Hemp vs Marijuana - What's the Difference?

There are many terms that are associated with Cannabis and the culture surrounding the famous plant family. Of those common terms, “marijuana” and “hemp” are the most heard and are still, at times, confused with one another. What’s the difference between the two? Let’s break it down for you.

The first important thing to know is that the plant family’s name is Cannabis. Much like there are hundreds of varieties of roses or orchids, there are varieties of Cannabis. These variations are determined by the major cannabinoids THC and CBD as it is the ratio (or concentration) of the particular cannabinoid compounds in the flowers of strains that determines if the plant is High THC Cannabis or High CBD Cannabis. 

High THC Cannabis is often referred to as “Marijuana”. This particular type of Cannabis is only available in select states and each state that allows it will have different levels of permission. Some states are medical only while others are recreational or “adult use” states which allow High THC Cannabis to be treated much like alcohol in regulation. 

When talking about THC, the particular THC compound that is being spoken about is typically Delta-9 THC which is the singular cannabinoid responsible for the psychotropic or “high” response. In the states that offer Marijuana, the concentration of D9 THC in the flowers is anywhere from 15 - 35% and, in concentrates, that percentage can go even higher.

High CBD Cannabis is typically referred to as “Hemp”. This type of Cannabis is considered an agricultural commodity by the Federal government and has been as such since the update to the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. While each state may restrict types of CBD allowed in their borders, CBD products can be ordered from all over the country. CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of hundreds of the non-psychotropic, yet potentially beneficial, plant compounds in Cannabis. In hemp, the concentration of CBD can vary from 15 - 25% with concentrates holding a much higher number.

With the plant family being one rather big one, and the plants - themselves - looking and smelling alike, how do we know what we’re growing versus what is being grown in other states? 

Genetics and third party testing. 

Genetics are used to create seeds from various breeding options. There is also the ability to clone or propagate mother plants - something we do at Power Biopharms - which ensures a consistent supply of flower-making daughter plants to grow and harvest every few months.

As a legal and licensed hemp farm, we must comply with state regulations that require us to have our crops third party tested. That third party testing is done several times through growth, harvest and manufacturing. The results of these tests, known as the COA, are linked on our site and through QR (Quick Response) codes on our packaging.

Because this plant family is so rife with possibility thanks to creative genetics, the potential for it is seemingly endless.

If you’re in Texas, you’re currently in what is known as a “hemp state” or “Delta-9 State” meaning that it allows for High CBD Cannabis but not so much on the High THC side. The future of that level of regulation remains to be seen but, in the meantime, there are multiple options currently available to Texans and those who live in other states that permit CBD.


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