|The difference between hemp and marijuana
"Hemp is just marijuana stems." "Hemp is the male marijuana plant". "If you eat enough hemp, you'll get high." "Hemp is illegal because otherwise, people would hide marijuna plants in hemp fields...." Have you heard anything like this before? Unfortunately, misinformation about the relationship between hemp and marijuana is everwhere, even with people that think they know a lot about cannabis. However, they are actually very plants, genetically distinct and grown very differently from each other. Think about peppers. Spicy peppers, like jalapeno and habanero peppers, have relatively high levels of a chemical called capsaicin. Sweet peppers are still peppers, but don't have nearly the same effects on the mind and body.
Both hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis plant. Over thousands of years, cannabis has been selectively bred to be best suited for a variety of climate conditions, soil types, and uses. Today, there are hundreds of different types suited for specific uses.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of types of high THC cannabis, each with differing amounts of THC and different levels of other cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, CBD. There are also types suited for outdoor or indoor growing, differnt light patterns, etc. High THC varieties of cannabis typically have between 5%-20% THC.
Marijuana plants are spaced far apart from each other, are carefully pruned, males are removed, and they do not grow very tall. Hemp, on the other hand, is planted in tight rows, and grows tall, 6 feet, 8 feet, and if grown for fiber, it can grow 12 feet, 15 feet, or even taller! Hemp is grown on a large scale; several acres at a time. Just by seeing how the seed is planted, one can tell that someone is not growing marijuana.
"Cross-pollination" is an agricultural term that describes what happens when two genetically distinct varieties pollinate with eachother, resulting in crossbreeds. Male marijuna plants are removed to keep marijuana from pollinating (even with itself), or else it will produce seeds and lose value. But even worse, if marijuana pollinates with hemp, it will become a mix of hemp and marijuana, essentially losing half of its THC content. Hiding a marijuna plant in a hemp field would be suicide for the marijuana plant- it would turn the marijuana into hemp!
In fact, former CIA director James Woolsey has promoted hemp for its anti-marijuana properties. Hemp pollen is microscopic and can be blown for miles by the wind. It can't be seen and can even enter indoors through cracks in the door or through windows. A hempfield would naturally eradicate any marijuana grow operations for miles around. Tell that to the next person that opposes hemp farming!!