Cannabis and its many names are often incorrectly used to describe one another. Cannabis is a genus of plants with 2 primary classifications, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Generally, marijuana is the name given to the type of plant that contains higher amounts of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore marijuana is the type of Cannabis that gets you high. Marijuana can come from either Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. Hemp however is a name that refers to a variety of Cannabis sativa. Hemp is actually chemically different than marijuana.
The hemp plant (and marijuana plant) contains compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a group of various chemical compounds that, when in our body, act on our brains cannabinoid receptors. Most of these cannabinoids are generally never mentioned with the exception of two, CBD and THC. The main compound found in Hemp is CBD. It is only one of the 113 currently identified cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. However, in the hemp plant it makes a larger percentage than any other cannabinoid. CBD accounts for around 40% the hemp plant. Marijuana plants usually contain only a small percentage of CBD relative to their THC.
Although hemp and marijuana share similar cannabinoids, their effects differ widely due to the change in these compounds percentages within each plant. As mentioned before, Marijuana will contain high amounts of THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient responsible for getting an individual high. Hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, usually a fraction of a percent. This means that it cannot get you high, even when consumed in large amounts.