The truth behind what hemp is, how it’s used, and why it’s illegal…
We all know what hemp is, but did you know that it’s one of the oldest crops known to man? It’s been around for thousands of years and has been used for various things such as paper, textiles, and even rope or cordage. Hemp fabric was found and dated back to approximately 8,000 BC over in Columbia. Today hemp-derived CBD products like cbd oil cartridges or vape pens, CBD oil tinctures and CBD topicals are gaining widespread popularity for their potential medical benefits.
How does hemp differ from cannabis and what is it exactly? We know that cannabis can be consumed for medical and recreational purposes, but what about hemp? Here we will get into what hemp really is and the truth behind it.
What exactly is hemp?
There are actually a lot of different variations of the cannabis plant and not just the one people smoke to “get high”. Hemp, which is also called “industrial hemp”, actually refers to the non-psychoactive varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. There is less than 1% THC within these non-psychoactive varieties, making them not a good source to use for medical marijuana or recreational use. Hemp and Marijuana are both from the same species of cannabis, but they are genetically different and used for different purposes because of their chemical makeup.
So, what can hemp actually do?
Hemp can be grown, and cultivated, to be used for thousands of different uses and products. The seeds and flowers from the hemp plant can also be used for various things such as food, organic body products, and nutraceuticals. The fibers and stalks have been regularly used to make clothing, paper, fuels, and much more.
Last year hemp products raked in roughly $620 million according to Hemp Industries Association (HIA). The sad thing about this is that all the hemp was imported from over seas. Hemp is loved by farmers because it can be grown quickly to prevent erosion on banks or hills, it can absorb toxins within the soil and after it dies and breaks down it provides valuable nutrients for other crops in the future.
Hemp is also loved by organic farmers since it takes much less water to grow well and you will never need pesticides to keep it healthy. This means it’s much more environmentally friendly than most of the crops out there.
How come no one smokes hemp?
Well, hemp can do a variety of things but it can’t get you high like more cannabis plants. This is because it has almot no THC, less than 1% actually, which means you would have to smoke a literal truck load of it in order to feel anything. Even if you did start to feel something, from smoking that much, you would likely have an extreme migraine which isn’t what you were trying to do.
How come hemp is illegal?
Back in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act came about and regulated the growth and harvesting of all cannabis varieties. Also, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified all forms of cannabis, even hemp, as a schedule I drug, which means it was now illegal to grow within the United States. This means that people have had to import their hemp from different countries since they couldn’t grow it themselves. Since there has been a long time prohibition on all things cannabis related, people have taken the stigma from marijuana and put it on hemp, forgetting all the industrial uses of the plant.
Can hemp be brought back into favor?
There is a 2014 US Farm Bill that says any US state that passes their industrial hemp legislation can grow hemp for research purposes and development. States such as Kentucky, Oregon and Colorado have already been growing hemp for research purposes. After many years in the dark, there are more and more states within the US that are taking on legislation in order to grow hemp themselves.
Back in January of 2015, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced to the House and Senate in order to help bring hemp back into the light and make it help lose the stigma that marijuana holds. If this does pass, it would then remove all federal restrictions on the growing and harvesting of industrial hemp and also remove it as a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that if a farmer is growing hemp, he or she wouldn’t be convicted of a felony if an officer wanted to arrest them for it.
If everything passes, the stigma and the restrictions would be lifted from hemp and more people could grow and harvest it. We would then be bringing back the oldest domesticated crop to the people and they could be using it in a variety of ways. Hemp is a great thing for a variety of projects, except for smoking, which makes us all wonder why it’s illegal in the first place.
Think about it, we have common cleaning products under out sink that contain harmful chemicals which can also be found in many other drugs, but they are perfectly legal. You can find less than 1% THC within hemp, and no one smokes it, but it’s technically illegal since it’s related to marijuana.
Hooray for hemp!