Cannabis and Hemp Plant Differences

Hemp and cannabis, two plants that can sometimes be confused, because although they belong to the same genus, the morphological differences and in the composition of their active ingredients have made these two unique plants have diametrically opposed uses. In this post we’ll explain the Cannabis and Hemp Plant Differences, and how they affect the use and cultivation of the plant. So, read on.

Cannabis for therapeutic use and industrial hemp belong to the same species. So, their designation is due to their use and their psychoactive substance content, which varies greatly depending on the variety and growing conditions. Cannabis and hemp are two terms that have often been used interchangeably in the past, and although there is a direct connection between the two, there is a separation between the two types of species in the Cannabis genus.

To understand the Cannabis and Hemp Plant Differences, first, one must look at the scientific classification of marijuana as we know it today: its family is Cannabaceae and its genus is Cannabis. The species included in Cannabis are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. The first two are well known in the cannabis community, but Cannabis ruderalis is less so.

Cannabis and Hemp Plant Differences

Botanically speaking, hemp, cannabis or marijuana belong to the same species.

Word Cannabis and Hemp:

Cannabis sativa L, from the Cannabaceae family.

The word hemp is also derived from the Latin cannabis.

THC content:

The difference between the two is the use of the plant and its content of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in cannabis. Generally, varieties containing less than 0.2% THC in dry extract (maximum legal rate) are referred to as hemp, while varieties containing more than 0.2% THC are referred to as cannabis.

Cannabis and Hemp use:

Cannabis selected for therapeutic use or recreational actually contains between 5% and 20% THC instead. In other words, smoking a hemp joint will have absolutely no effect on you.

Cannabis varieties

There are thus many subspecies of cannabis, to which must be added the cultivars obtained by hybridization. The Cannabis sativa L, or cultivated hemp, is used for industrial purposes. Its excellent quality fibers produce comfortable and light textiles, as well as insulating and ecological building materials. Indian hemp, or Cannabis indica, is renowned for its content of psychotropic substances (THC and CBD or cannabidiol). Wild hemp or ruderal usually has a very low THC content, but sometimes high CBD concentrations.


Although genetically different, hemp and cannabis are really the same plants, in different adapted forms. Despite drastic efforts to eliminate this natural technology and keep it away from the general public, things are changing. Cannabis has the potential to dominate the medical arena once research truly unleashes what it is capable of. As hemp will regain its position in the spotlight as a protective and innovative tool capable of stopping the ignorance of humanity and forming a symbiotic approach to living hand in hand with the natural world, instead of trying to crush it.