Both marijuana and hemp come from the same species of plants – Cannabis sativa. Cannabis, like other plants, comes in many different forms called phenotypes. These depend upon the growing environments and the genetic lineages of the plant. Two plants may be from the same species and can be exceptionally different from each other. So, what is the difference between marijuana and hemp?
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that makes you feel high. The difference between hemp and marijuana is the amount of THC each plant contains. Marijuana is any cannabis plant containing more than .3% of THC by dried weight, while hemp is any cannabis plant with less than .3% of THC.
One crucial difference is that hemp is entirely legal in the United States and much of the world. Marijuana, on the other hand, is considered illegal in many parts of the United States due to its psychoactive effects. There are two other species of marijuana as well, Cannabis indica and Cannabis rudderless. These two species are always classified as marijuana and not hemp.