What is the difference between cannabis and hemp?
The plant name “cannabis” refers to a group of three plants with psychoactive properties, known as Cannabis Sativa , Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Cannabis Sativa grows tall and skinny and is native more tropical regions including Asia, Africa and Central America. Cannabis Indica grows much shorter and bushier than sativa plants and is native to more arid and mountainous regions like India and Afghanistan. Both Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa varieties are typically what are found in a cannabis dispensary containing high concentrations of THC. Cannabis ruderalis is a short and stalky plant with thick and sturdy stems that typically contains low concentrations of THC.
Through generations of cross breeding, it has become more and more difficult to make a clear distinction between the different varieties of the plant.
Hemp is a member of the cannabis family that is typically cultivated and grown for its fiber, seeds or more recently as a source of medicinal CBD. Hemp, by current U.S. Federal definition, is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. Although industrial hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa species, it does not contain enough of the cannabinoid THC to get you “high”. The lower THC content does allow for much higher concentrations of other compounds within the plant, including CBD and CBG.
Hemp farming is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years, and has historically been used for its strong fibers which can be used for clothing and textiles and more recently for plastics, construction materials and even building homes. Even the seeds from the hemp plant are edible and highly nutritious and a great source of nutrients, protein and omega fatty acids. Nowadays, the plant is also extracted through various processes to isolate CBD and/or a wide range of other compounds from the plant to be used in food and nutritional supplements.
Is hemp and CBD legal?
Hemp is now federally legal, with states given the opportunity to implement their own laws regarding the cultivation and sale of the hemp plant.
After nearly century of prohibition in the U.S., hemp only recently again became legal to grow and use in the United States under federal law. With the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, individual states were permitted to implement laws allowing state departments of agriculture and universities to grow hemp for research or pilot programs. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law in December of 2018, removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, jumpstarting the sleeping industry. The law made it legal for U.S. farmers to grow, process and sell hemp commercially. It also legalized hemp nationwide for any use. State laws vary on a state-to-state basis.
In 2016, the U.S. hemp market was valued at more than $688 million and is now on track to reach $22 billion by 2022.
What is the history of hemp and cannabis legalization?
Cannabis as a whole (including all forms of the plant) was outlawed in 29 states by 1931 due to the Prohibition era’s view of all intoxicants. Shortly after, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 imposed an excise sales tax on the sale, possession or transfer of all hemp products, which effectively criminalized all but industrial uses for the plant. Industrial hemp was grown and sold in the U.S. until the end of WWII and the last legal hemp fields were planted in 1957 in Wisconsin. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, repealing the Marijuana Tax Act and listing Marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug – along with LSD, heroin and ecstasy. It was labeled as having zero medicinal properties.
Many years down the road, California passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which legalized the plant in California for medicinal purposes. Colorado and Washington were the first to fully legalize the plant for recreational use and many states have followed in their footsteps.
Will smoking hemp get me high?
Typically, most drug tests are searching for THC and THC metabolites within the body. Hemp plants, by definition, can contain up to 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. Using any hemp product, including Tree-Rolls Hemp Company products, bears a risk of testing positive for THC on a drug test. For this reason, Tree-Rolls Hemp Company makes no representations or warranties about a consumer's ability to pass a THC drug test after consuming these products.
Will I fail a drug test from hemp and CBD?
Typically, most drug tests are searching for THC and THC metabolites within the body. Hemp plants can contain a small trace amount of THC, so there is potentially a slight risk of testing positive for THC on a drug test. For most drug tests, this would require you to consume a very large amount of hemp products.
Tree-Rolls® Hemp Company products contain less than the legal limit of the cannabinoid THC (under 0.3%). Because of this, we are unable to guarantee that you will pass a drug test. It is unlikely that you will fail a drug test if you consume only CBD hemp, but everyone’s bodies and genetic makeups are unique and different.
What are Trichomes?
In cannabis and hemp, trichomes are the sticky, shiny, aromatic little crystals that cover the flowers and leaves of matured plants. These microscopic mushroom-shaped outgrowths are the plant’s manufacturing centers for producing the hundreds of known cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that make each strain/variety unique, delicious, aromatic and potent.
