Tomato, Tomato (What's in a name?)

In a previous blog, we discussed (at a bit of length) the back-story of cannabis hemp, its history, and its difference from its more famous sativa and indica relatives. Again, hemp is not marijuana, but it IS cannabis. Cannabis (strictly speaking) is not merely hemp, but it IS marijuana, and it can do almost all the things hemp can do, and arguably more. And marijuana is... complicated.

What's in a name?

Before we get into this business of nomenclature, we need to understand and accept a few things:

  • No matter where you stand on the use of cannabis as a recreant, intoxicant, sacrament, or medicine, the modern-day hemp movement—be it nutritional use, for fiber, or for personal wellness—owes its very existence to the pro-legalization, and medical marijuana movements of the second half of the 20th Century, as well as those growers and providers who were willing to risk their physical, legal, and financial lives and liberties to grow it, and provided it to people who sought it out for whatever reason. People like Jack Herer, Ed Rosenthal, Tommy Chong, Steve DeAngelo, and other less famous—but no less important—people and popularizers (I suppose nowadays we'd refer to them as “influencers”) kept the energy of a movement up at its lowest, helped organize, and pushed forward ballot initiatives, referenda, and state legislation that were instrumental in the legalization and legitimization of both the “medical marijuana” movement of the 1990's as well as the recreational movement of 2000 and beyond. For whatever reason, these pioneers saw in this plant a potential far beyond merely “getting high”.
  • The hemp legalization movement of the 21st Century gets referred to differently, by different people, at different times, and in different circumstances. Often this goes unnoticed. We think this can be confusing at best, and unhelpful at its worst.
  • One of the biggest issues that still dogs the hemp industry, and those who use hemp—and hemp based products—is that this plant suffers from a negative stereotype. As with all stereotypes, the criticism may or may not be based in any fact or truth, but the resultant criticism is real, with real impact.


Cannabis, marijuana, hemp, pot, weed, 'dro, boo, etc, etc, etc. What to call this plant? What's the actual difference? Does it really matter? Many out there may say we're splitting hairs here, and we won't really argue that, but we at Cool Beans Distillate do have an opinion on this, and we think it's important enough for you to at least consider. We will argue that in this case, splitting hairs is in fact called for. People so often react to, or form opinions based on, language. Words, terms, and names all can communicate a great deal of information, motivations, and actual emotions, intentionally and unintentionally. They can either help dismiss stereotypes, or unintentionally reinforce them. So as an advocate, it's very important to choose and use words that support the legitimacy of the topic or subject of which you speak. This is especially important when that topic or subject has a history of controversy, and ours certainly does.

For now, we'll close this week's blog by reinforcing that the cannabidiol you get from Cool Beans Distillate comes from HEMP, which is a varietal of cannabis sativa. It's NOT “marijuana”. At Cool Beans Distillate, almost none of us even use that word anymore. And in future blog posts, we'll discuss why, what words we choose to use personally and professionally, and why we think it matters.

Stay tuned, and stay cool...