An Introduction to the Basics of Cannabis and Hemp

Cannabis and Hemp

Marijuana products are becoming more and more popular, and after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD and THC products are legally available in many states of the USA. 

But before you dive into buying edibles like Joy’s organic hemp gummies, it is important to know what you are actually dealing with. There are many different types of products available containing different ratios of CBD and THC derived from either cannabis or hemp.

So, what is the difference between cannabis and hemp? What about CBD and THC? In this article, we are going to talk through the basics of weed products and introduce you to all of these terms and what they actually mean. So, if you are confused about any of the language surrounding cannabis products, you will find the answers you need below!

What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis refers to a collection of three psychotropic plants: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.

When the blossoms of these plants are picked and dried, one of the world’s most prevalent medications is produced. Some call it weed, others pot, and still others marijuana. As cannabis becomes legal in more places, new names for it emerge. People are increasingly using the term cannabis to refer to the plant, as the formerly popular term “marijuana” has a racist history that people are keen to avoid.

Cannabis is commonly used for its soothing and calming properties. It is also used to treat a variety of medical ailments in several areas, including chronic pain, glaucoma, and low appetite.

Cannabis plants contain two main active compounds: CBD, which has a relaxing, anti-anxiety effect valued for therapeutic use, and THC, which produces the high that recreational users prize. We will look into both of these in more detail shortly.

What Is Hemp?

The cannabis plant comes in several kinds. Hemp, commonly known as industrial hemp, refers to non-intoxicating (less than 0.3% THC) Cannabis sativa L. types. Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the same cannabis plant, although they are genetically diverse and differentiated further by usage, chemical composition, and growing methods.

Hemp may be cultivated as a renewable supply of raw materials that can be used in hundreds of different products. Its seeds and blossoms are employed in a variety of health foods, organic body care products, and nutraceuticals.

Hemp fibers and stalks are used in hemp apparel, building materials, paper, biofuel, plastic composites, and other products. Hemp uses far less water and no chemicals to produce, making it far more environmentally conscious than other crops.

For the purposes of understanding weed products, what you really need to know is that hemp is the term used for varieties of cannabis plants that contain a very low level of THC but may still contain a large amount of non-intoxicating CBD and, therefore, can be valuable for medical purposes.

Cannabis vs Hemp

The key difference between hemp and other forms of cannabis is the concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in each plant. THC is the chemical responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis consumption. Hemp plants contain no more than 0.3% THC, but cannabis plants commonly have 5-30% THC.

Both hemp and cannabis contain cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive chemical that has been proven to have a variety of possible medicinal advantages. CBD oil made from hemp plants is more readily available and legal than oil from other cannabis plants since hemp plants have relatively low quantities of THC. CBD oil made from cannabis plants is usually only accessible in states or countries where cannabis is authorized for medicinal or recreational purposes.

What Is CBD?

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. This is a non-psychoactive compound found in all strains of cannabis plant, including hemp. It is one of the main phytochemicals for which these plants are grown, and it has many benefits for the human body.

CBD has relaxing effects, making it very valuable for pain relief, sleep assistance, and therapeutic anti-anxiety uses. CBD products are legal in most situations as long as they are derived from hemp. CBD from cannabis is less likely to be legal, as the growth of cannabis plants is not legal in all states.

Just like other cannabinoids, CBD is lipid-soluble rather than water-soluble, which means that it can easily be infused into oils but will not dissolve into water. It needs to be heated in order to activate and release its effects, so CBD oils are made by heating cannabis and then simmering it in oils.

What Is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the component in cannabis that causes the plant’s psychoactive effects. THC is responsible for the “high” feeling you get after taking cannabis.

THC is a cannabinoid, which is a kind of molecule that interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. THC affects neurons in the brain that impact pleasure, memory, reasoning, coordination, and time perception by binding to cannabinoid receptors.

Many of the medicinal advantages of CBD and THC are the same. They can give relief from a variety of ailments. CBD, however, does not provide the euphoric effects that THC does. Because of the absence of this effect, some patients may prefer to take CBD. Others enjoy the euphoric high and prefer to prioritize THC over CBD. Finding the right mix of the two compounds for you can take some experimentation.

Delta-8 vs Delta-9 THC

Particularly when you are looking at THC gummies and similar edibles, you may run into the terms “delta 8” and “delta 9”. These are both types of THC, and knowing the difference between them can be important.

Because cannabis sativa contains just a trace of delta-8 THC, it is often synthesized in high concentrations from hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). While CBD has no intoxicating characteristics, delta-8 THC has similar psychoactive effects to delta-9 THC, but it is typically less strong.

Delta-9 THC is the cannabis plant’s main naturally occurring psychoactive component. When a person smokes or takes delta-9 THC above a particular level, they usually get a “high.” Because it is stronger, delta-9 THC is often more tightly controlled, and delta-9 gummies are likely to be more powerful than delta-8 ones.


While there are many other nuances and complexities to the world of cannabis products, these are the most important points you need to be aware of. Before taking any cannabis-derived products, consult a healthcare professional to be sure that the active ingredients will not interfere with any medication you may be taking.