The Difference Between Hemp and Cannabis

Learn about the similarities, differences and uses of cannabis and hemp.

Cannabis vs. Hemp? What is hemp? Are hemp and cannabis the same plant? What is hemp used for medically? Which is better - Hemp or Cannabis? These are some very common questions on hemp and cannabis. Especially now that the medicinal properties of cannabis and cannabis-derived products have become more accessible globally.

Similarities Between Cannabis & Hemp

Cannabis and hemp share quite a few common traits beyond just their genetic similarities. When looking at cannabis vs. hemp, both species of plants produce similar looking leaf structures, their seeds have high nutritional value, and their plant fibers are strong and can be used in the making of rope and textiles. However, in today’s times both are primarily cultivated in order to harvest the buds they produce which can contain varying potency levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are the central focus of a rapidly expanding global industry of medical, wellness, cosmetic, and other consumer products due to the medicinal properties of cannabis.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis Sativa, commonly known as cannabis or marijuana, is a grouping of plant species found to grow naturally in various regions across the globe. Varieties include indica, sativa, and ruderalis, however most modern cultivars of cannabis are a hybridisation of these varieties with all producing the medicinal properties of cannabis. Mature cannabis plants produce highly resinous buds that are utilized for their therapeutic medicinal value. Over 140 cannabinoids can be found within the cannabis plant, as well as over 200 terpenes.

What is Hemp?

Now let’s look at the question – are hemp and cannabis the same? Hemp is a variety of plant species closely related to cannabis. In jurisdictions where the cultivation of cannabis is prohibited, hemp is most commonly utilized for its cannabinoid content, primarily low to moderate potencies of CBD along with negligible to low potency values of THC. Harvested hemp can be used in the creation of therapeutic cannabinoid extracts, nutritional supplements, fabrics, rope, plastics and other products and industrial applications. Now that’s we’ve looked at cannabis vs. hemp, let’s look at what are hemp-derived products.

Consumer Products

For centuries many different cultures have cultivated cannabis and hemp to be used in the creation of a wide variety of consumer cannabis and hemp-derived products.



Infused Edible Oils

Nutritional Supplements



Sublingual Sprays


Topical Creams


Transdermal Patches


Whole Dry Flower

Building Materials

Vaporized Extracts



Comparative infographic detailing the differences between cannabis and hemp in terms of growth and usage

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