been identified in the cannabis plant