Do you know the difference between Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana? Don’t surprise if you find more than one name of a plant in the world of cannabis. For plants belong to the Cannabaceae family, different terms are used as their names such as Cannabis, marijuana, and hemp. Some people think that all these three terms are the same, but there are some distinct differences between them. Some of the differences are botanical while some are cultural. 

In this article, we will elaborate on the differences between Cannabis, Marijuana, and Hemp. The reader will be able to differentiate between these three terms at the end of the article without any difficulty. 


“HEMP is a distinct type of cannabis plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family. The scientific name of Hemp is Cannabis sativa L.”

Some people confuse the Hemp plant with Marijuana but it is not true. Hemp and marijuana have different characteristics and chemistry. The hemp plant contains a very low concentration of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is an intoxicating phytocannabinoid. On the other hand, there is a very high level of THC concentration in the marijuana plant.

Marijuana is well-known for its psychoactive properties due to the presence of a high concentration of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). 

The low concentration of THC content is also a major reason for the legality of the Hemp plant.

In both US and UK, hemp is considered legal because it contains THC only up to 0.3%. If hemp contains THC of more than 0.3%, it is considered a marijuana plant and it is illegal in both US and UK. 

Hemp is considered one of the most versatile plants in the world. Apart from the production of CBD (Cannabinol) products, the Hemp plant is also used in the textile and biofuel industry. The stalk of the hemp plant can be used to manufacture fabrics and textiles. Some industries also use hemp plants to make high-quality biofuels. People have been eating the seeds of the hemp plant to get its potential health benefits. Hemp’s seeds are used to create oil while the flowers are used to extract Cannabinol to use for many purposes.


CANNABIS is a taxonomic term representing a genus of flowering plants belongs to the Cannabaceae family.”

 This plant family includes about 170 different plants. The whole genus of plants includes three species; Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa. 

Scientists are still not able to understand the origin of the cannabis genus due to a lack of significant fossil evidence made it difficult for botanists to place its evolutionary divergence from other organisms. By using different plant age defining techniques such as “molecular clock” and computer algorithms, the age of the cannabis genus is determined as 27.8 million years. 

Regardless of taxonomic nomenclature, Cannabis is a plant genus that contains both hemp and marijuana plants. You can say that Cannabis is a representative family of both hemp and marijuana plant. So, at the end of the day, both types of plants are indeed cannabis, no matter what are the differences between them. 


“Botanists called MARIJUANA an intoxicating and psychoactive cousin of the hemp plant.”

 The scientific name of Marijuana is Cannabis sativa, just like the hemp plant, but its properties and chemistry are much more different and distinct. For example, if you consume the hemp plant, you would not feel any sort of “high” or hallucinating effects due to a low concentration of THC content (Less than 0.3%). On the other hand, if you take marijuana plants, it will produce strong “high” and euphoric effects in your body because of the high concentration of THC content (higher than 0.3%). For this reason, marijuana is illegal to use in many states of the USA and the UK. 

Marijuana is available in the market in a different form. One of the most common products of the marijuana plant is simply cured or dried flowers obtained from the marijuana plant. However, marijuana is subjected to extraction methods to make concentrated extracts just like the hemp plants. In the states and countries, where the marijuana plant is legal, it is sold in the form of edibles, topicals, and other products. 

Thank You very much for reading this article!


Although there is very little difference between Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana plant, still they are regarded as three different plants. Cannabis is a group of plants containing both hemp and marijuana plant. On the other hand, hemp and marijuana are two different plants with distinct properties and chemistries. The hemp plant contains a low concentration of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content due to which it is non-psychoactive and non-toxic. On the other hand, the marijuana plant has a higher concentration of THC content due to which it is strongly psychoactive and toxic. Higher use of marijuana plants can cause addiction and dependence in the human body due to which it is used only after consulting with an expert doctor. 

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