What Differentiates Medical Marijuana From Hemp Products?

What Differentiates Medical Marijuana From Hemp Products?

Separating the wheat from the chaff in the world of cannabis can be challenging. This article aims to demystify the differences between medical marijuana and hemp products.

Understanding the distinguishing characteristics between medical marijuana and hemp is crucial, especially for consumers who wish to make informed decisions. 

Medical marijuana is commonly used for its therapeutic properties, while hemp is a versatile plant used for various purposes, including the production of water-soluble CBD hemp powder. Understanding their differences allows appreciation of their unique values and uses. In recent times, hemp has been recognized as the new cash crop, owing to an increase in demand for hemp-based products.


Key Takeaways

  • Medical marijuana contains higher levels of THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the 'high' in recreational marijuana use, while hemp products have minimal THC concentration, making them non-psychoactive.
  • Medical marijuana is primarily used for pain relief, appetite stimulation, and mood regulation, while hemp is primarily used for its CBD, which has potential therapeutic benefits such as anxiety relief, insomnia treatment, and management of certain types of epilepsy.
  • Legally, hemp is more widely accepted due to its low THC content, with hemp being federally legal in the U.S. and Canada, while the legality of medical marijuana depends on state laws in the U.S.
  • Hemp is grown for industrial purposes and used to produce various commercial items such as paper, textiles, clothing, plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed, offering benefits without psychoactive effects. Medical marijuana, on the other hand, is derived from the cannabis plant with a higher concentration of THC and is primarily used for its medicinal properties.

Understanding the Cannabis Plant

To fully comprehend the distinct differences between medical marijuana and hemp products, a fundamental understanding of the cannabis plant's biology is paramount.

This plant is classified into two primary species: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Both species contain an array of compounds called cannabinoids.

The two most significant cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive element responsible for the 'high' in recreational marijuana use, while CBD is non-psychoactive and often used for its therapeutic properties.

The essential difference between medical marijuana and hemp products lies in the ratio of these compounds. Medical marijuana tends to have higher THC levels, while hemp products are characterized by a higher CBD concentration and minimal THC, typically less than 0.3%.

Medical Marijuana: A Closer Look

Let's delve into the specifics of medical marijuana, a product derived from the cannabis plant with a higher concentration of THC.

Unlike hemp, medical marijuana is cultivated for its high THC content, a psychoactive compound associated with a range of therapeutic benefits.

Prescribed by healthcare professionals, it is used to alleviate symptoms of various ailments like chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

The THC in medical marijuana interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, affecting mood, perception, and appetite. However, its usage comes with potential side effects such as dizziness, impaired memory, and dependency.

The potency and efficacy of medical marijuana products can vary due to factors like strain, cultivation, and processing methods.

Hemp Products: The Basics

In contrast to medical marijuana, hemp products typically contain a minimal concentration of THC, making them vastly different in their effect and usage. Hemp, scientifically known as Cannabis sativa L., is grown specifically for industrial purposes. It has been utilized for thousands of years to produce a wide variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.

Unlike marijuana, hemp is non-psychoactive due to its low THC content. This makes it a safer alternative for people who seek the health benefits of cannabis, but do not wish to experience the 'high' associated with marijuana. Hemp-based products, therefore, offer a range of benefits without the psychoactive effects.

Comparing Medical Marijuana and Hemp

One must consider several key factors when comparing medical marijuana and hemp, including their chemical composition, legality, and potential health benefits.

Medical marijuana typically contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that gives the 'high' sensation, than hemp. On the other hand, hemp is rich in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound that is known for its potential therapeutic benefits.

Legally, hemp is more widely accepted due to its low THC content.

Both have health benefits but are used differently. Medical marijuana is often used for pain relief, appetite stimulation, and mood regulation. Hemp, however, is primarily used for its CBD, which can potentially help with anxiety, insomnia, and certain types of epilepsy.

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NanoCraft was established by Todd Erwin and Stefan McKellar, two longstanding friends with a straightforward mission: to develop superior CBD products that enhance overall health and wellbeing, while also giving back. Our pledge to premium quality products is equally significant as our dedication to the causes we support through our initiative, NanoCraft Kids. 

The ambition of NanoCraft is not only to be an industry frontrunner but also to introduce our top-tier hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products into the arenas of sports, health, and fitness. We aim to educate consumers about the immense health benefits of hemp-derived CBD. Based in the sunny region of La Jolla, California, NanoCraft’s products are engineered to be highly bio-available, ensuring maximum absorption of nutrients and more concentrated effects.

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What is Medical Marijuana?

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness or other conditions. It contains many different cannabinoids, two of which are of significant therapeutic interest THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

What are Hemp Products?

Hemp products are derived from hemp plants, a cousin to the marijuana plant. While Marijuana contains around 5-20% THC, hemp only contains about 0.3% THC. Hemp contains more CBD, which is non-psychoactive and has a variety of potential health benefits.

Can hemp products be used for medical purposes like medical marijuana?

Yes, hemp products like CBD oil have been used for a variety of potential health benefits such as pain relief, anti-inflammation, sleep disorders, anxiety, and more. However, it's important to note that these uses are not as extensively researched and confirmed as the medical applications of marijuana.

Are hemp products legal?

Yes, hemp was federally legalized in the United States with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. However, regulations on hemp-derived products, such as those containing CBD, vary from state to state.

Is a prescription needed to buy hemp products?

No, hemp products, including hemp-derived CBD, are commonly sold over the counter in stores and online. They do not require a prescription. However, it's recommended to consult with a doctor or healthcare professional for guidance on usage and dosage.


In conclusion, deciphering the unique aspects of medical marijuana and hemp-based products is far from simple. Acquiring an understanding of their differing origins, chemical structures, applications, and legal statuses is crucial. Such comprehension not only aids in distinguishing between the two but also serves to make informed choices regarding their usage. Thus, it's essential to further explore and unravel the extensive realm of cannabis to fully appreciate the vast potential of its varied product range. 

On that note, NanoCraft serves as a prime example of a brand committed to developing superior CBD products derived from hemp. Driven by a mission to promote general health and well-being while also giving back, NanoCraft sets the bar high in terms of product quality. The brand's offerings such as CBD drops, soft gels, topicals, and gummies, to name a few, are meticulously crafted in an advanced, cGMP-certified laboratory under rigorous scientific supervision. All of NanoCraft's products undergo third-party testing to guarantee consistent quality. With NanoCraft, consumers can be assured of the safety, legality, and efficacy of the products they choose.

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