What is the difference between marijuana, hemp and cannabis?

Legal cannabis is spreading across the US and EU and is already the law in Canada. More and more consumers are buying gummy bears, hemp drinks and e-cigarettes. California has gone sober and Generation Z is turning away from alcohol and having a fling with marijuana.

While marijuana has been part of the culture for years, hemp, CBD, marijuana and cannabis are for everyone. From local pharmacies to — in some states — hemp drinks are popping up in liquor stores. Even Walmart houses many hemp products and proudly displays them on its shelves. However, these hemp products are made from cold-pressed seeds that have high nutritional value but do not contain CBD or cannabis. So what is the difference between marijuana, hemp and cannabis?

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“Cannabis” is the botanical term for marijuana. It has no legal significance. It simply refers to the cannabis plant. It contains all cannabinoids including CBD, CBN and THC. More specifically, the word refers to the genus of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family. It is also a term that is increasingly being used, especially as it focuses on the medicinal effects of the plant.

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“Marijuana” is the term used in legal contexts and has also been associated with negative connotations and perceptions throughout history. It is the term that appears in the Controlled Substances Act and refers to the cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3% THC. This type of facility is the one that remains illegal at the federal level.

“Hemp” is the easiest term to understand because of its simplicity. It refers to the part of the cannabis sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC and is legal at the federal level. Hemp is non-intoxicating and its use results in products that do not get people high. So while hemp is not illegal, marijuana may be illegal depending on your location.

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Some believe that the term “marijuana” should not be used because there has often been racism in the past, particularly against Mexican immigrants. Others believe that using the term “cannabis” shys away from THC and that the compound is nothing to be ashamed of.

Ultimately, what you call your weed is up to you. However, when it comes to legal use, “marijuana” is the term most lawmakers prefer.

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