The main distinction that separates hemp seeds from cannabis seeds sits in the amounts of certain compounds, called cannabinoids, present within them. The 2018 Farm Bill established a limit of 0.3 percent THC content for any Cannabis sativa plant to be classified as hemp in the US – seeds included. Some local jurisdictions on the state level (and other regions of the world) have their own definition of what distinguishes hemp from cannabis. Still, this 0.3% THC content threshold is quickly becoming an accepted standard.
Cannabis seeds, while again technically from the same plant as hemp seeds, are more often associated with the legal cannabis market for medicinal and recreational consumption. Anyone involved within the cannabis industry knows that the key to a high-quality cannabis product starts with the seeds used for production.
Fueled by widespread acceptance and removal of regulations, the hemp and cannabis industries are growing rapidly across the globe. They may technically be the same plant from a scientific standpoint, but in lawmakers’ eyes, two classifications exist with their own set of rules and regulations. Understanding the difference between hemp and cannabis seeds is a critical step for anyone involved in these industries – from seed to sale.
Hemp seeds can be used for a variety of everyday purposes and have been for years. The seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant are highly nutritious and can be found on the shelves of your local health food store. These seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, granola, and any other kitchen concoction you can scheme up in their processed form.
These seeds are essential both to the businesses and farmers who grow the cannabis crops and the consumers who use the many different varieties of cannabis products currently available. And while there are numerous methods to growing and producing the plant itself, the entire industry relies on the ability to use viable cannabis seeds obtained from a reputable and reliable source.
Today’s pot is much more potent than what was available decades ago. The average pot seized by law enforcement in 1995 had about 4 percent THC. Even that was 13 times the current legal amount in hemp.
You can throw a party with hemp-laced brownies, but the most your guests can hope for is an extra dose of protein and omega 3’s. Or maybe a more restful sleep.
Hemp and marijuana are often confused.
That amount is minuscule. Even ridiculous, according to some hemp advocates who are pushing to increase the legal amount.
How much? Marijuana on the streets today has an average of 42 times more THC, according to drugs seized by federal agents last year and analyzed for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Both come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. They have the same pointy leaves and pungent smell.
The key difference can’t be seen.
Industrial hemp has many potential uses. Hemp fibers can be used in textiles or industrial processes. Hemp can also be used for grain, and the flowers are often used as a source for cannabidiol, a hemp extract also known as CBD.
Hemp and marijuana are, taxonomically speaking, the same plant; they are different names for the same genus (Cannabis) and species.
What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Why is there interest in growing hemp?
“Many see industrial hemp as a rapidly growing industry and a way to replace losses in acreage or value in other commodities,” Melton says.
Is it now legal to grow hemp in North Carolina?
It is legal to grow hemp, but you must be licensed.