At first glimpse colloquial language seems to be an odd way to investigate the difference between hemp and cannabis. But the language "used in conversation but not in formal speech or writing"1 influences our perception of the world and implies what is most relevant to most people. Often times it is one of the most important questions to answer, because it clarifies the topic of the discussion.
Probably you have heard that a tomato is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. For certain scientists and some of your friends this may be a topic of high importance. Nonetheless, supermarkets will not change their categorization of the tomato as a vegetable and for most people it is utterly irrelevant. This is why a tomato stays a vegetable in colloquial language even though genetically it is a fruit.
Generally every product that cannot be used as an intoxicant is called a hemp product. This is clearly visible in the example of hemp seeds, hemp oil and sealing hemp. What counts is the result. If the used oil is made for consumption and cannot make you 'high' it is called hemp oil regardless of the actual genetic origin of the plant.
Products associated with psychoactive effects are often called cannabis. Although the intoxicating effect is only found in a specific part, namely the flower of the plant. However, not only the flower of this plant is called cannabis, but also the whole plant. In common language cannabis is a plant with a flower that has a psychoactive effect. These two are linked. If the flower is not psychoactive, the flower is not called cannabis but aroma flower. If the plant does not have a psychoactive flower, it is not called cannabis, but hemp.
The term "cannabis seeds" refers exclusively to seeds used for the cultivation of plants with mind-altering abilities, but not to seeds made for human consumption. The seeds used as food are called "hemp seeds". Also, "cannabis oil" stands exclusively for oil with medicinal or intoxicating effects, but not for edible oil which is called "hemp oil". "sealing hemp", hemp threads used to seal pipes, has no counterpart called "sealing cannabis". This is because "sealing hemp" is used purely for industrial applications and there is no mind-altering version of this sealant.
The biological perspective is less clear-cut than one would wish. This is due to the fact that the hemp plant has been cultivated in many parts of the world for several millennia for various purposes. Most cultures did not know or need every possible use of the hemp plant. Consequently, the plant has been cultivated for different purposes all over the world. And so, through a mixture of selective domestication by humans and natural selection by nature, many different subspecies of the plant were created.2-5 As a result, individual plants are difficult to distinguish and difficult to categorize. For this reason, there are some exceptions to each of the following classifications. When used together, however, the categories presented here provide reliable orientation and are therefore also used in research and in courts of law.
Biological systematics is a way to array Flora and Fauna. Hemp is the name of a genus whose scientific name is "cannabis". From there on there are two different categorization approaches. One after Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the author of a Darwin preceding theory of evolution and Linnaeus, the inventor of the modern biological systematics.
Lamarck described hemp (cannabis) as a genus with two species: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica, which are the scientific names of the species.6 The first species is Cannabis Sativa which normally cannot produce an intoxicating effect and is called hemp in colloquial language. Cannabis Sativa is characterized by a higher CBD content and high industrial usability. The second species is Cannabis Indica, which normally carries psychoactive flowers and is called cannabis in colloquial language. Cannabis Indica is characterized by higher THC levels and low industrial usability.
Picture: Hemp in biological systematics after Lamarck
The multiple assignment of the names cannabis and hemp in the "Biological systematics" can be quite confusing. Therefore, for illustration a comparison:
We all belong to the species Homo sapiens. But we call ourselves humans in colloquial language. But Human, or with scientific name Homo, is the name for the whole genus of humans. Thus, human being (Homo) designates all other extinct species of humans as well as us. Nevertheless, we call other humans, such as Homo Neanderthalensis, not human, but Neanderthal.
Picture: Human in biological systematics
In the categorization proposed by Linnaeus, the genus Hemp has only one single species: Cannabis sativa L.. The L. stands for Linneanus, which is a label to distinguish it from the two species system propagated by Lamark. The species Cannabis Sativa L. has two subspecies. Namely: Cannabis sativa sativa and Cannabis sativa indica.5,6 The differences between Sativa sativa and Sativa indica are the same as in the first classification by Lamarck. Indica is called cannabis and is associated with the intoxicant while Sativa is called hemp and describes plants with industrial use and food production.
Picture: Hemp in biological systematics after Linnaeus
One characteristic in which hemp differs from cannabis is the content of THC and CBD and the ratio in which the two are present.5-7 This ratio of THC and CBD content varies from plant to plant. It is influenced by different growing conditions, but mainly by genes. In order to find out whether it is hemp or cannabis, one can measure the content and ratio of CBD and THC in the plant. It is also possible to examine the genes that lead to this difference.
