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Hemp v. Cannabis

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Hemp v. Cannabis

When you think of the word “hemp”, what comes to mind?

If you’re not yet hip to the game, you’ll most likely be predisposed to dismiss “hemp” as “not the real thing”.

Organic free-range hemp (huh? 🤔)

To make this easy peasy to grok, we advance the following analogy:

When perusing the egg section at your local grocer, you’ll come across a litany of confusing terms, such as “organic”, “free range”, “cage free”, “pasture raised”, and the like.

What’s going on here?

Well, all of those terms were contrived by the government; and thus have no reflection in nature, nor physical reality.

Side note: If you really want decent eggs nowadays, you should be supporting small local chicken coops. Those government terms are meaningless. Know. Your. Farmer. Nuff said.

Likewise, the word “hemp” used to mean something; until the government got a hold of it, and changed its definition.

  • Before the year 2018, the word “hemp” was primarily used in common parlance to refer to the fibers derived from the stalks of the cannabis plant. These fibers have been used since the dawn of human history in countless industrial applications; from complex manufacturing, to the production of simple consumer goods, such as clothing.
  • Secondarily (and albeit less common, but still worth noting), the word “hemp”, in certain cultures, was used interchangeably as a synonym for cannabis; similar to the words marijuana, weed, reefer, ganja, pot, etc.

The “hemp” re-definition

Then, in 2018, the government (i.e. the US Feds), arbitrarily redefined “hemp” to mean “cannabis with less than 0.3% active THC”.

In like manner, they re-defined “marijuana” to mean any cannabis which exceeds their arbitrary 0.3% threshold.

And similar to “cage free” and “free range”, the government re-definitions of “hemp” and “marijuana” have no bearing in nature, nor physical reality.

Side note: Pretty much any time the government gets to work “re-defining” something, you can be sure the “re-definition” is contrary to nature.

Back to reality

When all cannabis plants are growing, they are all naturally low in THC.

So, therefore, the government would consider pretty much all pre-harvest cannabis to be “hemp”.

There are exceptions, of course; where this ridiculous 0.3% threshold would be exceeded; and the Feds would magically deem it “marijuana”; and, if the farmer doesn’t have a license, swoop in and destroy the crop. (Good job guys 👍🏼)


It is only in the post-harvest curing process that the THC levels in the cannabis plant begin to rise. This is a process known as decarboxylation (or decarb, for short).

In mere hours after harvest, outdated curing methods will decarb the plant into what the government considers “marijuana”.

“Outdated curing methods”; as in those which were used to cure the flower at your local dispensary.

So, in order to keep the plant situated comfortably in this new legal “hemp” category, Master Hempists devised a curing process—dubbing it the Magical Cannabis Curing Methodology™—which cures the plant, but does not decarb it; thereby keeping the plant legally classified as “hemp”.

Hemp = the New High

We know what you’re thinking!

“How do I get the THC if ‘hemp’ doesn’t have any?”

Ahh, young Padawan; you have yet to learn the ways of the Magical Cannabis Curing Methodology™.

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Disclaimer: The content presented by Cloud Hempistry, LLC, here on the CannaScholar blog, or elsewhere, is provided solely for educational purposes only; and is not intended to constitute medical advice. You should consult your physician prior to using cannabis to determine if it is appropriate for your particular needs and goals.

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