The word “trichome” originates from the Greek word“ Tríchōma,” which means “growth of hair”. Trichomes can be found in many species of plants, serving various purposes. In hemp and cannabis plants, trichomes function as a defense mechanism against winds and certain types of fungal growth, also acting as a deterrent for animals and bugs because of their bitter taste and strong aromas.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are found everywhere in nature and the cannabis plant is no exception. These are what create the aroma or essence of plants, which is what is used to create a majority of “natural flavors” found in many common food products.
Terpenes are any large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. These terpenes are what give pine trees the scent of pine, or lemons their citrusy aromatic qualities.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabis is made up of over 450 compounds. One group of these compounds is called cannabinoids. The term cannabinoid refers to every chemical substance, regardless of structure or origin, that joins the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain and interacts with our endocannabinoid system. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC, CBD, CBG and CBN, but there have been over 100 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. Experts don’t have a full understanding of each cannabinoid and its effects, but there has been a large body of research on the most prominent cannabinoids, including CBD and the psychoactive compound, THC.
What is CBD?
CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring, non-psychoactive chemical compound (cannabinoid) from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Non-psychoactive refers to the fact that you will not get “high”, as you would from the cannabinoid THC. Aside from THC, CBD is one of the most common cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted and used in many forms (edibles, tinctures, lotions, etc.). There are many studies and large bodies of research on the benefits of consuming CBD and CBD-rich products. Researchers are still attempting to fully understand all of the benefits and applications of this compound.
What is THC?
THC is the acronym for Tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol is a naturally occurring, psychoactive chemical compound (cannabinoid) from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Psychoactive refers to the fact that you will experience the “high” renowned from cannabis found in the medical and recreational markets.
It is produced in cannabis plants, including hemp – but hemp only contains low trace amounts of THC. Federal law currently defines industrial hemp as cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This quantity is much less than what is typically required to get a user high.
What is CBG?
CBG is the acronym for Cannabigerol. Cannabigerol is a naturally occurring, non-psychoactive chemical compound (cannabinoid) from the Cannabis Sativa plant – meaning it won’t get you “high”. There has recently been a large increase in the interest in the potential benefits of CBG.
CBG is usually present as less than 1% on most cannabis strains, but recent hemp strains have seen CBG content of over 20%. Typically, cannabis strains that contain a high concentration of CBG result in a relatively lower concentration of CBD or THC.
CBG is considered to be the precursor to all other phytocannabinoids. This means that CBG turns into other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. Researchers and scientists are currently diving deeper into the potential applications and uses of the cannabinoid.
What is CBN?
CBN is the acronym for Cannabinol. Cannabinol is a naturally occurring, non-psychoactive chemical compound (cannabinoid) from the Cannabis Sativa plant – meaning it won’t get you “high”. CBN is best known as the cannabinoid produced when THC ages. That being said, it’s usually more concentrated in older cannabis.
There are numerous studies on the effects of CBN and its health applications, but it’s most commonly noted for the “couch lock” effect.
What is the difference between THC and CBD?
In other sections of our FAQ, we explain both THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). The main differences are as follows:
- THC is federally illegal and regulated by each state. CBD is federally legal and regulated by each state.
- THC is psychoactive and gives you the intoxicated “high” feeling. CBD is non-psychoactive and does not get you high.
What does slow-cured hemp mean?
If you have ever been curious as to why some cannabis or hemp is harsher or less flavorful than others, it’s because these plants have not been properly cured. Correctly curing the hemp flower is an art form that not only greatly extends the shelf life of the crop, but will also greatly improve the potency, flavor and smoothness of the smoke.
The overall goal of curing is to remove bacteria for long-term storage and preserve the product while retaining the flavors and nutrients. Immediately after hemp plants are harvested, they begin to degrade as enzymes and bacteria break down excess sugars and starches. The curing process, in-essence, forces the hemp plant to use of those sugars, starches and excessive nutrients before they dry out and are trapped within the plant – requiring a very particular combination of the storage and climate conditions. In this case, we’re focused on preserving the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids located within the plant.
