May 26, 2021


The hemp plant is shrouded in myths and misinformation. 


And there’s little wonder why: Hemp is closely related to marijuana, it has a cloudy past that’s coupled with unclear legislation, and it’s a popular target for fake news. The ultimate formula for misunderstanding. So, where’s the conscious (but confused) consumer to turn? 


Starting here, we’re going to separate 5 hemp plant facts from fiction, because it’s time we spread the right message about this incredible plant. 


Fiction: Hemp is psychoactive

Fact: Hemp won’t make you high

Hemp and marijuana are both members of the Cannabis Sativa family. They’re closely related, but wildly different at the same time. The key difference is that marijuana contains higher levels of THC (the compound that gives you that euphoric high). Versus hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.  And that teeny, tiny amount isn’t enough to give you the giggles. 


Fiction: Hemp products always have CBD

Fact: Not all hemp products have CBD

Not all hemp products contain a noteworthy concentration of CBD. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil products are made by using the seeds only, which don’t contain CBD (but they’re incredibly nutritious to consume on their own). To experience the benefits of CBD, you’ll need to consume products made from the flower, leaves and stalk.  Learn more about Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil here. 


Fiction: You always need a prescription for hemp

Fact: You often don’t need a prescription for hemp

For hemp products that don’t contain CBD (like hemp seeds and hemp seed oil) you don’t need a prescription. And it’s been that way since hemp was legalised in Australia in 2017. Hemp-derived CBD products are a different story. As of February 1st 2021, low-dose CBD products (150mg/day) are available over the counter. For anything more than that, you’ll still need a prescription by a registered medical practitioner. 


Fiction: Hemp is just used for it’s seeds and oil, right?

Fact: Hemp is incredibly useful

Hemp isn’t just used for its nutrient-dense seeds. Hemp is perhaps one of the most useful plants in the world, with the ability to make up to 25,000 different products! Hemp can be used to make protein, milk, flour, medicine, skincare, carpet, bioplastics, paper, soap, biofuel, insulation, building materials and more. 


Fiction: Nobody can tell the difference between Hemp and Marijuana

Fact: The trained eye can tell the difference between Hemp and Marijuana

Rather than government officials and law enforcement officers taking the time to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, they just put a blanket ban on them all. But now hemp is becoming known as the useful and honest plant it is – it’s time we learn to spot the difference. To sum it up: Hemp is a tall plant with skinny leaves. On the other hand, marijuana is a short and bushy plant with broad leaves.


This also dispels the myth that hemp farmers hide their marijuana crops in their fields. For starters, they look quite different. And secondly, when the two plants are grown too closely together, cross-pollination can occur which will ultimately ruin both crops - and who in their right mind wants that?


Finally, some straight facts amongst all the murky information on hemp. And despite what the myth-spreaders and naysayers say, there’s literally no other plant in the world quite like it. And the sooner we strip it from its fallacies, the sooner we can enjoy our hemp food in peace.  


Samantha is an ethical copywriter from the Mornington Peninsula. She’s an Environmental Science grad, outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Copy Circle.  

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