Why is Hemp and not Marijuana acceptable in many countries?

Wondered Gracia the Road Cleaner.


I am confused. Is Cannabis, Marijuana and Hemp the same thing? Are you confused too? After nearly a century of misinformation, I suspect many of us are confused.


The straight answer is NO Cannabis, Marijuana and Hemp are not the same. Let me explain why. Cannabis the scientific name for a family of plants consisting of two classifications. They are Sativa and Indica. Marijuana and Hemp are members of the cannabis Sativa family. Because of this, they do share similarities, but not all.


Fact 1. Cannabis can be dated back far as 2727 BC in China. So it’s not new.

 Their individual plant biological structure ensures each has several crucial and distinctive differences.


Marijuana (Mexican slang word) have broad leaves with a mixture of dense buds. The plant is generally known for its bushy like appearance and is shorter than its  Hemp cousin.


The leaves congregate and surround the plant’s main body. Their growth has to be carefully monitored and best cultivated in warm, isolated and humid areas. Marijuana contains anywhere between 5 to 35% of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) thereby making the ideal plant for psychoactive properties for both medicinal and recreational use.

Hemp plant image courtesy of ministryofhemp.com.


Hemp instead, displays skinny leaves bunched and concentrated at the tips of each stem. They tend to be tall, almost treelike in appearance. They have often been measured up to 20 feet in height. Hemp is simple to cultivate, it can be grown anywhere, and needs little monitoring.


Fact 2. Cannabis dates its medicinal use to the 18th Century.

Hemp, unlike, the Marijuana plant content very little THC. In fact, less than 0.3 – 0.2%. Thus allowing many countries and governments around the world to legalise Hemp. Each law will be based on the usage, transportation, cultivation and sales. 

Because Hemp has virtually no psychoactive properties, you will find hemp is used primarily for industries in areas such as paper production, building materials, clothing, food production and biofuels. There are lots more industrial usages.

Fact 3. It looks possible William Shakespeare smoked cannabis with his pipe after fragments of his pipe were found in his garden.

Visually when placed side by side the leaves are easily identifiable.



As you can imagine, its an entirely different story when looking at Marijuana. Now we can see because of its high content of THC many countries and states have in the past illegalised it.


But, with changing political landscapes and the advent of massive medicinal and economic benefits, various countries have adapted their laws to accommodate multiple bodies.


Fact 4. Technically you cannot overdose smoking weed, but you can react badly with it.


As you see from the map above, there is still a long way to go for global acceptance of Marijuana.


Did you know Uruguay was the first to step forward and legalise marijuana back in 2013? Yes, only 6 years ago! Uruguayans are permitted to cultivate, consume and distribute without fearing punishment freely. Pharmacies locally are places where you can if a resident purchase from.


My advice though is do not expect that every country thinks in the same way as Uruguay. 

If you are planning to head to any of the countries on the map above check what the legal implications and rulings are for participating in the growth,  transportation, selling, consumption both for personal, private and immediate use of marijuana.


For example, take a look at the Netherlands, or as an Englishman I know refers to as Holland, marijuana is illegal. But the cafes and coffee shops can and do allow residents and visitors to purchase and consume as long as they are not causing anyone concerns. In other words, even the officials will turn a blind eye.


In neighbouring Germany, the situation is very similar except you might attract a fine but no criminal record. While in Italy, you can consume on medical and religious grounds but expect a misdemeanour notice for participating in personal use.


Fact 5. In 1972 the first recorded Online purchase of weed was made and was delivered the next day.


What about CBD (Cannabinoid) is it deemed dangerous and addictive?

Because of CBD association with Hemp, marijuana and cannabis, obviously, a lot of confusion and debate has taken place over the years. One thing for sure to have caused much of the confusion is the fact CBD does not have any psychoactive elements


Correct it can be found in significant amounts in all Cannabis plants. It is primarily extracted from industrial grown hemp for many industries mentioned earlier. This is where the confusion occurs as cannabis is illegal, but industrial hemp is not.


Take a look at the next map of the USA and the confusing state of affairs on display.



What are the benefits of both Hemp and Marijuana? What should I tell the kids?


Hemp seeds as we know comes from the Cannabis Sativa family. But thankfully they do not produce any mindblowing altering effects. (Great I can tell the kids that one.)


These small brown seeds are full of protein, fibre and healthy polyunsaturated fats and acids Omega 3 & Omega 6. (They will be bored with that piece of info.)


These little warriors also come with an army of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium, iron and zinc. (That nugget will grab their attention again.)


