Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?

Weed, reefer, ganga, Mary-Jane, skunkweed, chronic, hash, hemp, herb, Devil’s grass… call it what you will, it’s all just Cannabis. And we’ll cut to the chase: We’re big fans of Cannabis. It’s got some insane super-hero properties (it’s phytoremediative, so it absorbs bad pollutants from the soil and replenishes the good stuff), it’s natural (no pesticides or GMO seed), and it’s a really sustainable crop (low-water, low-maintenance and thrives when left in the sunshine). It also helps a lot of people feel less stressed, less pain, and generally more happy. Who doesn’t like that? There’s a lot to like about this epic weed. 

WHAT IS CANNABIS?

Like all plant families, Cannabis has many different sub-species and each has their own unique features. You’ve probably heard of the two main classifications: Sativa and Indica. Marijuana can be made from both plants, but Hemp is ONLY made from Sativa. The Sativa plant is tall, stalky and generally associated with a “mental high” while the Indica plant is bushier, has bigger leaves and is associated with the body high. All Cannabis plants produce cannabinoids, but not all cannabinoids are the same…  

WHAT ARE CANNABINOIDS? 

This is the secret sauce of all Cannabis plants. And by “secret sauce” we mean complex chemical compounds found in resin. The most common cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

WHAT IS THC?

THC is the cannabinoid that produces “psychoactive effects” (ie: gets you high) and is the main difference between Hemp and Marijuana: Hemp has trace amounts of THC (about .3%) while Marijuana has anywhere between 15%-40% depending on the strain (Maui Wowie, Pineapple Express, Purple Urkle… we could be here all day). THC can be extracted on its own and used in everything from vaporizers to brownies.

WHAT IS CBD? 

If THC is the stuff that gets you high, CBD is the stuff that heals. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and when it reacts with the body’s Endocannnibinoid System it mitigates stress by getting the body back to it’s optimal state of homeostasis. And it won’t get you high. To make a very long, scientific story short, CBD has become a popular form of homeopathic healthcare and we’re not mad about it. Though the FDA has declared it legal, each state has its own laws so check before buying oils or tinctures.

WHAT IS MARIJUANA?

Marijuana is all about the THC. Marijuana is grown from both Indica and Sativa plants and is recognizable by dense buds full of crystals (that’s where the THC is). With high (heh, get it?) THC concentrations and smaller stalks, Marijuana is grown for recreational and medicinal purposes only. It’s also what distinguishes marijuana from being illegal in many places. For now… #LEGALIZEIT

WHAT IS HEMP?

Grown strictly from the Sativa plant, Hemp’s super-low THC concentrations and tall stalks make it an ideal crop for industrial purposes. This sturdy fiber is used in a range of products from paper to rope to food to textiles (that’s where we come in).  Fun fact: George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon and Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag from hemp! 

WHAT IS HEMP CLOTHING? 

Our bread and butter! Hemp textiles pack a lot of natural performance: strong, resilient, anti-microbial, and virtually indestructible in water. Hemp’s a porous fiber (like all natural fibers), allowing it to wick-moisture and respond to your body temperature. Its also got great drape, can be super soft, and wears well over time. We blend hemp with other fibers like organic cotton and recycled polyester to achieve different performance benefits.

From hemp fabric to CBD oil to Maui Wowie, we’re big fans of the Cannabis family! Check our latest crop of Men’s hemp clothing and Women’s hemp clothing and see for yourself why it’s so great. 

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What Does “Organic” Mean?

We all know the word organic just feels better. But what does it really mean?

From the veggies in your fridge to the clothes in your closet, crops grown organically are grown with GMO-free seed and follow practices that maintain soil health, conserve water, and support biodiversity.

Take that apple you ate for lunch. Why is it organic? Because the entire farming system used to produce it avoided the use of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. We’re officially changing the old saying to go something like “an organic apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Just like food takes the whole farming system into account, the whole apparel supply chain plays a part in determining whether that T-shirt you’re wearing is organic. Let’s start with the Holy Grail of organic textiles: The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). For an item to be organic, it must follow GOTS’ specific list of criteria through every stage of its process – from production to processing to packaging. Here are some of the major criteria:

Organic farming cannot use any pesticides.

For comparison, conventional cotton uses 16% of the world’s pesticides. Pesticide exposure has been known to cause impaired memory, severe depression, and immune system disruption among cotton farmers. Pesticides further permeate the ecosystem, waterways and surrounding arable land. By committing to organic cotton, we’re supporting better farming practices and protecting farmers’ quality of life.

Organic growing practices also support soil and land health.

