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Cannabis... What’s In A Name?

Cannabis and Hemp – are they the same?

Years ago, cannabis referred to (and still refers to) both hemp, with a delta-9 THC weight of 0.3% or less, and Marijuana, with a THC value above 0.3%.

Both hemp and marijuana are the plant cannabis Sativa L, so that is why cannabis refers to both forms. 

This is a topic which I have come to accept but bothers me to no end…it’s actually a pet peeve of mine, that the word cannabis is now synonymous with pot/marijuana.  Here is the fundamental difference:

Cannabis is made up of more than 120 components, which are known as cannabinoids. Experts still aren’t sure what each cannabinoid does, but they have a pretty good understanding of two of them, known as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Cannabis is a generic term that is the name of the plant – only the flower produces THC and CBD, as well as, 118 other components.  It would be like saying poppies are opium.

During the recent relaxation of Marijuana prohibition, Pro-Marijuana advocates started using the term cannabis to refer to pot/marijuana, as the term cannabis did not have the same negative connotations as did marijuana or pot. It is almost as if they were getting people to support cannabis, thinking that this svengali sleight of hand, made marijuana and pot something different.

Over the past few years, marijuana businesses kept referring to their product as cannabis, when in reality cannabis is a generic term that refers to both hemp and marijuana.

So YES – the use of the nomenclature has become confusing and the reality is that the pot/marijuana businesses are hiding behind the generic term, cannabis. In fact, it has become so ingrained that cannabis is now synonymous with pot/marijuana, when in fact that is technically incorrect. This should confuse most people who do not know better and calls into question the origins of the word cannabis.

Cannabis is now widely misused to refer to pot/marijuana and many incorrectly accept this definition. As a hemp farm in New York and entrepreneur, I have come to accept the misuse of the word cannabis, as a ploy to legitimatize the marijuana trade.