Cannabis, Hemp & Marijuana and their potential business opportunities.
To the untrained eye Marijuana and Hemp, both types of cannabis, can look the same. Mature plants are easier to tell
apart but, let’s look at some significant differences.
“Cannabis is the ‘Superset’ with Hemp and Marijuana as ‘Subsets’ or hybrids of cannabis.” Sometimes the terms cannabis
and hemp are used interchangeably too, depending on the context.
The term ‘Marijuana’, a name originally formulated to demonize the sacred plant, usually refers to the smokeable flowers
of one of the three primary species.
Marijuana is typically high in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol – the compound that when activated makes you ‘high’) and low in
CBD (Cannabidiol – the non-psychoactive compound), which in recent studies seems to be a cure all for just about
anything from cancer to diabetes.
In cannabis strains, THC and CBD are generally inversely proportional to each other. Meaning that it is typical to have
high THC and low CBD in marijuana, and low THC and high CBD in hemp, depending on strains and genetics.
The term ‘iHemp’ or ‘Industrial Hemp’ refers to hemp, which has a THC level of 0.35% or lower. Industrial hemp can be
high in CBD, which makes hemp biomass valuable as a medicine source. THC has its place, but CBD is the real star. You
don’t get high when you take CBD, but you do feel calm and focused.
Industrial hemp has many uses, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel.
You can legally buy hemp seeds in New Zealand and grow them if you have a license.
The take home story is that Hemp or Industrial Hemp is typically very high in CBD. For the countries that understand how
this works, CBD has become very popular as a food and cosmetics ingredient.
In New Zealand it is predicted by leaders in the hemp industry, that the ‘Food and Cosmetics’ business opportunity will
dwarf the ‘Recreational and Medicinal’ business opportunity. So, if other countries are anything to go by we hope it can
happen in New Zealand too. Which if it did, would help to heal the nation, physically, spiritually and financially.
Marco Fantham is Editor of iHemp Magazine (Promoting the Economic, Environmental, Health and Social Benefits of a New
Zealand Hemp Industry)