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A question that we get asked frequently at Populum is: “Are hemp and marijuana the same thing?” The short answer is – no.


hemp and marijuana are different


Some frequently asked questions when customers are searching for hemp oil is “Do I need a marijuana license?“How much THC is in your oil?” “WIll I experience a high?”

In short – no, hemp extract and marijuana extracts are not the same thing. Populum tinctures are derived from hemp plants, which are quintessentially different than marijuana.

We have noticed that as hemp oil becomes more popular, this is a misconception that could potentially make people apprehensive when shopping for hemp oil. We hope to clear up some of the confusion in this article by listing the top 3 differences between hemp and marijuana.

1. Hemp VS Marijuana – A Clear Distinction in Their Definition

Hemp oil is derived from Industrial Hemp plants and have miniscule to zero traces of  THC.  The Farm Bill which was passed in 2014 defined “Industrial Hemp” as strains of Cannabis Sativa L with less than 0.3% THC. While 0.3% is still a minimal amount, Populum works with farmers licensed by the state departments of agriculture to only source and use US grown hemp that strictly follow these legal rules and guidelines. On top of that, Populum works with labs to ensure the quality of its oil and to test for any other toxins, such as pesticides.  

 definition of industrial hemp

Definition of Industrial Hemp in the Farm Bill of 2014


Marijuana, on the other hand, is the term for cannabis that has a higher concentration of THC. An average batch of marijuana can contain anywhere from 5-30% of THC, which is the chemical compound that makes you feel high. This psychoactive substance is what makes marijuana much more heavily regulated. You can only find these products in dispensaries in either medically or recreationally legalized states, such as Colorado or Washington.

2. Hemp and Marijuana are grown entirely differently

hemp field in kentucky

One of the easiest ways to distinguish between hemp and marijuana is the way they are grown. Hemp farms can now be found on multi-acre farms across states such as Colorado, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Due to its versatile nature, it can be grown in variety of different climates with minimal care. (It’s considered one of the most versatile crops in the world!)

 Marijuana is grown quite differently than hemp. Due to its sensitive nature, marijuana is grown in carefully controlled – warm and humid – areas, such as greenhouses. Its growth cycle is typically much shorter than hemp. In order to make sure the plant’s purity and concentration are not diluted by being too close to other plants, marijuana strains are grown 5-6 feet apart from one another.

3. Hemp has a lot more applications than marijuana

In addition to its cultivation differences, hemp and marijuana have a drastic difference in how they’re used. Hemp is popularly known to have thousands of different applications. Not only can its extracts be used to help make hemp oil, such as our premium tinctures, but you can also find hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, and hemp protein powders in grocery stores, hemp shirts at your local Patagonia, and organic hemp soaps from Dr. Bronners. Overall, the entire hemp plant, ranging from its leaves, stalks, to its seeds can all be used for many different consumer products.

Contrastingly, marijuana is strictly grown for its extracts, which are mainly used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Its psychoactive properties continue to make marijuana a much more restricted plant, although its deregulation is gaining momentum.  In 2017, there are now 29 states that have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form. Among those, 8 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

In a nutshell, it’s important to recognize that hemp and marijuana are different. Not only are they defined and regulated differently under law, but their cultivation and applications are clearly distinct from one another. As an ambassador for hemp, we at Populum will continue to work on informing customers of the distinctions between the two. If this if your first time shopping for hemp oil, feel free to take advantage of our 30 day risk free trial to see if it works for you.

Have any further questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team. Contact us

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