Hemp vs. Marijuana

In the spirit of Back to School… we’re providing some essential education regarding cannabis as part of an educational series. 

Cannabis in Minnesota

There is a lottttt is going on regarding cannabis or “weed” or “marijuana” or even "grass" to those of you who are more old school. This variety of depictions is the subject of our first blog post. But first, context. 

As of August 1st, recreational cannabis is legal in Minnesota. Before legalization, and still now while they figure out how to launch legal cannabis which probably won’t happen for 12 to 18 months, there were other options that crafty Minnesotans explored in desperation.

Hemp-derived what? 

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 Farm Bill) authorized the production of hemp and removed hemp and hemp seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) schedule of Controlled Substances. This made hemp legal, nationwide. 

So, what is hemp? How is it different from cannabis? There are a lot of terminology and acronyms in the world of cannabis, and It can be confusing. I used to picture hemp as those necklaces people used to wear for a while that had beads entwined in them.

Hemp isn’t a plant (or a necklace) per se. It is a classification of cannabis based upon a law, meaning, hemp is any cannabis plant that has less than .3% THC. Why the cut off at .3%? Well, to put it simply - this level of THC is non psychoactive, meaning you won’t get high. 

Circling back to the crafty Minnesotans, you can find THC in hemp, but because it's in less than 3% of the plant, it's just a bit harder to extract and comes in smaller amounts. But it's there. This is when you started hearing phrases like Delta-8, Delta-9 or hemp-derived THC. These are versions of THC that comes from the hemp plant. Delta-8 THC is synthetically produced (this was what was commonly used in hemp-derived THC vapes), and was recently made illegal in Minnesota. Delta-9 is a form of THC, so hemp-derived delta-9 is just THC that comes from hemp instead of cannabis plants. No matter where it's sourced from, all delta-9 is the same.

More than marijuana 

Any cannabis plants above .3% THC are classified as marijuana. This amount of THC IS psychoactive. 

Because anything above .3% THC is what makes you high, people have been using marijuana recreationally for years. Some people love to get high. It's where the stereotypes like potheads, stoners, etc. came from. 

And sure Marijuana can be the choice activity of potheads, but the cannabis plant is so much more than THC. In fact, THC is only one of about 113+ cannabinoids found in the plant. Cannabinoids are the substances that make up the cannabis plant. Another popular one? CBD. Bet you’ve heard of that one. THC is more prevalent in marijuana and CBD is more prevalent in hemp. 

Don’t get me wrong - I love getting high. But, I also love exploring natural remedies for my stress, anxiety, nausea and so much more. Cannabinoids like THCV, CBC, CBN, CBG and CBD can help with things like this and are non-psychoactive, meaning they DON’T get you high. These cannabinoids pack their own non-psychoactive punch. More to come on those in our next blog post. 

To summarize, there is no such thing as a hemp plant or marijuana plant. There is only the cannabis plant, which is both hemp and marijuana depending on the THC percentage. 

Back to blog