Hashish towards Marijuana: Former, Current, and Future Definitions


In the United States, cannabis can be either a legal agricultural crop or a controlled substance – it all depends on whether the plant is labeled "marijuana" or "marijuana" "Cannabis" is classified as "hemp".

With the passing of the Agricultural Law of 2018, the US is experiencing a major cultural shift in mainstream cannabis attitudes. And with these changes, more and more people are turning to the cannabis plant for material, nutrition, rest and medicine.

However, in most parts of the country only cannabis plants classified as "hemp". are legal. Those classified as "marijuana" are either strictly controlled or are strictly prohibited.

So much is clear: Hemp and marijuana are two different things . But what makes them different?

This article explores how and why the definitions of these words have changed over time. Then we discuss what you need to know about hemp and marijuana when using CBD oil or medicinal cannabis.

But first we get to know the cannabis plant – in all its many forms.

What is cannabis?

Cannabis is a botanical genus that contains several plant species. These have received a number of scientific and domestic names that reflect both different physical properties, different uses, and different chemical profiles. In the United States, the most common terms for cannabis are "marijuana" and "hemp."

Cannabis plants naturally have fibrous stems. Over the centuries, humans have selectively bred to develop plants with even longer and more fibrous stems. They processed these fibers into fabrics, ropes, paper and other products. These fiber-producing cannabis species were termed "hemp" and were possibly the first plants humans cultivated for fiber production.

Other types of cannabis plants caused poisoning by inhalation or ingestion. The breeders cultivated these species to produce stronger flowers for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. In the US, the variants used for their psychoactive properties eventually became known as "marijuana."

Over time, hemp and marijuana developed very different physical properties. Nevertheless, there are some commonalities that all cannabis plants have.

Anatomy of the Cannabis Plant

To understand the differences and similarities between hemp and marijuana, it is helpful to find your way around the world Structure of the Cannabis Plant . Read on to learn more about the key plant parts and some of their key uses.


While they are often ignored by today's consumers, the roots of cannabis plants have long been used in traditional medicine for their anti-inflammatory compounds . These preparations include the infusion of teas and topicals with the cannabis root.

While the roots are not a source of cannabinoids, traditional remedies suggest therapeutic uses for other components of this plant part.

That's not all. The roots of growing cannabis plants can also play a role in a process called phytoremediation. Basically, they pull pollutants out of the ground to remediate contaminated sites.

This is because hemp is a bioaccumulator that absorbs everything that is in the soil in which it grows. This makes it an effective tool for cleaning heavy metals and other unwanted chemicals in the soil.


Traditionally, European hemp was found in the stalk for the bast fibers and the woody hurdle .

Today, these bast fibers are found in clothing, bags, ropes, sailcloths and carpets. The Hurd, on the other hand, is used for building materials such as cement, insulation, bioplastics, animal litter and paper.

The stalk is not a good source of cannabinoids in hemp or marijuana – though they may be present in traces. This is because cannabinoid-producing trichomes (more on that later) do not grow in large numbers on the stems.


In both hemp and marijuana, the leaves are much less rich in cannabinoids than the flowers. For some products, especially for the CBD market, leaves for cannabinoid extraction may be used. There are two types of cannabis leaves:

Fan leaves

These are the large, pointed leaves that have become iconic in cannabis culture. The plant's power plant has the task of capturing sunlight for photosynthesis.

The fan blades are not a major source of cannabinoids in either hemp or marijuana, and their bitter taste makes them an unpopular food ingredient for most people

Fan leaves can still be juiced or used in tea for those who want to benefit from their nutritional value and trace amounts of cannabinoids.

Sugar leaves

Sugar leaves are small, resinous leaves that form around the flowers of the cannabis plant. They are covered with trichomes which look like little hair or crystals to the naked eye. These are the structures that contain cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.

Breeders tend to remove sugar leaves from smokable cannabis buds despite their cannabinoid content. This is because the smoke feels harder and gives the smoke more bitter aromas. From sugar leaves, however, other types of extracts and infusions can be made.


The cannabis bloom contains most of the plant's cannabinoid content. This is because the flowers are covered with resinous, sticky trichomes. This is the part of the plant responsible for cannabinoid production and while they are present to some extent on all external parts of the plant, they are by far the closest to the flower.

