Why does one plant have so many names and what do they mean?
I’m sure you have heard several different terms to describe this controversial plant. Hemp and Marijuana are actually the same!
The misunderstanding between the names actually comes from laws in place to stop the use of a specific component within the plant that makes you “high”, which is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)1.
Hemp only contains 0.3% or less of THC, this number was used in the legal definition of hemp, as specified in the Agricultural Act of 2018 and other laws in the United States2.
Marijuana is any cannabis containing more than 0.3% of THC1.
Hemp actually has many nutritional benefits and can be used to produce several products that we utilize in our daily lives. Hemp grows faster than trees and other crops, it is considered to be a more sustainable way of making products like paper and textiles.Other items that can be produced with hemp include1:
- animal feed
- hemp seed oil
- hemp milk
- hemp protein powder
Marijuana is still being researched to understand how this plant can treat:
- Crohn’s disease
Cannabinoids, which are the active chemicals in medical marijuana, are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in appetite, memory, movement, and pain.
Limited research suggests cannabinoids might:
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy
- Kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth
- Relax tight muscles in people with MS
- Stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS3
Behind the Name
Hemp is more commonly used when referring to cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth and also one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago 4.
In the early 20th century, cannabis was a legal cross-border import. Many Mexicans immigrated to the United States during this time due to the Mexican Revolution and brought cannabis with them.
The word “marijuana” hadn’t been used a lot before then. Instead, the word “cannabis” was the scientific name and far more commonly used.
However, the word “marijuana” became associated with Mexicans, who were stereotyped as people who frequently used cannabis.
The U.S. government used the term “marijuana” in anti-cannabis propaganda to cement the association between cannabis and Mexican immigrants. This anti-cannabis propaganda spread a great deal of myths around cannabis while also perpetuating racist stereotypes 1.
As more states legalize marijuana, it is important to know the terminology associated with the plant and how we can use this to our advantage.
I’m all about going, and “growing”, with the trends … and Marijuana is definitely on trend!
Whether you’re smoking it, eating it or maybe even drinking it, let’s capitalize on this however we can!
Catch you on the greener side!
1 Ferguson, S. (2020, August 27). Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference? (1342381967 983790979 J. Chen MD, Ed.). Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/hemp-vs-marijuana
2 House Of Representatives, U. (n.d.). Agriculture improvement act of 2018 (2018 – H.R. 2). Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr2
3 Ratini, M. (2020, August 20). Medical marijuana faq. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/medical-marijuana-faq
4 Hemp. (2021, April 27). Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp