What is Hemp : A Beginner’s Guide



Over the past few years, you may have noticed that hemp has suddenly jumped into the limelight. You can find all different kinds of products made from it, and you can even find raw hemp in local vape stores. Many are curious to know what exactly hemptree is, why it is suddenly popular, and what kinds of benefits it may provide. Let’s take a look!

What is Hemp?


A large outside hemp field https://cdn.britannica.com/89/211689-050-628DD5DF/hemp-plantation.jpg

Hemp is an offshoot of cannabis that has a large variety of different uses. The fiber from tree can be used to make paper, clothing, and a plethora of other products. The seeds can be used for consumption (being high in protein) or oil can be extracted from leaf and stalksIt for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. What is likely the most popular product to be derived from hemp is CBD (or cannabidiol), which has also recently enjoyed a huge surge in popularity.

Is Hemp Legal?

It has actually been well-known for quite some time. In fact, it was a popular crop to grow amongst farmers until the Marijuana Act of 1937 effectively made it illegal. Much like its disappearance from the mainstream, its resurgence is also due to legislative action. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp and CBD from Schedule 1 drug classification, effectively making it federally legal. Without legal barriers, farmers have been able to return to growing hemp, which is why you have seen their products begin to pop up!

Farmers have been willing to go back to hemp because of its resilience and versatility. It can be easily grown outside with little to no maintenance, and essentially all parts of the plant can be used in some kind of industry.

What is the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

While technically the same plant, hemp and marijuana are very different versions of cannabis. This is not only true of the compounds present but also when simply comparing what the plants need to healthily grow. Take a look at some of the major differences between hemp and marijuana:

Smoking Hemp will not get you high. Smoking Marijuana will.

Hemp is federally legal, but in order to be federally legal, it has to have .03% or less of THC present. Such a small percentage of THC will never cause an intoxicating effect, no matter how much you smoke. Of course, marijuana has much higher levels of THC and will cause intoxicating effects if consumed. It is also currently listed federally as a Schedule 1 substance, the most restrictive designation a drug can have from the federal government.

Hemp is an incredibly hearty plant. Marijuana is comparatively difficult to grow.

Hemp is easy to grow; it is essentially a weed. It can be grown outside in huge batches with other hemp plants and can flourish in a variety of climates and terrain. Marijuana is much more fragile. Each plant needs plenty of space to grow, generally needs to be grown inside, and needs constant monitoring to prevent molding.

Most CBD available comes from Hemp.

While both hemp and marijuana contain CBD, almost all of the CBD you see on the market comes from federal legal hemp with less then .3% thc limit. Legal issues aside, it can be grown faster and in larger quantities, making it much more cost-effective for the production of CBD oils and products. While certain strains of marijuana can have higher levels of CBD, industrial hemp is a much easier and cheaper source.

Hemp is used to make many more products aside from CBD.

 For legal growers of marijuana, the only thing you are using the plant for is either selling the bud or infusing the plant into other consumable products. While, on the other hand, it is an extremely versatile plant and has a number of uses outside of CBD production. Those uses include:

  • Textile production: The fibers from the hemp plant can be used to make cloth, which can then be used to make clothing, hats, and more! It can even be used to make rope!
  • Paper: Hemp has been used to make paper for thousands of years. While not as popular as using trees for paper, hemp paper is more sustainable and more durable than traditional paper.
  • Food: Like many seeds, hemp seeds are nutrient-dense. They are complete proteins, meaning they have all nine essential amino acids the body needs to run properly.
  • Cosmetic Products: Hemp seeds can be used to make hemp oil, which can then be used to make cosmetic products like lotions.

Hemp can even be used to make toilet paper! https://www.intelligentliving.co/hemp-toilet-paper-could-save-the-world/

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil

This is a point of confusion for many looking into using hemp-oil or CBD oil for medicinal purposes. While CBD is generally derived from hemp plants, CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same things.

Hemp Oil

Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the plants. The seeds contain no psychoactive compounds, including CBD. Instead, they are full of proteins and fatty acids, much like other seeds or nuts you may enjoy in your normal diet. You may see “full-spectrum oil” available, which means that plant material has been added to the oil, which means it will have CBD present, among other cannabinoids.


CBD is derived from the flower or bud of the hemp plants. Instead of being full of protein or fatty acids like the seeds, CBD oil is used more for medicinal uses, including treating inflammation, anxiety, depression, and a number of other ailments. CBD oil is generally available as full-spectrum, meaning other cannabinoids are present (like trace amounts of THC), or as CBD isolate, meaning that CBD is the only active compound present.


Hemp is an extremely versatile plant that you will only hear more about. It is the main source of CBD but is also key in the production of many other kinds of goods, many of which are more sustainable options than what we currently use (like paper). As it continues to grow in popularity,  and as research continues to grow about it and CBD use, we should only expect to hear more about it in future!

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