Cannabis Sativa is a versatile plant species that has been used for various purposes for centuries. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in smoking hemp, a type of cannabis sativa plant that is distinct from marijuana. In this guide, we will explore the differences between marijuana and hemp, and provide an overview of smoking hemp for those who are new to this experience.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is characterized by its low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Hemp has been cultivated for its fibers, seeds, and oils, and is used in a wide range of industrial applications, including textiles, plastics, biofuels, and more. Hemp is legal to grow and use in many countries, including the United States, as long as it contains 0.3% or less of Delta 9 THC by dry weight.
Understanding the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
While marijuana and hemp both belong to the cannabis sativa plant family, they are distinct in their chemical composition and uses. Here are some key differences between marijuana and hemp:
- THC content: Marijuana is typically high in Delta 9 THC, which is responsible for its psychoactive effects. THC levels in marijuana can range from 5% to 35% or even higher. In contrast, hemp contains very low levels of THC, usually below 0.3%, which means it does not produce psychoactive effects when consumed.
- CBD content: Both marijuana and hemp contain CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive compound known for its potential health benefits. However, hemp is often cultivated for its higher CBD content, while marijuana strains typically contain low levels of CBD.
- Legal status: Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, which means it is illegal at the federal level. However, many states have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational use. On the other hand, hemp is legal to grow and use in the United States as long as it meets the criteria of containing 0.3% or less of Delta 9 THC.
- Uses: While marijuana is primarily used for recreational and medicinal purposes, hemp has a wide range of industrial applications. Hemp fibers can be used to make textiles, paper, rope, and building materials. Additionally, hemp seeds are used for food, oil, and supplements. While hemp extracts, including CBD, are used in various health and wellness products.
Benefits of Smoking Hemp
Smoking hemp has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential benefits. Here are some reasons why people choose to smoke hemp:
- Relaxation and stress relief: Hemp contains CBD, which delivers calming and relaxing effects. Smoking hemp can be a natural way to unwind and alleviate stress without the psychoactive effects of THC.
- Potential health benefits: Cannabinoids in hemp have been studied for its potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety properties.
- Smoking cessation aid: Some people use hemp as a smoking cessation aid, as it can provide a similar sensory experience to smoking without the addictive nicotine found in cigarettes.
Tips for Smoking Hemp
If you’re new to smoking hemp, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Choose high-quality hemp flower: Look for reputable sources that provide lab-tested hemp flower. High-quality hemp flower will have a rich aroma, a fresh and sticky texture, and will be free from any mold or mildew.
- Use proper smoking equipment: Invest in a good quality grinder, rolling papers, or a pipe specifically designed for smoking hemp. Proper equipment can enhance your smoking experience and ensure you get the most out of your hemp flower.
- Start with a small amount: If you’re new to smoking hemp, start with a small amount and gradually increase your dosage as you become more familiar with its effects. Remember that hemp contains low levels of THC, so you’re unlikely to experience psychoactive effects, but it’s always best to start low and go slow.
- Experiment with different strains and flavors: Hemp comes in a variety of strains and flavors, each with its unique characteristics. Try different strains to find the ones that suit your taste preferences and desired effects. Some popular hemp strains include Lifter, Sour Space Candy, and Elektra, among others.
- Pay attention to your body’s response: Everyone’s body is different, so pay attention to how your body responds to smoking hemp. Take note of any changes in mood, relaxation, or other effects, and adjust your dosage accordingly.
- Store hemp properly: Proper storage is crucial to maintain the freshness and potency of hemp flower. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent degradation.
Smoking hemp can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for beginners and cannabis enthusiasts alike. It offers a natural alternative to tobacco or marijuana, with low levels of THC and a wide range of potential health benefits. By understanding the differences between marijuana and hemp, choosing high-quality hemp flower, using proper smoking equipment, and paying attention to your body’s response, you can embark on a satisfying journey of discovering the flavors and effects of hemp.