But not all cannabis flowers are the same. The plant has both male and female varieties, and the flowers of each play a different role in the reproductive cycle of the plant.

Female cannabis plants have a much higher cannabinoid content than the male plant. In marijuana varieties, the flowers of the female plants are smoked or used as an extract.

CBD hemp plants also favor female plants for maximum cannabinoid production. These flowers can be smoked, vaporized or used to make extracts such as CBD oil.

In the presence of male plants and their pollen, female plants produce seeds. This leads to a lower cannabinoid production. Therefore, breeders looking for a high cannabinoid potency tend not to breed male plants.

Mature female cannabis flowers do not look like ornamental flowers like daisies or roses. Rather, it is dense, conical tufts, which may contain visible small leaves and fine hair-like structures. Their color is usually deep green, sometimes with other colors like purple, pink or gold.

Male flowers, on the other hand, have a lower cannabinoid content and visually differ greatly from female buds. These look more like pollen piles than densely formed buds.

Some people want to ban the cultivation of industrial hemp crops outdoors. This is because accidental cross-pollination with cannabinoid-producing plants of other producers can ruin the crop by triggering seed production.


Seeds are generally undesirable in marijuana and CBD cannabis strains. Other cannabis strains can be grown specifically for their production.

Hemp seeds are very nutritious and have a range of culinary uses . They can be eaten raw or ground as an ingredient. In addition, hemp milk is gaining popularity as a herbal milk alternative, and hemp seeds are also a popular ingredient of protein powders.

In addition to their culinary uses, hemp seeds can also be found in cosmetics and in personal care products. Hempseed oil is often referred to as "cannabis sativa seed oil" and is enjoying increasing popularity in the beauty and skincare industry since the adoption of the Agricultural Law of 2018.

Cannabis seeds, whether derived from hemp or marijuana, are not a cannabinoid source because they have no trichomes. However, as the seeds form within the flower, there is a risk of contamination during processing.

But do not worry, You will not get intoxicated by your hemp-based protein powder . Fortunately for those of us who like products such as hemp milk and hemp seed granola, the hemp seeds grown for food come from industrial hemp varieties that were bred for extremely low cannabinoid production.

Beyond CBD and THC: Cannabis Chemistry

Now you know the parts of the cannabis plant. But to get a deeper understanding of what botanists, consumers, producers and legislators have understood by the terms "hemp" and "marijuana", we need to go deeper.

After all, the intoxicating potential of the cannabis plant is an important reason for its current existence in a legal gray area. And that depends on the chemical composition of the plant.


Cannabis contains chemical compounds known as phytocannabinoids, which can be used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. That's because they interact with the endocannabinoid (ECS) system, a network of endogenous transmitters and receptors.

Phytocannabinoids are very similar to endocannabinoids, which are naturally produced by the body. In this way they can interact with the ECS to achieve a wide range of potential health benefits.

The most well-known phytocannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is the main chemical responsible for the intoxicating effects of marijuana. His psychoactive reputation is the reason why most cannabis research has focused only recently on the effects of THC.

However, this has changed recently. Researchers and consumers are starting to pay more attention to another phytocannabinoid: cannabidiol or CBD .

The effects of CBD are far from eliciting the THC-related, mind-boggling experiences, but are accompanied by relaxation and focus, as well as a gentle, mood-enhancing effect. And new scientific studies suggest that CBD offers a number of additional health benefits, including pain relief and relieving seizures.

These two phytocannabinoids, along with many other cannabinoid traces, are found in both hemp and marijuana. However, marijuana varieties generally produce much higher levels of THC.


Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in a variety of plants. They contribute to the characteristic scents and aromas of cinnamon to lavender and are responsible for many of the various aromatic profiles of cannabis strains.

Research has shown that terpenes may also have medicinal properties, including mood enhancement and other brain functions.

The interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis products may be more beneficial than a substance alone. This is called the "entourage effect".

Other phytochemicals

In addition to cannabinoids and terpenes, nearly 300 chemical constituents of cannabis were listed in a 2005 article. These include amino acids, proteins, enzymes, fatty acids, flavonoids and more.

