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Cannabis, Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD), What's the difference?

Do you find it confusing when people mention Cannabis, Hemp, CBD and wonder what they are talking about? What’s the difference? Let’s explore the scientific classification and uses in modern culture today.

Scientific classification

Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Ruderalis are all species of the Cannabis genus.

Cannabis Sativa L.

First classified in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus (The L at the end of Cannabis Sativa L.) was originally cultivated in Asia thousands of years ago.

Sativa is a Latin botanical adjective that means “things that are cultivated”.

Cannabis Indica

Producing large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the stuff that gets you high as a kite, Cannabis Indica was named by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1785 based on his descriptions of the plant specimens collected in India.

Cannabis Ruderalis

Descriptions of Cannabis Ruderalis were first published in 1924 by Russian botanist D. E. Janischewsky. Ruderalis, rūdera in Latin means rubble, lump, or crumpled piece of bronze, refers to species of plants first to colonise land after a disturbance.

Cultural reference

Throughout history, culture, politics and prohibition, the humble Cannabis plant has received some pretty strange but also familiar names that are often confusing and misunderstood. Here, we group them into the most common typical uses and associated names across the world.

Cannabis, Marijuana, Weed, Ganja, Grass, Kaya, Charas, Hashish, Dagga, Gbana, Pantagruelion, Medical Cannabis, Recreational Cannabis, 大麻, 麻

Some of the names used may sound foreign and alien, but they all terms used to describe Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa L. plants with high percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) a psychotropic compound for medical or recreational reasons.

Hemp, Hennep, Chanvre, 麻

Fibre, diapers, paper, clothing, handbags, shoes, rope, soap, shampoo, lotions, oils, hemp is everywhere. But it’s all produced from the Cannabis Sativa L. plants cultivated to produce low amounts of THC (less than 0.2% by plant weight) for commercial and environmental reasons.

Cannabidiol (CBD), 大麻二酚

Pure refined Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid that is a crystal powder at room temperature and melts at 66 degrees Celsius, 151 degrees Fahrenheit. It is often extracted from Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp plants with naturally high percentage of CBD for dietary and wellness reasons.

Do you know of other cultural or scientific references?

Each time someone mentions these words in context, we develop a new conscious idea of what it means. So if you know other old or new meanings, please let us know in the comments below.

Note: Republished with permission from

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