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Are Hemp And Weed The Same Plant [Truth Revealed]

Hemp and the Weed plant, aka Marijuana, appear the same, but a thin line of chemical formation differentiates their use and consumption amount.

Generally, the concentration level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound found in Cannabis, makes Hemp and Weed different plants. Also, morphologically Hemp is taller, skinnier and has fewer buds than Weed.

Continue with the article to identify Hemp and Weed in more detail and protect yourself from legal accusations during cultivation. 

What Is The Difference Between Hemp and Weed?

Belonging to the species of Cannabis sativa, the resemblance between Hemp and Weed is undeniable. Here, don’t make mistake weed for unwanted garden plants

The history of Cannabis dates back to 12000 years ago when both Hemp and Weed were considered potential drugs and had no other use.

However, during World War 2, farmers in the U.S. cultivated 400,000 acres of land to produce industrial Hemp to manufacture the rope made from its fiber.

Furthermore, the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of Cannabis, surfaced when a parent showed efforts to treat the epilepsy of their girl using Hemp.

Continuing the same belief, the many years of effort became fruitful when FDA approved the first CBD drug, extracted from Hemp and not Weed, in 2018.

Anyway, the followings are the prime factors that make Hemp and Weed not the same plant. 

1. Plant Appearance & Size

Given the same morphological structure, noticing a distinct difference between Weed and Hemp might be difficult from a distance.

Both plants have similar leaf color and serration, but the growing pattern differs if closely noticed.

The Hemp plant mainly serve to extract fiber, so they tend to have a taller stalk and are longer, but the Weed plant has dwarf growth and gives rise to flowers and buds.
hemp and weed plant
Hemp looks less brushier and produces less flowers than weed.

Also, even if the taxonomical classification of Hemp and Weed plants is the same, the country’s law declares them different due to their constitution.

Look at the table below for further detail to avoid making mistakes between both species.

Plant Structure and AromaErect with aromatic smellBroad with a unique smell and taste
Flower DescriptionSmall with a greenish yellow shadeSmall clusters with a color range from orange to purple to yellow
Leaf ColorYellow, Orange or Brown indicating little content of THCGreen, indicating the higher content of THC
StalkSlender and elongated Broader
Plant SizeExtending up to 10 feet Extending up to 3 feet

2. Composition Elements

The key difference separating Hemp from Weed is the THC composition and the amount of CBD in the plant part.

Any Cannabis with no more than 0.3% of THC is Hemp, while the Cannabis becomes Weed as soon as it crosses the given THC level.

Meanwhile, the use of Hemp plants (industrial Hemp) is higher due to the higher level of CBD present, although they can have any concentration level of terpenes and flavonoids.

The level of THC in Hemp can cross the limit of 0.3% to turn into Weed, but Weed cannot become Hemp as they are always high in psychoactive compounds.

3. Usage & Benefits

The controversy on Hemp and Weed is to clarify the composition of the THC so that the plant is not misused and abides by legal rules.

Industrial Hemp is a resourceful alternative to cotton, as people in 1900 used Hemp fiber to produce textiles, papers, and rope.

Hemp with high CBD levels is also essential for oils, skin products, and medication to treat epilepsy, seizures, inflammation, and pain.

In contrast, Weed never held a place in the industry as THC is in higher concentration in the flower and buds instead of the stalk, making it illegal even to use for fibers.

Nevertheless, clear the doubt on the uses and benefits of Hemp and Weed from the table below.

SafetyConsumable seeds as a part of diet but in limited amountIngesting is less harmful than inhaling but do not try without prescription
ConsumptionDo not try without guidanceAvoid direct consumption to prevent any hazards
EffectivenessThe seed oil improves skin, lower blood pressure, and supports pregnant ladyMany say it to cope with anxiety but not proven
ProductsChief ingredient for skin products, CBD gummies, protein powder, etc.Chief ingredient for pain-reliefer, edibles, and gummies

The production of Hemp with THC of less than 0.3% has been legalized since the Farm Bill 2018 by accepting the drug produced by the CBD extracted from Hemp.

Afterward, the legal production of industry Hemp reached about 39 states in the United States by staying within the guideline of the USDA.

However, the Weed plant with the same compound is not legal because the higher concentration of THC has side effects on the human body.

But state laws may differ as some state like Idaho, Nebraska, and Kansas claims Cannabis to be illegal even if it is Hemp.

Meanwhile, about 19 states have allowed Weed for recreational use, but have restricted transportation across the states.

So do check the federal law of the Farm Bill before cultivating the Hemp.

5. Plant Varieties

Weed is also commonly known as Cannabis, thereby collecting the types such as Indica, Sativa, Sativa, Hybrid, Ruderalis.

 And the Marijuana shares the same scientific name “Cannabis Sativa” with Hemp. 

There are wide varieties of Hemp that serves as CBD, grains or seeds and fibers. 

Though only Hemp produce true Hemp, there are others that are also called Hemp including Mauritius hemp (Furcraea foetida), Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), and sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea). 

However, the difference between Weed and Oregano lies in smell and texture. 

From Editorial Team


Changing people’s traditional point of view on Hemp and Weed as different plants are not easy, given the racist history the word ‘Cannabis’ holds.

However, the pros of Hemp are taking over the market and making it of great importance to humanity.

So better to be clear between Hemp and Weed to leverage the benefit to the fullest.