Healthy land retains more nutrients and can produce crops for more seasons than conventional land. And here’s some cool science for you: Some organic growing techniques improve the soil’s ability to sequester carbon, pulling it from the atmosphere. On organic farms, soil productivity is often preserved with cover crops instead of synthetic fertilizer, so farmers can sell these crops for additional income, making this whole process twice as awesome.

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Organic agriculture uses water more responsibly.

A conventional cotton T-shirt takes 713 gallons of water to grow (enough to sustain one person for almost three years). Organic cotton uses far less water, and a more sustainable kind of water called “green water.” Green water uses rain water instead of irrigation, while “blue water” is pumped in from from lakes, streams, glaciers, and snow. Cotton cannot be certified organic unless it uses a certain amount of green water versus blue.

Organic farming supports biodiversity.

Research shows that biodiversity is greater on organic farms than conventional farms. Visit an organic farm and you’ll see more plants, flowers, insects, and butterflies. Why the abundance? Because organic farms aren’t filled with those nasty pesticides killing off natural pollinators. Living creatures are more likely to survive and thrive (PS: we’re really into bugs. Here’s more on that).

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Organic farms are in it for the long haul.

Fields can’t be considered organic until they’ve committed to the GOTS process for at least three years. This ensures that the soil has enough time to flush all of the toxins that have accumulated. So even if you’re farming organically now, you can’t be certified after your first year – No cutting corners!

Our Verdict: Organic Cotton or bust.

Apparel production touches the lives of people at every phase of the supply chain. Our commitment to sustainable sourcing is designed to protect the planet and all people throughout the supply chain (and that includes you!). When you shop organic cotton clothing, you can feel good knowing that you support it, too. So next time you’re shopping for clothes, choose organic. Consider it the equivalent of going to the Farmer’s Market (for your closet).

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Feeling inspired?  Shop MEN’S ORGANIC COTTON and WOMEN’S ORGANIC COTTON

 

 

100% Organic Cotton, 100% of the Time

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Goal Achieved: 100% of the cotton we use is certified organic!

Nothing feels better than organic cotton – it’s soft, it breathes and it feels just as good on your conscience as it does on your skin. We’ve been incorporating organic cotton into our fabrics for years, each season replacing more conventional cotton with organic. So it’s with our re-usable cups held high that we cheers to achieving our goal of 100% organic anywhere we use cotton!

Although it comes from a plant, conventionally grown cotton is actually very un-natural. According to the Textile Exchange, conventional cotton crops are doused in millions of pounds of chemicals each year – chemicals found in synthetic fertilizers, soil additives and defoliants. These substances wreak havoc on soil, water, air, and all sorts of ecosystems, including human ones. That’s a big price to pay for cotton.

Thankfully, there’s an alternative: organic cotton. Organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Instead, it combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote good quality of life for all involved. To ensure that we’re buying organic cotton, we only buy cotton that is certified organic. We’re also members of the Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization that works to make the textile industry more sustainable by identifying best practices, so we’re always in the know about the latest and greatest in textile sustainability. For more information about organic cotton, visit aboutorganiccotton.org.

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Graphics courtesy of aboutorganiccotton.org, Textile Exchange

Shop Men’s Organic Cotton Styles and Women’s Organic Cotton  Styles 

Wear Green Every Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll wear green to celebrate. In honor of the planet, we wear “green” every day. “Green”, “eCo”, “sustainable”, “earth-friendly” – whatever you call it, we subscribe to the idea that you should never have to choose between living well and doing good. Our design approach is to make great clothes that last and work to lighten our collective environmental footprint. 

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It all starts with the fibers that make up our fabrics. Fibers, natural or man made, are the building blocks of yarns, which are then woven or knitted into the fabrics we use. We choose fibers for their various aesthetic and performance attributes and their sustainability factor. We’re big fans of organic cottonTencel®Modal®, recycled polyester and reclaimed wool. Fun fact: 100% of our cotton is certified organic!

Once we’ve got our “green” building blocks, we strive to develop fabrics with just as much integrity – we call these our eCo FabricsWe define eCo fabrics as any fabric that uses preferred “green” fibers and/or bluesign® certified fabrics. bluesign® is the “green” watchdog of the garment industry. bluesign® certification assures the use of chemicals and processes that are safe for the environment and best practices for efficient use of energy, water, emissions monitoring and worker safety. We’re proud that as of spring 2019, 100% of our product is considered eCo. So go ahead and wear green on St. Patrick’s Day – and every day.

Our greenest green…

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Our Men’s Hookline Shirt is made from 100% recycled fibers.

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Our Women’s Epique Short Sleeve Dress is made from all natural hemp and organic cotton that comes straight from the earth.