There are genes that determine the production of THC and CBD and their ratio. These genes determine how much THC and CBD is produced.7 It is therefore possible to study the corresponding genes in the plant, which is possible at each stage of growth. It is difficult to explain in a simplified way, but if certain genes are present, it probably is a cannabis plant and if other certain genes are present, it probably is a hemp plant. These genetic studies go beyond the genes associated with THC and CBD production. So there are many genes that can be used to determine whether you are dealing with a hemp plant or a cannabis plant. With a few exceptions, cannabis and hemp can be successfully distinguished by gene analysis, but hemp and cannabis have much more in common genetically than they differ.
Cannabis is cultivated to produce flowers for medicinal or recreational use while hemp is grown for medicine, remedies, food and fiber production. Products made from cannabis can produce a 'high', products made from hemp cannot. Cannabis plants belong mostly to the Cannabis Indica species and hemp plants belong mostly to the Cannabis Sativa species. Cannabis has a high content of THC and can therefore make 'high', hemp has a high content of CBD and therefore can not make 'high'. Hemp is legal in most countries, cannabis is illegal in most countries.
The Arvaloo Marketplace offers a Europe-wide B2B CBD and Hemp Market for wholesale. You can sell and buy CBD products B2B on our wholesale marketplace. Arvaloo helps your business to transform and simplify trade with hemp goods digitally and easily. Our Marketplace is the place to B2B trade with high quality CBD - online, fast and transparent.
CBD is a product not just for apothecaries and hemp stores. Because of the numerous benefits CBD offers, consumers buy it in a wide range of different products. CBD is used in cosmetics, relaxation products, healing ointments, beverages such as tea, coffee and lemonade, supplements for pets and humans, aromatic oils and even gummi bears. Therefore, CBD products are a great extension for every supermarket, fitness store, cosmetic store, wellness store, BIO store, health shop and drug store.
The reasons why CBD is not a one hit wonder and instead an evergreen are plentiful.
CBD offers sustainability in production and usability for clients. Sustainable in production because CBD is produced ecologically sustainable in a way that does not hurt our planet and environment. Sustainable in the usability for clients because it can be used advantageously to the user over vast periods of time thanks to its low toxicity and naturally generated effects. For all of those reasons, CBD is here to stay.
The growing demand for CBD products is tightly linked to current megatrends, a term coined by John Naisbitt in 1982. A megatrend is an enduring, powerful transformation of the global community and economic situation1 which transforms our societies and has wide-ranging implications well beyond the sector which it primarily affects.2 The megatrends “Neo Ecology” and “Health” will affect the hemp- and CBD market most strongly with the “Silver Society” shaping the future of this branch too. This means that the growth of the CBD market is inseparably linked to current shifts in the world.
Neo Ecology describes the movement towards environmental sustainability in the global economy. Customers focus more and more on the environmental impact of products and the ecological efforts of the company behind the products. There is a growing demand for sustainably crafted products, which do not harm or litter our planet in the short or the long term. People around the world receive more education on this topic and start to educate themselves. There are countless ways in which you can see this change in society. Be it “Fridays for Future”, the rise of “Bio” products or the effort of Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to reduce their energy consumption and receive their energy from renewable sources,3 just to name a few.
Products that are good for your body and facilitate a healthy, long life experience an ever-growing demand in recent years. May it be in the ever-growing fitness sector, European countries that implement government regulations about sugar, fat and salt contents of food products4, 5, or emerging new ways of dieting, like the Keto- or Vegan Diet. People who wish to increase their bodily health are everywhere and they grow in numbers. These prior reasons are linked to two megatrends, namely: “Silver Society”, which addresses the aging population of the global community, as well as “Health”, which constitutes the changing demands of citizens and customers on their healthcare systems and on their own way of handling personal health and the well-being of their family.
The megatrend of health also describes the wish for a healthy mind. A wish that more and more people manifest in concrete actions. The idea of mental health is prevalent in many heads nowadays and problems and illnesses which are merely mental are communicated more comfortably than ever. Caring about one’s mental health becomes increasingly common and accepted, states the American Psychological Association7, and is now in the spotlight of societal discussion. The role that consumer and health products play in that desire is enormous. Psychological disorders are the 4th highest category of health care spending in the US with more than 150 billion Dollar spend on it in 2013.6 But less severe problems with mental health are treated too, by customers privately, and the market for relaxation-, wellness- and anti stress products is rapidly growing.
CBD is not a new trend that will be forgotten as fast as it became famous. CBD is a resource with future. The general prevalence of Cannabidiol stems from its broad usability. On one hand, everything from medicine to wellness applications can be made from it and fulfill its promises. On the other hand, it is inseparably linked to global megatrends which shape the economy and the social environment. CBD is a vast and intensively fast-growing branch with Europe as the second biggest market. A forecast by major cannabis researchers BDS Analytics estimates CBD sales to surpass $20 billion annually revenue by 2024 in the United States alone.8 For comparison, in 2018 the market size was around $600 Million in the US.9 Cannabidiol is not about hemp enthusiasts or environmental activists, it is about people.