Given the current focus on cannabinoids and terpenes, other chemicals in cannabis have been less explored. However, this could change in the future.

For example, we already know that flavonoids are present in a variety of plants, but there are flavonoids that have been detected only in cannabis. These compounds are found in very small amounts, but may have their own medical applications. According to one study, two of these flavonoids – cannaflavin A and B – have shown potent anti-inflammatory effects in animal cell models.

Cannabis in the USA: The Origins of The Conflict between Hemp and Marijuana

Hemp played an important role due to its role in the production of fibers for ropes at the marine exploration.

And when Spanish colonists first brought cannabis on the American continent, humans had been cultivating the plant for centuries.

And at that time, the reputation of the cannabis plant could not deviate from its present reputation. In fact, cannabis was so respectable that President George Washington on Mt. Vernon. He was not the only founder who benefited from hemp. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were also cannabis farmers.

While cultures in other parts of the world used cannabis for a long time for medical purposes, Europeans (and colonists on the American continent) did not start until much later. learned that cannabis is good not only for ropes and textiles.

In the 1830s, an Irish doctor traveled to India. There, William Brooke O & # 39; Shaughnessy became acquainted with the medical uses of cannabis and brought this knowledge back into the English-speaking world.

Within a few decades, cannabis was widely used as a cure. Indeed, the drug companies that later became Eli Lilly and Pfizer made cannabis supplements for a variety of diseases.

Ban on cannabis and the introduction of "marijuana"

Until the beginning of the 20th century, cannabis remained widespread. This agricultural crop was in high demand after Medicines and Fiber .

The moderate movement of the early 20th century, however, reflected the growing concern and disapproval associated with mind-altering substances. After alcohol became illegal, activists turned their attention to other drugs.

In the meantime, Mexican immigrants introduced the practice of smoking cannabis in cigarettes or pipes. While cannabis products such as tinctures have long been on the shelves of any pharmacy, smoking cannabis in the US has become a new trend. And along with the new style came a new word for the plant: "marijuana". (The contemporary spelling of "marijuana" with a "j" came later.)

Because hemp and cannabis were so well known, anti-drug activists may have decided to use the foreign language word "marijuana" to stigmatize the plant. The statement by the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics that the number of people who smoke marijuana has increased has laid the basis for a law to combat cannabis farming.

In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act enacted a tax on the sale of cannabis . In addition to the products to be used as medicines, the tax also applied to agricultural hemp grown for ropes, textiles and other non-consumable products.

And decades later the law on controlled substances of 1970 made "marijuana" a drug according to Schedule I.

Hemp vs.. Marijuana: Altered Definitions

Historically, the difference between the definitions of "marijuana" and "hemp" was both functional and cultural .

The term "hemp" has been associated with industrial uses of the cannabis plant. Cannabis hemp varieties were selectively bred for their sturdy, fibrous stems. Undisputed products such as ropes and fabrics as well as oilseeds all came from hemp.

Medical preparations used the Latin term "cannabis" rather than hemp, although it was well known that both names referred to the same plant.

Prior to the ban, cannabis supplements were used to treat a variety of diseases, including Nervousness Melancholy and Headache . And before smoking became common, there might have been an overlap between recreational use and medical use.

However, recreational smoking was associated with immigrants and the lower class in the early 20th century along with the term "marijuana". Under the new name, it was eventually associated with counterculture movements and illegal drug use.

And since marijuana was the derogatory term for prohibitionists, this term was enshrined in laws such as the Controlled Substances Act.

Hemp Vs. Marijuana Today: Chemical and Functional Differences

Scientific advances have allowed researchers to identify the substances in cannabis responsible for its effects.

In the 1940s, researchers in Illinois first isolated CBD and THC. In the 1960s, researchers in Israel have fully described the molecular structures of CBD, THC and other cannabinoids. This allowed a closer examination of the intoxicating potential and medical benefits of cannabis.

The legal distinction between hemp and marijuana today is based solely on THC levels . The Farm Bill of 2018 defines hemp as any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% by weight THC, while marijuana legally is any plant with more than 0.3% by weight THC.