All these fantastic ingredients are a source of gaining positive health and wellbeing. Here are just some of the heartwarming benefits available with eating Hemp seeds as part of your diet:

  • Improvement to your heart, joints and skin.
  • A single source of all 9 essential Amino Acids.
  • Perfect for vegans and vegetarians.

  • Rich in fibre to help reduce appetite.

  • Assistance in stabilising blood sugar levels.

  • Promotion of good health in our guts.

  • Potential protection for the brain against Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS.

  • Possible reduction of inflammation in such conditions as Type 2 Diabetes, Arthritis, and heart disease.

  • Assisting in the reduction of the symptoms of acne.

How do you introduce Hemp Seeds into your daily diet?

Hemp Seeds & Kale salad image attribution to myvega.com.

Easy, here are 4 Great Suggestions:

  1. Sprinkling whole or grounded Hemp seeds to your morning yoghurt or cereal.

  2. Add as an extra ingredient to your lunchtime Smoothie.

  3. When baking, consider adding to the ingredients of that next cake, loaf, or biscuit.

  4. On their own or in a nut mix, sprinkle over your next salad.

I did say I would look at the benefits of Marijuana for the kids.

I did spend the next hour browsing all over the net for my kids and for you good folks. In the end, I could not find anything so easy to read and learn from research. Until I discovered an article written in February nearly a year ago. The gentleman concerned Chip Whitley gives us 50 unexpected benefits, and I thought it would be perfect to pass onto you in its original form.


50 Unexpected benefits of cannabis (You might not know) by Chip Whitley (Feb 2018)


Now finally, when is the best time to tell the kids about Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana?

Fact 6. People are full of complexity. Life has a habit of being messy. Therefore there is no “One Answer” fits all.

Remember talking about marijuana and Hemp is not meant to encourage our children to up and start using weed. Head for educating your children from as early as you believe is right for them.


Do not shy away from an open dialogue of learning any subject. Today it is the weed. Tomorrow it could be breadmaking.


Ask them: what do you think cannabis is and why do people use it?


I suspect you will be amazed and shocked at the answers you get. I remember saying to my dad years ago:


“It’s a plant that the indigenous people have used in making their tea for over 200 years. They also roll up the leaves and smoke them.” Well, that’s what I remembered my teacher saying in school. You should have seen my father’s face.


Years later I learned using marijuana helped alleviate symptoms of various medical conditions. (Covered earlier in this article) and others used it to induce a “High” which resulted in the person experiencing happiness, peace and relaxation.


Maybe true in many cases, but I have also seen friends suffering from anxiety, confusion and paranoia.


Ask your children: What should you do if you are offered any weed?


Again listen to the answer, they transmit to you. It will help to understand your children’s values and beliefs. Do they match your own? Help them understand the risks involved and that serious harm could be the end result.


How about reverse role-play? You be the child and they the parent giving the advice they think best. Cover peer pressure through different scenarios. Make use of the internet with imagery and facts and myths.


A final piece of advice, we all know Marijuana and Hemp are never going to disappear from our children’s future lives. It makes sense not to bury your head in the sand.

Prepare them, the best way you can for the challenges they may meet dealing with the weed. Cover all the benefits that each could possibly give and never dismiss the medicinal reasons.


I remember once I had a continuous throb in my right-hand first finger knuckle. After listening to my moaning over the next few months, my mother decided to take action.

She planted a female cannabis plant in the garden. It must have been marijuana, and it grew into a beautiful looking bush within months.


My father worried about the neighbours, but they just laughed when they saw it. One day my mother raced into the garden and stripped the bush of all the buds and leaves. She disappeared into the kitchen, and a couple of hours later she proudly produced on a tray 10 small jars of green paste.


As a family, we just stared at her waiting for an explanation. She smiled and laughed and informed us she had mixed the plant with bee’s wax and a secret concoction. She then disappeared into the utility room and placed all jars into the freezer except one.


Later that evening she administered some of the paste onto my knuckle, and I felt instant relief. For the next 12 months, I duly dabbed some paste on and now 4 years later. No recurring pain.


Was it the weed? Or was it one of life’s mysteries? We will never know.

Please forgive me, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Gracia, and I  can be found in a fantastic new book in both English & Spanish titled:

“Adventurous Tales from a Mountain Walk”

By Mike Bowley.

I am just one character amongst 23 chapters of short stories that all culminate together when a mountain ridge rumbles and groans. Who will survive to tell the tale?

Visit mikebowley.com to find out.


Many characters have secretly started to write new blogs and articles.


Mike Bowley

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