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Smoking Hemp Flower Vs. Weed: The Difference Between Hemp and Weed

One of the most common misconceptions about hemp and weed (marijuana) is that they are two distinctively different plant species. However, they’re just two different names for Cannabis sativa, a flowering plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family.

Even though science classifies both the hemp flower and weed as cannabis, there are several differences between them. In this post, we’ll break down what hemp flower and weed are, what it feels like to smoke each of them, as well as all the factors that differentiate them. This way, we can clear up the confusion surrounding this topic and answer questions you may have.

 What Is Hemp Flower?

Hemp flower is basically a cannabis plant that contains 0.3% or less THC content by dry weight. With such low levels of THC, smoking CBD flower is unlikely to get you high. Instead, you’ll experience a calming wave of relaxation, improved focus, and overall feelings of well-being.

Since it was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, farmers can grow CBD hemp flower and use it to produce CBD products. Hemp flower is also grown for industrial purposes, such as manufacturing clothes, ropes, shoes, skin care products, carpets, shampoo, paper, animal feed, plastics, and even building materials.

Since hemp flower has so many benefits, it's considered to be better than marijuana flower. It's also a perfect alternative for cannabis enthusiasts who want to enjoy CBD’s medicinal and therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects associated with THC.

What Is Weed?

Weed, also known as marijuana, refers to all varieties of the cannabis plant that contain more than 0.3% THC content by dry weight. These plants are mainly grown for their flowers and trichomes, which usually contain high levels of THC. So when someone mentions weed or marijuana, they’re most likely talking about cannabis varieties that can get you high or induce extreme feelings of bliss.

It's worth noting that THC content varies from one cannabis plant to another. When grown naturally, the THC content of these plants rarely exceeds 15%. However, due to the increased demand for high-THC weed, some breeders have perfected the art of breeding some marijuana strains to increase their THC content.

 Smoking marijuana is likely to result in the following effects:

  • A sense of relaxation
  • Increased appetite
  • Slower reaction time
  • Loss of coordination
  • Sudden feelings of happiness

It’s worth noting that not everyone gets the same effects from smoking weed. Some people tend to experience a feeling of nervousness, fear, and panic immediately after smoking marijuana. These effects are often common among inexperienced smokers or when a person smokes too much high-THC marijuana.

Smoking Hemp Flower Vs. Weed: Similarities and Differences

As mentioned, both the hemp flower and marijuana plant belong to the Cannabaceae family and appear almost identical. Even though these plants share a few attributes, they’re quite different. Here are some of their similarities and differences:



One of the biggest similarities between hemp flower and weed is that both cannabis plants contain several cannabinoids, with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most prevalent ones. THC is responsible for the high or the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana, while CBD is known for its therapeutic and mood-enhancing effects associated with the hemp flower.


Both hemp flower and weed contain terpenes, the aromatic compounds responsible for their unique scents and aromas. It’s also worth noting that these terpenes contribute to the therapeutic and sensory experiences of both cannabis varieties.


Chemical Composition

The biggest difference between hemp flower and weed is in their chemical composition, specifically in their THC and CBD content. Hemp flower is legally defined as a type of cannabis variety containing 0.3% or less THC content in dry weight.

On the other hand, weed or marijuana is a type of cannabis plant with THC content of up to 30%. The high THC content is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with smoking marijuana.

Legal Status

In the United States, hemp flower is federally legal in all 50 states, provided it contains less than 0.3% THC content.

On the other hand, marijuana is federally illegal, but different states reserve the right to either ban or legalize it. Over the years, several states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while others have only legalized it for medicinal use.

As of the writing of this post, there are only six states where marijuana is fully illegal. These states include Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

Even though some states have legalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, law enforcement personnel in these states may still arrest people who carry weed to these states without proper documentation. Therefore, it's important to stay up to date with the state laws regarding marijuana to avoid getting in trouble with the law.


You will also find a distinct difference between the cultivation process of hemp flower vs. weed. For example, hemp flower seeds are usually planted closely together, as close as four inches apart. They can also be grown in various climates, and their average life cycle is approximately 108 to 120 days.

On the other hand, marijuana plants are usually grown about six feet apart in a life cycle of 60 to 90 days. And unlike the hemp plant, marijuana requires warm and humid temperatures to produce buds with high THC levels.


Hemp flower is widely available compared to weed. In the United States, hemp flower is federally legal, meaning you can grow it for personal use. You can also buy hemp products in online marketplaces and marijuana dispensaries all across the country.

On the other hand, several states in the country have implemented local restrictions that have limited the availability of marijuana.


Hemp plants look quite different from marijuana plants. They usually grow to be taller and skinnier compared to weed plants, which are shorter, bushier, and with broader leaves.

In terms of color, hemp flowers are often green with some darker hues, while marijuana produces red, pink, brown, or yellow flowers.

Public Perception

Even though both hemp and marijuana belong to the Cannabaceae family, hemp-derived products are more widely accepted than marijuana. That's because many people still believe that weed is for stoners. As a result, weed is still a marginalized substance, especially among straight-laced individuals.

Smoking Hemp Flower Vs. Weed: The Bottom Line

The main difference between hemp flower and weed is that the former contains lower THC content than the latter. Therefore, unlike weed, smoking CBD will not get you high. Instead, you'll experience several other effects, such as an improved mood, increased energy, and general feelings of well-being.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main difference between hemp flower and weed?

Hemp flower contains 0.3% THC content or less, while weed contains THC content of up to 30%. The high THC content found in marijuana is responsible for its psychoactive effects. So when deciding whether its better smoking hemp flower vs. weed, you can choose based on your desired effects.

Is CBD the same as hemp flower?

No, hemp flower and CBD are completely different. CBD is a compound present in both hemp flower and marijuana plants. This compound is well-known for providing relieving, calming, and relaxation benefits without any mind-altering effects.

How is hemp flower consumed?

There are various methods that you can use to consume hemp flower safely. These include vaping, smoking, making tea, making edibles, and dabbing. You can also take hemp flower as a supplement in the form of tinctures and capsules.



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