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What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Marijuana and hemp are varieties of cannabis that developed due to selective breeding – hemp for its fiber and marijuana for its medicinal components. While the two look and smell-alike, they are chemically and structurally different. The major difference between the two are the levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the chemical in marijuana that has intoxicating effects. Hemp has only trace quantities of THC, while some marijuana strains can have more than 20 percent THC. To learn even more about hemp, watch PBS NewsHour Weekend’s report from Kentucky, where officials and farmers are experimenting with creating a new industry around this plant.


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