hemp vs marijuana

Hemp vs. Marijuana?

If I mention the word CBD you would likely draw the conclusion that I was referencing marijuana. Although similar and in the cannabis family, marijuana and hemp are very different. The best way to describe the differences of the two are that they’re cousins. Both have distinct character traits such as serrated, sharp-pointed leaves–generally with five to seven leaflets and are easy to distinguish from others in the botanical family. Just like us, we have similar traits to our cousins such as hair color, complexion, and eye color, but a closer look reveals we are very different.

Let’s take a glance at how these cannabis cousins are different to gain a better understanding how they work.


  • Marijuana plants can be distinguished from hemp by being both shorter and bushier, with broader leaves and a number of flowering buds.
  • Marijuana is grown indoors in a very controlled environment. The marijuana strains produce the most THC when their growing climate is carefully managed to provide the perfect balance of rotating conditions and nutrient schedules.
  • Marijuana is used for its recreational, mind-altering effect since it has high levels of THC and produces intoxicating or euphoric effects. 
  • Marijuana is high in THC and low in CBD. 


  • The Hemp plant is very hardy, grows outside and can reach 20 feet tall.  It has thinner leaves and the flower develops on top of the plant. 
  • Industrial hemp plants are used to make fabric, paper, food, and building materials. 
  • Hemp is high in CBD and low in THC. It has no more than 0.3 percent THC and won’t get you high.
  • Joy Organics has a proprietary hemp plant where the CBD oil is extracted from. CBD oil may treat anxiety, chronic pain, and have other medical benefits.
  • Long term studies show the benefits of how this cannabis plants works, including how it binds to CBD1 and CBD2 receptors creating an entourage effect of cannabinoids working together.
  • Our forefathers grew hemp!

When it comes to cannabis, the old saying holds true:  you really can’t judge a plant by “its cover”. Now that you know more about the differences between the cannabis varieties,  you’ll know what to say the next time someone tells you hemp and marijuana are the same exact thing! Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion that commonly creeps into comparisons of the cousins hemp and marijuana.

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