Proper slow curing is a longer, more artesian process that will halt the degradation process and protect volatile compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes from evaporating or transforming into other compounds. This requires a combination of the perfect curing environment (temperature, relative humidity, lighting) and tending to the plants to ensure that moisture is removed to the proper levels. This process does not utilize any dryers or ovens to quickly remove moisture, which is extremely common in the industrial hemp industry. Only a proper slow curing process can produce the most delicious and aromatic smokable hemp products.
What is the difference between a good pre-roll and a bad one?
Tree-Rolls® Hemp Company has worked for nearly a decade to develop the world’s most innovative processes and equipment to produce the finest, additive free hemp pre-rolls on the market. These are the main things to look for when searching out the highest quality pre-rolls from the rest:
- Is the “pack” consistent throughout the entire pre-roll? There shouldn’t be any creases, indents or loose spots throughout the pre-roll. Too tight of a pack and the pre-roll will not smoke/draw correctly, and too loose of a pack, the pre-roll will burn unevenly or not maintain its structure.
- What do you see? It should be beautiful ground hemp flower. What you don’t want to see are stems, seeds or too much leaf through the translucent paper, as these have a much harsher flavor and lower concentration of the plant’s terpenes and cannabinoids.
- It’s all about the weight and pack consistency of a pre-roll, not the size. Pre-Rolls do vary in size, depending on the net weight of the pre-roll. Pre-rolls typically range in size from 0.25 grams (small size), up to about 1.25 grams for the larger sizes. Keep in mind that each hemp harvest and grower is different, so even though two different pre-rolls may be the same net weight, they may not always be the same size.
- There should always be a pungent aroma coming from the pre-roll. If you do not immediately smell the aroma when you open the package, or the product smells like grass/hay, the product may be older, the hemp wasn’t cured correctly, or the packaging does not properly seal and store the product.
For more on the topic, Pineworx® published an article explaining the ins-and-outs of selecting the highest quality pre-rolls - How to Judge a Pre-Rolled Joint’s Quality Before you Buy.
What is the difference between a hemp cigarette and hemp pre-roll?
A cigarette-style (cylindrical) paper is what is commonly used in the tobacco industry and is currently making a wave in the smokable hemp industry. These are made with relatively thicker papers (commonly with a filter) and are stuffed with shredded hemp material including stems, seeds, and leaves. The thick papers that are used in cigarette-style hemp pre-rolls produce a heavier/thicker smoke, which when ignited, smells very similar to a tobacco cigarette.
A pre-roll, or pre-rolled cone, is a conical (cone-shaped) paper, filled with hemp. On the skinny end of the cone, pre-rolls usually contain a crutch (mouthpiece) made from cardboard or other materials. Glass, wood, metal are frequently found in more expensive products.
Most pre-rolls come un-filtered, enabling the consumer to experience the full flavor and benefits of the compounds contained in the plant. Pre-rolls also use a MUCH thinner paper – about one-half or one-third the thickness of a cigarette paper, meaning you are inhaling much more of what’s on the inside, rather than the paper itself. This results in a much smoother flavor and less inhalation of combusted paper.
The main reason to choose a pre-rolled cone over a cigarette-style is the manufacturing process and the material that goes inside. Because tobacco cigarettes are made with shredded tobacco and leaves, that means that when producing a cigarette with hemp, it must be in the same condition. Because hemp flower cannot be shredded and it must be ground, this means that a vast majority of hemp cigarette manufacturers are using low quality hemp material (leaves, stems, seeds) to create an optimal pack. There are also many hemp cigarette companies that are using left-over hemp waste that has already been extracted for all of its precious compounds. This is why you can find multi-packs of hemp cigarettes on the market for extremely cheap. We invite you to tear open a hemp cigarette and witness the lower quality material inside.
When it comes to pre-rolls or pre-rolled cones, Tree-Rolls® Hemp Company has spent years mastering production processes to ensure that we can produce the finest smoking hemp pre-rolls using the highest quality hemp flower available.