Cannabis v. Hemp v. Marijuana
Reading about cannabis-related products in the news and on social media can be a little overwhelming for some people because there’s a certain amount of jargon that comes with the territory – and we’re not even talking about slang (yet). Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what the post or article is even talking about, so having a baseline understanding of the broader terms can make a world of difference when it comes to deciphering the lingo.
Cannabis is what it is. The cannabis plant comes in a few different varieties, specifically Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Most cannabis that people come into contact with is one of these two varieties or a crossbreed of the two. There are some differences between the two, but that’s another conversation. For our purposes right now, you don’t need to worry about those.
The plant itself can be separated into two parts – the stem and the flower. The stem? Hemp. The flower? Marijuana.
The stalks and stems of the cannabis plant are usually referred to as hemp. Hemp has little to no THC, which makes it a non-psychoactive component of the plant.
The uses of hemp are numerous and varied. Seriously – we could go on all day going over what a miracle plant this is. To be brief, though, hemp was one of the original cash crops of the burgeoning United States. Its fibers have been used to make fabrics and paper. In fact, the United States Constitution was actually written on hemp paper!
Beyond that, hemp has been found to have applications making sustainable and recyclable plastics, making bricks for construction, absorbing floodwaters in retention pools, providing ethanol for fuel, and many more.
The health benefits of hemp hearts, or the sterilized seeds, are also pretty incredible. They’re a great plant-based source of protein, so they’re especially popular with people following a vegan or more plant-based diet. They’re easy to sprinkle on top of a salad, oatmeal, smoothie bowl, or avocado toast, and they can even be blended into vegan sauces to create a creamy texture without the dairy.
To say hemp is a miracle product that we’ve been sorely and regrettably underutilizing wouldn’t be an overstatement.
The flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant are often what’s referred to as marijuana. This is the part of the plant that gives a psychoactive effect to those who consume it, either by eating it or smoking it. This all depends on how much THC is in the plant.
Marijuana is shown to have its own lengthy list of benefits, notably its calming and relaxing effect which can help those suffering from anxiety, stress, or insomnia. It’s also been shown to stimulate creativity. Beyond that, marijuana is often consumed for its pain-relieving benefits, and it’s been shown to have positive effects on patients suffering from glaucoma, nausea, seizures, or low appetite.
By Yasmin Khan