Hemp and weed are often closely associated with one another because of their origins. Taxonomically speaking, both hemp and weed belong to the same family (Cannabaceae) and genus (cannabis). They even look and smell the same. This makes many people to think that their products, particularly their buds, are the same or at least have the same effects. To clear the smoke on this frequently confusing subject, let’s explore the main differences between hemp and weed buds.
What Is A Bud?
In cannabis culture, a bud is a term that is often used to refer to dried, cured, and consumable parts of the cannabis plant. Essentially, they are what would be found on display at weed dispensaries and they can either be completely dried or sticky. Before it is processed, the bud is the actual flower of the cannabis plant.
Hemp Bud versus Weed Bud
First things first, it is important to understand the difference between hemp and weed. By definition, hemp is a term that is used to classify cannabis varieties with 0.3 percent (or less) THC levels while weed or marijuana is cannabis varieties containing more than 0.3 percent THC level. Weed can, therefore, induce a psychotropic (or high) effect on the user. Learn more about the differences between weed and hemp at Weed Center.
So, how are their buds different? Well, let’s find out.
1. Physical Characteristics
When it comes to their look or smell, hemp and weed buds aren’t much different. This because they contain the same flavonoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in the cannabis flowers. If you are keen, however, you can tell the difference between these buds by looking at their colors. Hemp buds tend to vary from red to purple while weed buds are dark purple.
2. Chemical Characteristics
The main difference between hemp and weed buds is in their chemical composition, especially the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that they contain. For starters, THC is the chemical compound that is responsible for the ‘high ‘or psychotropic effects. An average batch of weed bud has between 5 and 20 percent THC content. Some premium weed buds may contain up to 25 to 30 percent THC. On the other hand, hemp bud has a maximum THC level of 0.3 percent or less. This makes it impossible for users to feel any psychoactive effects when they use hemp buds. Hemp buds also contain high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), which is often associated with several unique benefits.
Hemp and weed buds also differ when it comes to their applications. Weed buds, for instance, are reasonably limited in their usage. Users can smoke weed buds to get high or consume it as a potential medical or spiritual drug. On the other hand, hemp buds have a vast number of uses. More recently, high CBD hemp strains have been used as sources of CBD oil extracts, which are used in making edibles, concentrates, tinctures, and a host of other products due to its non-psychoactive, therapeutic benefits.
Since they contain different levels of THC, hemp and weed buds are regulated differently. Although hemp and its products were previously regulated as illegal substances under the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, it was cleared under the 2018 Farm Bill Act. In other words, hemp and hemp-derived products with 0.3 percent THC (or less) were federally legalized. The increased legality of hemp is the biggest contributor to the rapid acceleration in the availability of hemp-derived products across the globe. On the other hand, weed and weed-products are still categorized as Schedule 1 drugs. This simply implies that weed bud is considered illegal under the federal law. Nonetheless, individual states have the ability to legalize medicinal or recreational weed bud and that’s why people who live in certain states or countries may have access to weed buds.
The Bottom Line
Although hemp and weed buds are derived from plants that are both members of the cannabis species, they are different in terms of their chemical composition, uses, and legality. While it is easy to confuse them, especially based on physical appearance, it is important to learn the difference between them. Hopefully, this short guide has shed some light on the differences between the two.