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Cannabis, hemp & marijuana, explained

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The language used around cannabis can get confusing: hemp, weed, marijuana, pot, bud, and the list goes on. It continues to get more and more creative (i.e. broccoli is now more than just a vegetable). However, this lingo doesn’t all refer to the same thing. It’s more complicated than that, but that is what we are here to hemp — we mean, help — with. Let’s break it down. 

The difference

The umbrella term for all of this lingo is cannabis. The plant that all cannabis products are derived from is the Cannabis sativa plant. In the plant, there are compounds called cannabinoids – these are what trigger the emotional enhancements associated with the consumption of cannabis products. The two most notable cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both cannabinoids have benefits: CBD is the cannabinoid that has a calming effect, and THC is the cannabinoid that can have a psychoactive effect (a.k.a being “high”).

CBD and THC are present in both hemp and marijuana. However, the main difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC that they contain. Hemp is low in THC (0.3% or less by dry weight), but marijuana is high in THC. The different amounts of THC that are present in hemp and marijuana cause them to have different effects and legal standings: hemp is legal at the federal level (given that it has 0.3% or less THC), but marijuana is not. 

How are hemp and marijuana used?  

The difference in the effects that hemp and marijuana have allow them to be used for different purposes. Due to its fibrous composition and low levels of THC, hemp is used in many products ranging from food to skincare. Have you ever had hemp hearts or hemp-based protein powder in your post workout smoothie? That is because hemp is also high in protein, making it a popular additive to food. 

More importantly, (just kidding-ish) hemp is used in our melts. Mary & Jane melts each contain a microdose (1mg) of THC. In compliance with the federal law, the hemp we use has less than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC. When the melts are consumed in low quantities as intended, the effects are splendidly subtle — a mood boost, rather than a “high.” 

Marijuana on the other hand, isn’t always as multifunctional for everyone. The high THC content of marijuana makes it illegal at the federal level and more difficult to incorporate into day-to-day products. The most common use of marijuana is for recreation (89.5% of adult cannabis users). However, because of its potential to be anti-inflammatory, help mitigate pain and the appetite, marijuana is also used for medical purposes to treat patients with diseases such as cancer, eating disorders, and epilepsy.

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