“Industrial hemp” is a term describing any strain of cannabis with extremely low levels of THC. So hemp used for CBD and hemp used for fiber are both industrial hemp. But the two are, obviously, very different. You can think of industrial hemp for fiber applications and industrial hemp for CBD extraction as different varieties of roses. How are both or either of these different from Marijuana? The answer: Chemical make-up. The US government classifies marijuana as a Cannabis Sativa plant with a THC content greater than .3%. Therefore high CBD hemp, Industrial or agricultural Hemp and “Marijuana” hemp are all the same species with different genetic expressions–including, but not limited to, the THC content.
Bottom Line: Industrial hemp, lacking a significant amount of the THC chemical that gives you the psychoactive effect–won’t get you high.
So now that we know that cannabis plants, regardless of THC content are all the same species. How are high CBD hemp, Industrial/agricultural hemp and Marijuana (hemp) so different? Again, we must go back to the rose comparison. A common flower across the world, roses have been grown by scores and scores of different civilizations for thousands of years and to fit a variety of tastes. Some roses were grown big and bushy, some thin stalks and tall, some with a rich flowery smell–others with no smell at all. While each one may look, smell and grow differently they are all roses.
Bottom Line: Industrial Hemp, High CBD Hemp and Marijuana Hemp are all the exact same species (Cannabis Sativa) with different genetic expressions.
As a species, all humans are the same. Whether you have blonde hair, brown hair, blue eyes or hazel–does not detract from your designation as a “human”. However, on a genetic level, the differences appear. For humans, these genetic differences are expressed in different ways–the most visible being eye or hair color. In hemp, genetic expression comes in many ways too–chemical make-up being the one most concerning to humans. It is genetic selection by humans that has bred the three plants so very far apart.
Bottom Line: Humans have manipulated Cannabis Sativa plants for a long time to suit their purposes and preferences e.g. THC content.
If you are thinking about growing hemp of any sort–understanding the differences between hemp plants is critical for success.
Industrial Hemp Genetic Expression: Industrial hemp is also referred to as “industrial hemp” plants have been purposely selected by humans to be tall, fibrous plants, with very small flowers and very low CBD or THC content. They look a lot like bamboo shoots and the final hemp fiber product has similar uses/applications: textiles, papers, plastics and building materials to name a few.
High CBD Hemp Genetic Expression: Looking at a high CBD hemp plant you would likely not be able to distinguish it from a marijuana plant. This is because these plants have been genetically nudged to encourage bud and flower growth just like marijuana but with a very low THC “ tetrahydrocannabinol” content but a high CBD or “cannabidiol”. It is grown to specifically to extract Cannabidiol for uses in health, beauty and food products and more. Taking us once again back to a CBD hemp plant being nothing more than a low THC expression in a Cannabis Sativa plant–just like industrial hemp.
Marijuana Hemp Genetic Expression: “Marijuana” is classified as a variety of Cannabis with greater than 0.3% THC when dry. It is known to produce psychotropic or euphoric effects. This term is controversial because of the origins of the terms, which originally have what some say are racists implications.
The way industrial hemp and CBD hemp are grown are very different. We will explore these differences in our “How To Grow Industrial Hemp Vs. CBD hemp” blog series.
A part of one of the nation’s largest and most successful vertically-integrated hemp companies–CBD Seed Co hub for all your hemp needs. From Seed to sale we have the products and know-how to accelerate your hemp business fast. Contact us today with questions on any aspect of the hemp business that interests you–we will be happy to work with you towards your success!