Differences between cannabis and hemp

Properties and uses of cannabis


Scientific noun:Cannabis Sativa L. var. indica

Family: Hemp family – Cannabaceae

Common noun: Hemp, Marijuana, cannabis, hashish, Kief

Habitat: It is almost cultivated in every place of the world, but it comes from Central and Western Asia.

Components of cannabis

Cannabinoids: D- 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinol, cannabinodiol, etc. (in greater quantities than in hemp)

Acids: Linoleic, oleic and isolinoleic (seeds)

Niacin (seeds)

Orientin (plant)

Minerals: phosphorus oxide, magnesium oxide, calcium oxide, potassium oxide and sulphur oxide, calcium, iron and phosphorus (seeds)

Active parts: The whole plant, specially the fruits, which are used to cure the urinary tract. Flowers have hypnotic properties.

cannabis leaves

Photo of cannabis leaves(Cannabis sativa L var. indica)

Differences between cannabis and hemp

Although these two plants can be equally named, they actually belong to two different varieties of the same plant:

Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L. var. indica) is much richer in THC (From 2 % to more that 20 %), so it is specifically cultivated for the production of marijuana or hashish, that are aimed to be used as recreational purposes.

– Cannabis is a smaller although more dense plant.

– Hemp (Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa) is not as psychoactive as Cannabis sativa L. var. indica

– Hemp is richer in fiber, so it is aimed to an industrial use.

– Hemp is generally a much taller plant

– Hemp is poorer in THC (Less than 0,3%). Hemp content of active principle Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is to low to have any pyschoactive effect



(Cannabis sativa L var. indica)



(Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa)

Drawings of the two different varieties of hemp or cannabis

What is cannabis used for?

* In medicine, cannabin is extracted from the flowers. It is mainly used because of its hypnotic and sedative properties.

* As a recreational drug: In order to arouse possitive feelings because of its physchoactive effects

– Marijuana is extracted from the dry leaves.

– Hashish is obtained from the resin of leaves and female flowers

(More information)

Toxicity of cannabis

(See marijuana and hashish)

Effects of cannabis

The main effects of cannabis are the following:








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Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

14 March, 2022

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