However, marijuana can contain a lot more THC. For example, in 2017, the most popular varieties found in pharmacies in Colorado had a THC level of between 17 and 28 percent.

Both hemp and marijuana strains are grown for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. This is because cannabis plants can contain high levels of CBD (19459003) and other cannabinoids without exceeding the legal THC content. This is how medical hemp is made.

These definitions are not unproblematic. For example, THC efficacy is not constant over time and may increase in response to weather-related stress. This means that a particular cannabis plant could technically hemp and marijuana one day. As soon as the THC content rises above 0.3 percent, the plant is no longer hemp.

These distinctions are more common in crops grown for cannabinoid production than in crops grown specifically for fiber or oilseed crops.

What do scientists say about the differences between hemp and marijuana?

While cultural forces may change over time, science would certainly provide definitive answers as to what makes marijuana or hemp. Law?

The truth is that scientists are not completely in agreement on how to classify the different cannabis strains. This makes the question of what distinguishes marijuana from hemp more difficult.

Since the 18th century, botanists have differed as to whether cannabis is a species of different varieties or two or more different species (most commonly: cannabis ruderalis, cannabis indica and cannabis sativa) within the genus cannabis.

These distinctions may seem esoteric to most CBD or medical marijuana consumers, but they are more than just a matter of academic debate. According to the Farm Bill of 2018, Cannabis sativa L. and its subspecies are the only varieties permitted under federal law.

While a budding dealer in a marijuana pharmacy might refer you to a cannabis product bearing either the label "Sativa," "Indica," or "Hybrid," botanists influence the industry to apply the plant in different ways see.

For example, a new system proposed by Karl Hillig in 2005 would classify all fiber-producing hemp varieties as one species: Cannabis sativa. This species has tall stems and narrow leaves. It is also referred to as a narrow hemp (NLH). By contrast, all types of medicinal products are classified as belonging to the species Cannabis indica under this system. Within Cannabis indica there are narrow and broadleaf drug types (NLD and BLD).

This classification system is complicated by the fact that genetic testing shows that some drugs are present. Strains are genetically closer to hemp than other strains. Despite their significant differences, cannabis and marijuana strains still share a common genetic pool.

What are Sativa and Indica varieties?

In terms of physiology, there are different varieties of cannabis, genetics and human use. However, these different views do not always match perfectly.

In the late 20th century, illegal cannabis trade led to creative cannabis breeding and hybridization in search of more potential psychoactive effects. Certain psychoactive effects have been associated in the vocabulary of cannabis culture with marijuana types called "indica" or "sativa". Ethan Russo spoke about the Sativa / Indica debate. His comments reflected the current attitude of many cannabis researchers and industry professionals.

"There are biochemically different cannabis strains, but the usual distinction between sativa and indica in lay literature is utter nonsense and an exercise in futility," Russo said. "The biochemical content of a particular cannabis plant can not be guessed at all in terms of its height, branching or leaf morphology."

He continued that the crossbreeding of cannabis has led to such a variation that only biochemical analysis can show what is really in the plant.

Are there genetic differences between hemp and marijuana?

As genetic testing becomes more and more common and affordable, this seems to be an easy way to distinguish between marijuana and hemp. And certainly, genetic analysis should be able to predict whether a plant produces enough THC to be classified as marijuana.

But it is not so easy here either.

That's it It's true that genetic factors play a significant role in the production of cannabinoids like CBD, THC and CBG. The cannabinoid content is not determined by genes alone.

Cannabis growers often describe differences between cloned plants, and the cannabinoid content of genetically identical plants can vary considerably.

With the recent explosion of hemp farming in the US, growers have also found that selection of hemp plants for low levels of THC has not completely removed THC. And environmental factors can play an essential role. A hemp variety with a THC content that is reliably low enough to be considered hemp in one area may produce too much THC elsewhere.

One day, genetic tests could fulfill their promise to predict cannabinoid expression. However, the complex genetic architecture that determines the expression of cannabinoids is not fully understood today.

What do consumers need to know about the differences between hemp and marijuana?

As we have seen, the differences between hemp and marijuana are very controversial. And consumers may find it difficult to separate good from bad information when shopping for medical marijuana or CBD products.

