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Understanding the Differences Between Cannabis and Hemp

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

In the world of plants, the Cannabis genus stands out as a fascinating and diverse botanical family. Two notable members, hemp and cannabis, often cause intrigue and confusion. To start, these two distinct varieties are part of the Cannabis sativa plant, where they each exhibit fundamental differences in their composition, application, environmental impact, and legal status. These differences not only fascinate the plant community in terms of cultivation methods, but also emphasize their diverse roles in consumption.

As plant enthusiasts enter this new trend of growing cannabis plants, we are going to unravel the complexity of cannabis and hemp, and the practical and recreational aspects of both in indoor gardening.

Genetic Makeup: THC vs. CBD Composition

At first glance, hemp and cannabis may appear almost identical. However, their genetic compositions and the compounds they contain prove differently. As members of the Cannabis sativa species, hemp and cannabis are distinguished by their classification based on THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content.

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, contains higher levels of THC, which is the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric effects when consumed.

In contrast, hemp is characterized by minimal THC content, (typically below 0.3%) but contains higher concentrations of CBD (Cannabidiol), making it a versatile resource for industrial, medicinal, and nutritional purposes. Learning these differences is crucial in understanding their diverse usage in our everyday lives.

Industrial Uses

A significant divergence between cannabis and hemp lies in their industrial applications. Originating in Central Asia, hemp has been cultivated for its fibers, seeds, and oil. Hemp fibers are known for their strength, and have traditionally been used in textiles, paper, and rope. Hemp seeds are rich in essential fatty acids and protein, which contribute to many nutritional products.

On the other hand, cannabis is primarily cultivated for its flowering buds, harvested for medicinal or recreational use, emphasizing its psychoactive properties.


The legal status of cannabis and hemp represents a critical distinction, shaped by evolving societal attitudes and political considerations. Many countries have embraced the legalization of hemp due to its industrial applications and low THC content, making it a more accessible option for home growers within legal boundaries.

Cannabis, on the other hand, remains a complex issue. Some regions have moved towards decriminalization or full legalization, whether for medicinal or recreational use, while others maintain strict prohibition or are heavily regulated. It is advised to check your provincial rules and laws to confirm usage.

Exploring Cannabis and Hemp Plant Uses

Wellness Potential

For houseplant enthusiasts interested in the therapeutic aspects, cultivating hemp for its CBD content can offer opportunities to explore the world of natural remedies. CBD-infused oils or extracts derived from hemp plants are renowned for their potential health benefits, ranging from stress relief to alleviating discomfort.

Cultivation Practices

Beyond the chemical composition and intended use, the cultivation practices of cannabis and hemp differ significantly. These differences not only reflect the distinct characteristics of each variety but also influence the environmental impact and resource requirements of their cultivation.

Cannabis cultivation is often a meticulous and resource-intensive process. The goal is to create an environment that fosters the development of potent and high-quality buds. Growing indoors would require a controlled environment with specialized lighting, humidity, and temperature levels throughout the plant’s life cycle.

Hemp cultivation, in contrast, prioritizes the fibrous structure (or stalk length) and overall plant size, rather than the flowering buds. Hemp is often celebrated for its resilience and adaptability, requiring fewer pesticides and herbicides compared to other crops.

Using Nurture Growth Organic Biofertilizer On Your Cannabis Plants

To ensure your Cannabis sativa plants are receiving the right amount of nutrients, adding in our organic biofertilizer will help stimulate root growth, increasing the yield of flower buds in cannabis, and stalk growth for hemp plants.

Infographic of using Nurture Growth during the different seed stages

We have conducted a trial using our organic biofertilizer on a set of cannabis plants where we’ve applied on the leaves and directly on the soil. Based on our findings, the cannabis leaf is fuller compared to the leaf where nothing was used. More benefits include a 10-20% boost in bud size and density, potent in fragrance, and smoother taste with no chemical resins.

Using a certified organic fertilizer like Nurture Growth Biofertilizer will add a healthy microbial population to your soil which will fix and solubilize the nutrients that the plant needs.

Using Nurture Growth vs synthetic fertilizer

Applying Nurture Growth Bio’s Organic Biofertilizer:

  • Apply every 7 days from seed to flowering stages

  • Apply on leaves and soak in the soil

  • 5mL of Nurture Growth to 1L of water for every 50sq ft.

Growing Hemp and Cannabis Plants

Recognizing the differences between hemp and cannabis opens opportunities for cultivating the plants within your own home. Whether you're drawn to the therapeutic potential of cannabis or the versatile applications of hemp, the journey of growing these plants indoors will be rewarding if grown responsibly and ethically.

Disclaimer: Legal and Educational Information on Cannabis and Hemp Cultivation

This blog is provided solely for educational purposes. Readers are strongly advised to seek legal counsel regarding cannabis and hemp cultivation due to regional variations and evolving laws. Nurture Growth Bio explicitly disclaims liability for any legal consequences arising from cultivation activities, and it does not endorse such practices. For therapeutic guidance, consult healthcare professionals. By engaging with this content, you acknowledge that the blog is not a substitute for professional advice, and the authors assume no responsibility for any legal or health-related outcomes resulting from its use.

Characteristics of Nurture Growth organic biofertilizer




Blogger Biography

Freda is a Toronto-based social media and digital marketer. New to the plant world, she is looking forward to learning all the tips and tricks on how to keep her plant babies thriving! If she's not walking her maltipoo Leo, you can find her practising yoga or enjoying live music.


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