The Honors courses can vary in difficulty. There are usually some very prestigious teachers for the honors courses, and the courses are usually multi-pronged in their work requirements. i.e: you'll not only have a classwork aspect, but a lab aspect, and also a volunteer aspect.
There is a higher standard for honors college students. Some "regular" classes require the same amount of work as the honors classes, but some "regular" classes don't require as much writing or out of class work.