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Focus on the differences between hemp and cannabis

Hemp is one of the most widespread plants around the world, and France is even the leading producer in Europe. Cultivated and consumed for several thousand years, this plant is often a source of confusion and prejudice. Most of the time, hemp and cannabis are confused because they belong to the same species. Yet, medical cannabis and industrial hemp are two very different things.

To help you better understand the difference between hemp and cannabis, we invite you to learn more about their definition. All the answers to your questions about the differences between hemp and cannabis can be found in this article.

What is hemp ?

Hemp is a plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family. Used for more than 10,000 years, hemp is exploited in many areas. It can be used as livestock feed, raw material for products such as textiles, papers or even building materials.

Although it comes from the Cannabis sativa species, hemp is not used for recreational purposes because it contains very low amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the molecule responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant. On the other hand, hemp is often rich in CBD (cannabidiol). CBD is the cannabinoid responsible for the therapeutic properties of the plant. This is the reason why CBD is widely used in the making of hemp-derived products: CBD flowers, resins, oils, dietary supplements, etc.

Because of their high nutritional value, hemp seeds are considered a superfood. Rich in good fats, essential fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, vitamin E and minerals, hemp seeds are particularly interesting as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Hemp seeds are also considered to be an excellent source of energy.

Cannabis, what is it ?

In contrast to hemp, cannabis is a more versatile term. It can be used to refer to any plant or product derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp is one type of cannabis, but when we talk about recreational cannabis, we think of cannabis that contains THC. It is also called marijuana.

All varieties of cannabis contain THC, but the levels vary greatly depending on the plant. The important thing to remember is that the biggest difference between industrial hemp and recreational cannabis is therefore its THC content.

How to tell the difference between industrial and recreational cannabis

How to differentiate hemp from cannabis

How do you tell hemp from cannabis?

The chemical composition

In most European countries, hemp is subject to a restriction: the level of THC present in the plant must never exceed 0.3%. This regulation ensures the absence of psychoactive effects potentially harmful to health. Moreover, THC is an illegal substance because it is considered a drug. The only way to make hemp legal is therefore naturally to limit the concentration of THC to the maximum.

For many years, industrial hemp has been grown for its fiber and seeds. But the high levels of CBD it contains make it the ideal plant to create CBD products that are both qualitative and legal. Recreational cannabis, on the other hand, can contain much higher levels of THC, which causes euphoric effects and the feeling of being "high" or "stoned."

The legal status

From a legal point of view, it is important to know that industrial hemp is subject to many rules. Until a few years ago, hemp growers faced many legal obstacles that did not allow them to practice their profession in the best possible conditions. Moreover, it is still impossible in France and in many European countries, to grow a few hemp plants for personal use, even if they contain less than 0.3% THC.

In the European Union, hemp growers must limit themselves to certain hemp varieties that have been certified and accepted by the authorities because they guarantee a THC content of less than 0.3%. Seed sellers must provide official documentation to prove that the levels are being met.


Industrial hemp has many applications, and all parts of the plant are useful. Long exploited for its fibers, it can be used to make textiles, sails and ropes. Its seeds are used for their nutritional properties, and its CBD-rich flowers are used for their therapeutic properties.

For its part, cannabis is only used for its high THC content and psychotropic effect. Although it is illegal in France, some countries such as Holland and the United States allow it and seem to be opening the dialogue about its recreational use.

All the information on our website is intended to help you understand our products. It does not constitute medical advice and is certainly not a substitute for specialist medical advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a specialist before consuming any cbd product.
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