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Posted by admin on 18.01.2024

The large number of restrictions on the production and use of cannabis in different countries often lead to misunderstandings and confusion in the concepts themselves. Not everyone realizes why there are three different names – cannabis, marijuana and hemp and what exactly is the difference between them. And those who do not know about the existence of industrial varieties are hostile to all cannabis in general.

So, cannabis, hemp or marijuana – which is correctly?

Answer: all names are correct! But from the point of view of botany, medicine and law are completely different things. There are different subspecies and products made from the same hemp. Let’s figure out what hemp is and why there’s been so much talk about it.

The plant of the genus Cannabis or Hemp is an agricultural crop characterized by jagged leaves and a characteristic smell. Botanists divide these plants by structure and classify them based on morphology, physiology, and origin. The most famous subspecies are Sativa and Indica or their hybrids.

Sativa is a tall plant with thin leaves that is traditionally grown in Latin America, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. The subspecies has an elevated level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Indica is a low-growing subspecies with a high level of cannabidiol (CBD) and is grown mainly in the mountainous regions of India and Pakistan. 

There is also a wild subspecies – Ruderalis. It is less common, but on its basis all cultivated varieties of technical hemp with almost zero content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were bred. It is known for its feature of autoflowering, depending on age, not light cycles. Due to its low THC content, it is not used for recreational or medical purposes. 

the many uses of cannabis

In general, cannabis is the Latin name of the plant, which also refers to medical hemp varieties and hemp-based products for therapeutic purposes. Traditionally, medical cannabis has a balanced CBD content and low THC levels.

Marijuana is a smoking mixture of dried female flowers of sativa and indica. Marijuana has a higher percentage of psychoactive substances (THC more than 0.3%) compared to hemp and has psychotropic properties (a mild drug).

Why are there three names?

In connection with the legalization of medical cannabis, it became necessary to name different subspecies of hemp and products based on them. Thus, manufacturers distanced those who needed to use these plants specifically for medicinal purposes from users for recreational consumption.

How to determine the legal status of the cannabis plant?

These names should be clearly distinguished. So, knowing the properties, we can summarize that:

Hemp is an agricultural crop that includes all varieties of Cannabis Ruderalis. Hemp is a source of ecological textiles and paper, widely used for industrial purposes.

Cannabis is the designation of specialized varieties bred for therapeutic purposes, regardless of their narcotic properties.

Marijuana is a smoking mixture of dried female flowers of sativa and indica, which has the properties of a light narcotic.

Medical Marijuana or Medical Cannabis – This term is used specifically for the Sativa derivatives of cannabis that are used to relieve the symptoms caused by certain diseases.

What is the difference between medical and recreational marijuana?

The main difference is in the THC content. It is incorrect to equate medical marijuana with recreational marijuana, since its purpose is not to bring pleasure, but to relieve pain symptoms. And therefore, medical cannabis is specially bred varieties with a changed THC content.

Currently, many varieties of cannabis Sativa plants have been bred specifically for medical use.

The main active substance is cannabidiol (CBD). The results of scientific research show that herbal preparations with CBD effectively block various types of pain, increase appetite, help overcome depressive states, and prevent epileptic attacks. This is an important remedy for people suffering from constant pain, oncology and AIDS.

Medical cannabis has shown potential in alleviating symptoms associated with neurological diseases such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and neuropathic pain. But it is important to understand that cannabis is not a panacea and such treatment may not be useful for everyone.

Currently, numerous studies are being conducted around the world on the effect of medical cannabis in the treatment of particularly complex diseases.

But at the same time, the ambiguous legal status of different chemotypes makes it difficult to study the properties of cannabis. A mandatory condition for conducting research is a special license, obtaining which is a rather bureaucratic procedure.

We hope that science will stubbornly move forward in this matter, discovering new useful ways of using hemp and its derivatives in medicine, chemical industry, industry and agriculture.

WARNING! The article is posted for educational purposes and does not promote the use of drugs. We hope our publication brought a scientific understanding of the topic and helped to understand the differences in terms.

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