Cannabis is the Latin genus name for plants that include hemp and marijuana. This is very similar to Canis, the Latin genus name for dogs. Just as there are tremendous differences between Chihuahaus and Great Danes, so are there great differences in the genus Cannabis.
These differences are due in part to the efforts of breeders emphasizing different traits that they desire in either the Cannabis plant or the dog. Hemp was bred from Cannabis to create not only tall sturdy plants for rope and fiber, but also hearty seeds for feed and oil.
Marijuana was bred from Cannabis for its production of cannabinoids (CBDS), the best known of which is THC, that causes the famous marijuana ‘high’. Cannabis produces over 60 other types of cannabinoid, many of which are reputed to have unique pharmacological properties.
All Cannabis plants produce THC; however, marijuana contains high levels of THC (over 10%), and hemp contains very little (0.3%). Industrial hemp is grown for the production of oil, fiber and feed and contains almost no THC.
The confusion between industrial hemp and marijuana is based on the visual similarities of widely differentiated varieties of plants.
By definition, industrial hemp is high in fiber and low in active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes some cannabis varieties a valued drug.
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