What’s the difference between cannabis, hemp and marijuana?

There’s a lot of confusion about what hemp is and what it isn’t. If you are wondering what the difference is between hemp, marijuana, and cannabis, read on.

Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are often used interchangeably, yet they are actually three distinct plants.

Confusion between these forms of cannabis arises because they possess similar components and are sometimes used for the same purpose. But with their varying legal statuses in many countries around the world, it’s important to understand the differences.

For example, you probably know large reputable stores that sell hemp-based products. What makes these products safe and legal and how are they different from marijuana products? In this article, we’ll discuss precisely that. Read on to understand the differences between these plants.

What are the differences between cannabis, hemp and marijuana?

Is cannabis hemp? Let’s look at the differences between cannabis, hemp and marijuana.


The word cannabis is an umbrella term for hemp and marijuana plants. Both hemp and marijuana are varieties of the same plant species: Cannabis Sativa.

The main difference between them lies in their chemical makeup – specifically, their cannabinoid content. Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis plants that interact with receptors in our bodies to produce various physical and psychological effects. 


Hemp is a cannabis species that contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) so it implies low risks of intoxication when consumed. The plant is also high in cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid with numerous therapeutic benefits such as pain relief, anti-inflammation, and anxiety relief. It has been used for centuries to make rope, paper, and textiles.

Today, it is increasingly being used to make oils for health supplements due to its high CBD content. Hemp products can be legally purchased online or at licensed dispensaries depending on where you live.


Marijuana is distinguished from hemp by its higher levels of THC content — typically around 5-30%. The plant produces a range of intoxicating effects ranging from mild relaxation to euphoria when consumed through various methods such as smoking or vaping.

It has also been known to increase appetite and reduce nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. However, it should be noted that its use can cause various side effects including short-term memory loss, impaired judgment, increased heart rate, dry mouth, paranoia, and anxiety in some users.

In most states, where it has been legalized for recreational use, it can only be purchased at licensed dispensaries if you meet certain age requirements.

The seven major benefits of hemp

There are seven major benefits of hemp.

1) Hemp is rich in healthy fats 

One of the best features of this superfood is that it is rich in healthy fats — an essential part of any balanced diet. The plant contains over 100 compounds known as cannabinoids and when consumed, can provide omega-3 fatty acids to help support our brain and heart health. 

2) Hemp is high in protein 

Hemp is a great source of plant-based protein, making it an ideal choice for vegetarians or people looking to add more protein to their diet without consuming animal products. It contains all the essential amino acids and can be added to almost any dish. It has a light, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with salads, cereals, smoothies, and more, giving you an endless number of options for sneaking some extra protein into your diet. The plant is also incredibly versatile, so whether you’re vegan or carnivore there’s something for you — enjoy it as a seed in trail mix or as an oil in salad dressings.

3) Hemp is abundant in vitamins and minerals 

Hemp contains an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin E, and B vitamins like folate and thiamine. These vitamins and minerals are essential for good overall health and can help maintain energy levels throughout the day.

4) Hemp promotes cardiovascular health 

One more benefit is connected with promoting cardiovascular health. The plant’s compounds maintain proper blood flow throughout our bodies, protect against the accumulation of plaque and fat around the arterial walls, prevent unhealthy levels of inflammation, reduce bad cholesterol levels, and can even lower high blood pressure.

Moreover, its seeds are extremely high in dietary fiber which boosts heart health even more by improving digestion, controlling weight, and reducing the risk of stroke.

5) Hemp boosts immunity and reduces inflammation 

With all the natural ingredients that are out there, the plant has got to be one of the most powerful ones when it comes to boosting immunity and reducing inflammation. Rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it can help maintain healthy cells and organs, leading to a stronger immune system overall.

6) Hemp improves sleep

People often want better sleep, and hemp could be the answer they’re looking for! Its oil has been found to be a natural relaxant and mood stabilizer. It’s even been said to regulate and promote physiological processes such as relaxation response and melatonin release. That means, with the plant, you can fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed.

7) Hemp is a good addition to your beauty routine

Hemp is having a major moment in beauty, and for good reason. A superfood for the skin, it has properties that make it great for fighting inflammation and hydration.

For anyone looking to turn up the nourishment of their beauty routine without sacrificing efficacy, the plant might be the ticket. It’s teeming with Vitamin E and natural fatty acids, making it an excellent addition to your favorite moisturizers or body oils.

Plus its unique molecular engineering helps it to penetrate deeper into the epidermis layer of your skin giving you an added boost of nourishment directly where your skin craves it most.

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis, but their uses differ

To sum it up, although hemp and marijuana are both cannabis species, their uses are different. Thus, hemp is a truly versatile plant that is associated with a wide range of health benefits from improved sleep to better cardiovascular health.