Explaining The Difference Between Hemp And Marijuana To Your Parents


Many of us are sure if our parents would simply be willing to give CBD oil a chance, their lives could be much better. That being said, whenever using a CBD product is mentioned, they quickly respond with something along the lines of being against using drugs. There are still far too many people under the false impression that using CBD oil will get you high, similar to what marijuana does.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Those of us who use CBD regularly know this, but how do we go about explaining it, especially to loved ones such as our parents? How do we confidently explain the fact that using hemp or CBD oil is not the same as smoking marijuana? We will spend the rest of this article giving some pointers you might want to make sure you are using when the conversation comes up.


Three things you should know

  • As of the summer of 2020, there are well over 700 different varieties or strains of cannabis. Each one of these has a chemical composition of its own, making each variety different from one another.
  • Not each of these strains and varieties has THC, the compound in marijuana which produces the high people experience.
  • When the term “cannabis” is used, this is not the same thing as marijuana. There are plenty of health and wellness related reasons for using cannabis.

As mentioned, THC is the compound found in marijuana that produces the high or buzz someone will receive. When it comes to legal terminology, weed or marijuana has been defined as a cannabis variety containing a high THC level. With hemp and CBD oil, legally, the THC level has to be under .3 percent. This isn’t nearly enough THC for someone using hemp to get high.

There are also many other compounds found in both hemp and marijuana. Some of these include flavonoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes. Each of these has the ability to be beneficial to our health. Still, in order to be legal on the federal level in the United States, the THC level has to be under .3 percent, regardless of the other compounds that are included.

There’s a specific legal meaning for the word “hemp”

One of the reasons so many people find themselves confused with the difference between marijuana and hemp how the words are used that actually have a scientific meaning. During the 1970s, hipsters and jazz musicians would use the word “hemp” as a trendy way of referring to marijuana. This is similar to how many will simply use the word “hops” when referring to beer or calling coffee a cup of Joe. Regardless of how the word may have been used then, there is a special meaning for the word hemp. Hemp is cannabis that is intentionally cultivated to have very little, if any, THC in it.

Marijuana and hemp are as different as a golden retriever and an English bulldog

If you are struggling for an example to explain the differences between hemp and marijuana, this could be the one you need. Dogs are known as man’s best friend. Everyone is familiar with dogs and the many different breeds. Similar to cannabis or hemp, this is a huge category. Dogs include everything from golden retrievers, black labs, English bulldogs, puddles, beagles, and many more.

Some dogs are great for protection. Many breeds are perfect for hunting while others are known for growing very big and some will always remain very small. Some breeds are great to be around young children, others, not so much. Depending on why you want a dog, there are plenty of breeds to choose from.

This is the same idea when it comes to different varieties of cannabis and hemp. Sure, there’s plenty of people who simply want to get high. Marijuana works great for them. Other people have a specific health and wellness need, so they use a hemp or CBD product. Each is bred with a specific reason in mind. Now that you have this in mind, let’s look at some of the most popular reasons for using hemp and different types of products.

How can hemp be used?

At one point in time, hemp was very important. It has been used by humans for over a thousand years to make a wide range of products. At one time, it was even mandatory for farmers to dedicate part of their land for farming hemp due to how useful it is.

There is a lot of versatility with hemp plants. Along with marijuana, hemp was outlawed. Recently, many people have realized just how useful the plant can be and it has been legal on the federal level in the United States since 2018. Since then, there has been a large increase in the amount and types of hemp products that are available on the market. Here are just a few of the primary uses of industrial hemp.


There is a large portion of products made with hemp that fall in the category of hemp. More and more healthy recipes are beginning to call for the use of hemp seeds. When buying hemp seeds, you have two options. They can be bought either unshelled or shelled. These are what are commonly called hemp hearts. These seeds are known as a great source of protein.


After mentioning the amount of protein found in hemp seeds, we could dedicate an entire section to how nutritious hemp can be. If you are looking for healthier fats and protein, hemp is a better source than almond milk, while having fewer calories than the milk we get from a cow.

When it comes to protein-based from a plant, one of the most beneficial sources you will find is hemp. It is what is often referred to as a complete protein. This is due to the fact that it has each of the nine amino acids that are essential for humans to be getting from the food they consume. It’s not very often that you find a “complete protein” from a plant. As the popularity of plant only diets become more and more popular, don’t be surprised if you hear of hemp being used more regularly.


For decades now, there’s been a great debate on cotton vs. hemp. Before the great boom of the cotton industry, hemp was used to make clothing. The stalks of fiber in hemp were great for weaving clothing. There’s great versatility with hemp fiber, but being used to produce clothing has always been a common use for the plant.

With hemp being made illegal, cotton was easily able to take over the market. Many people are choosing to switch back to hemp made clothing after learning of how beneficial hemp can be for the environment. Look for this to become more and more popular as consumers learn the benefits of using hemp.


The idea of making biofuel from hemp is getting more and more serious attention. As scientists begin looking away from fossil fuels to make a cruel that is both suitable and safe for the environment, the use of hemp is getting some attention. Cultivating hemp is becoming more common worldwide and with the amount of hemp being grown increasing, it definitely has the potential for becoming a more useful resource.


For hundreds of years now, paper has been made out of hemp. During ancient times, Egyptians would use hemp to create paper. Here in the United States, the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was written out on a piece of paper made from hemp. Many people say the use of hemp for making paper goes back to China around 200 BC. It’s not exactly a new idea.

Either the hurd or the pulp of a hemp plant can be used for making hemp. While it’s easier to make with the pulp, the paper is stronger when made with the hurd. Over a cycle of 20 years, the same amount of paper can be made with just one acre of hemp as would be made from five to eight acres of trees. This is due to hemp having more cellulose than is found in trees and the fact that hemp grows much quicker.

Along with being more sustainable, paper made with hemp is also more durable. Paper that is made from trees will get a yellow tone to it after a long period of time. This doesn’t happen to paper that has been made out of hemp.


With so many people searching for their opinion of a “perfect” diet, more people are turning to plant milk instead of dairy milk. They see the dairy and cow industry as harming the environment. Also, lactose is a serious issue for many people, leading people to try plant milk. As more as almond and soy milk have become in the previous years, hemp milk is being drunk by more people every day.

This is produced from the seeds of the hemp plant. Water is used to blend the seeds and then strained. This is similar to the process that is used for making milk out of nuts. Hemp milk has a nutty, earthly taste that many people enjoy because of how creamy it is. On top of this, as we mentioned earlier, hemp is packed full of protein, making hemp milk a healthy choice.

Hemp-based CBD oil

By far, this is one of the most popular hemp products currently being purchased and more than likely the reason why you are reading this article. CBD is extracted legally from the industrial hemp plant. Because of this, hemp plays a vital role in the CBD industry that has taken off over the previous two years. Out of all the uses for the hemp plant, this one is currently receiving the most attention.

Those who use CBD and benefit from the products have many reasons they are quick to share as to the benefits of using CBD oil. Everything from relief from seizures, anxiety, depression, better sleep, even healthier-looking skin. That being said, as many reasons as there are for using CBD oil, getting high is not one of them. These products have to be under the .3 percent THC level in order to be legal on the federal level.