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Hemp Vs Cannabis; 5 Differences You Should Know
Cannabis and hemp are different plants, even though the belong to the same family. The plants look like, grow similar, and are beneficial to humans in so many different ways. But while cannabis has a potential to be an amazing medicinal asset to the human species, hemp proves to be something that could overtake the industrial world and eliminate many harmful substances that we currently use today. Unfortunately, there are still people that don’t get the difference between hemp and cannabis. The following five facts will give you some idea on why the plants are different and you can tell someone next time they tell you that “hemp and marijuana are the same damn thing”.
- Genetics of the plants are different. Cananbis is believed to be one of the oldest domesticated crops around. In our history, it has ben grown from many different uses, from medical to industrial. The plants grew tall and strong and made in to a variety of oils, textiles, and foods. By breeding these plants with other plants, the end result was hemp. But with marijuana, the plants were recognized for being psychoactive and were bred for religious and medical purposes. This led to the highly potent, smokeable form of cannabis. According to Dan Sutton of Canadian Tantulus Labs, “The core agricultural differences between medical cannabis and hemp are largely in their genetic parentage and cultivation environment”.
- Cannabis plants contain cannabinoids, which research has shown that over 60 cannabinoids exist in the plant. THC is the most well known, followed closely by the ever growing in popularity, CBD. Marijuana contains high levels of this substance, while hemp does not. Countries such as Canada that allow the production of hemp classify the plant as any cannabis plant having less than 0.3% THC. Any plant with higher THC levels is considered cannabis. However, if you’re looking at CBD, hemp contains more of this compound. Not only that but CBD reportedly negates the effects of THC, differentiating the plants even more.
- Since marijuana and hemp are grown for two separate purposes, the way that they are grown differs as well. “Medical cannabis has been selectively bred over generations and its characteristics are optimized in its cultivation environment to produce female flowering plants that yield budding flowers at the flowering stages of their life cycle,” says Sutton. Hemp plants are also primarily male, without ever getting the heavily resonated buds that the marijuana plant gets. When growing marijuana for THC purposes, the grow environment must be kept at optimal conditions. Everything including light, humidity, CO2, oxygen, and temperature must be monitored carefully in order for the plants to produce the highest amount of THC possible. Hemp does not need these conditions and can grow quickly and healthy without such supervision.
- Even though the US Government schedules both hemp and marijuana as Schedule 1 substances, it is legal in the US to import hemp products from China, Chile, and the European Union. According to the Hemp Industry Association, there are about $500 million worth of hemp products imported in to the state every year. Marijuana is still not legally grown in most places and is subject to much stricter rules.
- Laws restrict the study of cannabis, limiting the research that could benefit the entire human race. But even though the laws are tough, people are still researching. Developments in hemp technology are looking at developing types of renewable plastic that will be a great replacement for the plastic used in car parts. Researchers at the University of Alberta even created a supercapactior using raw hemp material, which would lead to the making of cheap, fast charging batteries made from hemp.
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Some people do have trouble balancing their weed use with normal life. Let’s face it, while smoking weed definitely improves life, there are some situations that may just not call for it. Being a responsible stoner is important, especially these days with so much attention on the cannabis community. And while some will tell you until they’re blue in the face that they can handle their weed responsibly, it’s always nice to have a quick refresher on how to get high and get shit done!
- If you’re “too high” to get things done or you being to blame the plant for your slacking, you should cut back a bit. Marijuana should be a life enhancer, not a life ruiner. And if it is ruining your life, chances are your poor choices are the cause, not a plant. Marijuana is not a scapegoat.
- Avoid using cannabis before work or school (unless you feel like you do better work while high or your work isn’t dangerous). If your medical condition calls for marijuana use before work or school, that is fine. But always be sure that you’re not in danger, as well as your co-workers.
- Know your limit! No one wants to deal with a napper and especially if you’re going to work or school, you need to know when to stop smoking so that you can continue to focus and get your work done normally.
- Be aware of your settings. Some places can handle you being stoned and some can’t. You may be able to function fine at home while baked out of your mind but it’s not recommended that you go to Wal-Mart on a while baked out of your mind.
- Keep the laws in mind, along with any health risks. Cannabis is still illegal in most states and you need to know your rights if you happen to run in to the law.
- Don’t give cannabis to minors. They may think that they can handle it but without a doctor’s recommendation, anyone under the age of 18 shouldn’t ingest cannabis. The penalty for supplying minors with cannabis is also considerably higher.
- If your friends are saying you get too high, you probably are. People around you need to be able to communicate with you, especially at work or school, so if you’re too stoned to deal, cut back a bit.
- Be respectful. Don’t smoke weed in public or in someone’s house that doesn’t smoke. It’s important to make sure that everyone is comfortable. There are still people who don’t smoke weed in the world and it’s important to not step on their toes.
- Using cannabis with other substances can possibly have negative effects. This includes alcohol. Those that smoke weed and drink a lot sometimes experience the dreaded spins, a feeling in which everything is moving around you. This can be dangerous so it’s recommended that you don’t mix cannabis with other substances unless instructed by a doctor.
- Driving while high is risky but can be accomplished if you’ve managed to learn to drive stoned. I can’t stress enough the fact that driving while high is like learning to drive all over again. You need to pay attention, listen, and know that there’s always a possibility that you’ll get pulled over. Relax and don’t get too baked while driving!
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