1. BlackRock, “What are megatrends | BlackRock,” 07.04.2020.
2. zukunftsInstitut, “Aktuelles über Megatrends,” 2020.
3. Federal Ministry of Education and Research, “German Energy Transition - BMBF,” 2016.
4. Government of the Netherlands, “Promoting the production of healthy food,” 07.04.2020.
5. Welle, D., “German food industry to cut sugar, salt and fat content | DW | 19.12.2018,” 07.04.2020.
6. American Psychological Association, “Depression ranks among the most costly health conditions,” 07.04.2020.
7. American Psychological Association, “Survey: Americans Becoming More Open About Mental Health,” 07.04.2020.
8. BDS Analytics & Arcview Market Research, “U.S. CBD Market Anticipated to Reach $20 Billion in Sales by 2024 | BDS Analytics: U.S. CBD Market Anticipated to Reach $20 Billion in Sales by 2024,” 03.04.2020.
9. Garber-Paul, E., “Exclusive: New Report Predicts CBD Market Will Hit $22 Billion by 2022,” 2018.
We will start off by adding new features to the Arvaloo Marketplace, such as interval subscriptions to delivery contracts, and will go on to tweak and improve the usability of existing features. We are going to partner up with new producers and businesses to create a vibrant marketplace.
Next up we will launch the New Arvaloo Marketplace. A conceptually and graphically improved version of the current marketplace. It will simplify trading processes and accelerate the overview. To ensure that the New Arvaloo Marketplace stands on firm ground we will lay out parts of our our marketing strategy for the coming year and communicate it transparently to you. This way you know exactly where our journey is heading.
Arvaloo is not just a corporation with the goal of business achievement. We are the vision for societal change and a sustainable future. As such, we will immediately start to implement our sustainability program. It is about making our company carbon neutral, facilitating other businesses to go the same way and endorse our partners to proceed their journeys to total sustainability. This is not a marketing event. Our sustainability plan will have sustained impact on our ongoing operations and business relations. We will be transparent and open about our failures as well as our successes and welcome ideas on how to improve.
After building up the architecture that is able to carry our ambitious plans, we will increase the range of the Arvaloo Marketplace. This includes making Arvaloo globally accessible and integrating Northern American businesses into the marketplace. Thus, establishing the Arvaloo Marketplace as a gateway into the European market and Europe as a hub of the global hemp market.
Milestone 2023 is a bold yet achievable blueprint for an ambitious company. Our objective is for the long term. It goes beyond replenishing sources of income or preserving what we have already achieved. It is the Future of Arvaloo.
How Arvaloo will look like in 2023:
Value chains are transparent, and trade will be dispatched and managed digitally. Participants of the Arvaloo Marketplace will operate in trusting relationships with each other. Every form of fraud and deceitfulness is eradicated to ensure well running business for organizations who are hardworking and honest.
We will achieve these goals by ensuring the qualities we wish to foster ourselves. With the “Arvaloo Certified" seal we will take full responsibility over the quality and the sustainability of products offered on the Arvaloo Marketplace. Our certification will help us on our journey to a new way of B2B/wholesale trade. It will assure transparency, sustainability, and honesty.
With these pillars as our groundwork, we are eager to advance our benefits into new markets and will widen our scope beyond the realm of the hemp industry.
B2B Hemp Marketplace arvaloo.com
Mainz, 05th March 2020
Arvaloo offers a Europe wide online B2B hemp marketplace that leads trade and distribution into the digital age. On the Arvaloo Marketplace, you can sell and buy every product surrounding hemp and get an overview of the Hemp market. Arvaloo can manage the entire distribution of your company, but also offers an excellent complement to existing distribution channels and will connect you internationally.
“While managing our first business in the hemp industry, we noticed a lack of transparency, communication and networking opportunities between producers and shops across Europe. We asked ourselves: What could bridge the gap? Our answer is Arvaloo.”
Our online marketplace is ideal for every hemp business which wants to simplify its trading processes, minimalize its expenses and have its sale methods accelerated. Arvaloo offers a great opportunity for local or foreign businesses who want to reach out to the entire European market.
We are a team of seven ambitioned entrepreneurs. The two founders: Florian Glass and Lukas Rausse who came up with the idea of Arvaloo one year ago worked persistently ever since then to ensure the actualization of their vision and we are proud to now launch Arvaloo.