What do you imagine when you hear the word ‘cannabis’? We assume that you see a picture of a person smoking a joint or dealing with filling up a bong. Cannabis is always associated with relaxation and rarely or almost never with plant-based plastic products, military fabric, or durable paper. But the truth is that cannabis does have something to do with all these industrial products—in fact, as much as with the recreational qualities of a drug known as weed or pot. People rarely know that marijuana and hemp are two types or, to be more accurate, subspecies of cannabis. Being aware of that, you are likely to question yourself: how is cannabis different from hemp?
What Does the Word ‘Hemp’ Mean?
Linguistics is a very helpful field of study. It assists in understanding and explains many questions that continuously pop up in our heads. You might be surprised, but it has a wide range of interactions with the most sudden matters of human’s activity. So, it is obvious that linguistics has some hidden connections with weed smoking as well. For example, if you have already asked yourself about the difference between hemp and cannabis, the philological discipline will give you an immediate answer. Translated into the Latin language, a simple word ‘hemp’ means ‘cannabis,’ which we all know very well. But hemp is a type of cannabis that does not serve the purpose of getting high; instead, it is usually used for different industrial or even commercial needs. There are many kinds of food, paper, textile products, plastic things, body care creams and oils, detergents, and building products delivered from the hemp utilizing factories. Hemp is known and valued for its durable and strong leaves and easy way of cultivating—it does not need any expensive herbicides or pesticides. To generalize the foregoing information, we have to say that hemp is a strong, undemanding in cultivation, and very practical in growing type of cannabis, while marijuana can be described as a weak-leaved plant that can be broken easily in comparison to the most commercial cannabis type—hemp.
Same Plant, Different Species
So as we see now, cannabis is a scientific, generally unified and way more serious internationally accepted name for both plants—marijuana and hemp. So we do not have to confuse or totally match any two of them—neither cannabis and hemp nor hemp and marijuana.
For instance, a blunt can be made of cannabis, hashish, or marijuana. As you can see, marijuana and hemp are derived from cannabis and are representatives of the group of its closest relatives.
That is why there is no need for a battle between cannabis and hemp—they are quite similar, but one of them, as it was mentioned above, can be described as a sort of the mother plant that has a wider philological meaning and more biological branches (subspecies). That is cannabis, as you can easily guess.