The important thing is that there is no difference between the cannabinoids themselves, if they are obtained from hemp or marijuana. CBD is CBD, whether it's hemp or marijuana.

However, marijuana strains were bred to produce abundant trichomes and terpenes. This means that marijuana petals and extracts can naturally contain higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes – not to mention other potentially valuable and lesser-known botanicals.

Put simply, you can generally get more marijuana cannabinoids than hemp. And if you're shopping for CBD but want a high percentage of other cannabinoids, products from "marijuana" plants may be more effective for you.

On the other hand, growers are already developing CBD cannabis strains that produce large quantities of cannabinoids and terpenes with very low THC levels. For those who want to avoid THC or have to these products can be superior.

Hemp Vs. Marijuana: Legal Aspects

Apart from being able to choose To find the right products for their needs, consumers should know the legal issues regarding hemp and marijuana in their state or region.

The Act of 2018 on Farms has removed hemp from the Law on Regulated Substances and placed it under the legal scope of the FDA and the USDA.

These agencies are currently developing regulations for CBD from hemp, but generally this is required by law. However, some states have stricter laws that control the sale and possession of hemp and CBD


By contrast, marijuana is still listed as a substance of List I under the regulated substances Act. This puts it under the authority of the DEA and means that it is still illegal at the time of this letter under the Federal Law .

In recent decades, however, individual states have passed laws that make marijuana accessible to many people. This means that in some states, adults may be able to buy, sell or own marijuana or even grow marijuana plants for their own use. In other countries, marijuana laws allow people with certain diseases to benefit from the plant.

As a consumer, it is important to know the laws that are relevant to you. Dies hilft Ihnen zu verstehen, ob mit dem Kauf oder dem Besitz von Cannabisprodukten, in denen Sie leben, arbeiten oder reisen, rechtliche Risiken verbunden sind.

Darüber hinaus sollten Cannabiskonsumenten die mit Drogentests verbundenen Risiken verstehen. Auch wenn der Konsum von Cannabis durch Erwachsene in Ihrem Land legal ist, sind Sie nicht geschützt, wenn Ihre Beschäftigung von Drogentests abhängt. Viele Sportler werden außerdem einer Drogentestung unterzogen, und Patienten in Schmerzkliniken können im Rahmen ihrer Behandlung ebenfalls getestet werden.

Auch Hanfprodukte mit nicht nachweisbaren THC-Mengen können Spuren enthalten, die sich in Ihrem System ansammeln können im Laufe der Zeit. Viele aus Hanf gewonnene CBD-Hersteller raten drogenabhängigen Personen, alle Cannabisprodukte, einschließlich ihrer eigenen, zu meiden.

Fazit: Blick in die Zukunft von Hanf und Marihuana

Verschobene Definitionen von Marihuana und Hanf zeigen, dass die Unterscheidungen subjektiv und kulturell sind und nicht immer auf objektiven wissenschaftlichen Unterschieden beruhen.

Mit anderen Worten, was wir die Pflanze nennen, spiegelt ihre Rolle in der Gesellschaft wider. Wenn Menschen sich Sorgen über Vergiftungen machten, verwendeten sie einen Begriff, der mit dem „Drogenkonsum“ in Verbindung gebracht wurde. Und als das Gesetz über kontrollierte Substanzen zur Entwicklung einer illegalen Marihuana-Industrie führte, entstand die Cannabis-Terminologie aus dem Untergrundmarkt.

Aber wenn sich die Einstellungen zu Cannabis ändern, ändern sich auch die Worte, mit denen wir darüber sprechen. Begriffe wie „Indica“ und „Sativa“ geraten aus der Mode, da die Forschung neue Denkweisen über Cannabis aufzeigt.

Und wenn Cannabissorten mit hohem THC-Gehalt landesweit legal werden, bleibt die Unterscheidung zwischen Hanf und Marihuana bestehen relevant sein oder werden Klassifizierungen, die die wissenschaftlichen Entwicklungen genauer widerspiegeln, zur Norm?

Ob als Marihuana oder Hanf eingestuft, die Cannabispflanze hat eine bemerkenswerte Verwendungsvielfalt und wir beginnen erst, ihr Potenzial zu verstehen .