Hemp And Its Benefits
Over the last couple of years, you may have noticed CBD coming up everywhere, on headlines, news, political debates, or seen some products on your doctor’s or local store’s shelves. Hemp and hemp plant products are now everywhere, but not everyone knows what it is.
Most people are unable to tell hemp and marijuana apart. And although they are close and belong to the same family, they are different, legally, and in composition.
But it all comes down to one thing; hemp can’t get you high.
That is not the only advantage hemp has over marijuana. Besides being on the right side of the law, it also has numerous benefits and uses.
In this article, we take an in-depth look into hemp, its uses, benefits, and the differences with marijuana.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant species that is mostly used for industrial purposes. Although it comes from the same species as marijuana, the two plants differ in various ways and use.
According to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, popularly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is defined as the Cannabis sativa L plant with a delta-9-THC concentration of 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
That definition sets it apart from marijuana, which may contain above 30% delta-9-THC concentration.
Although you probably heard about it after 2018 for the first time, there is evidence of hemp usage throughout history until this last century.
Some researchers suggest that hemp was probably one of the earliest plants cultivated for textile fiber.
How Is Hemp Different From Marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana are two varieties of the same plant, but they have different uses and chemical compositions. They also have different appearances.
The main difference between the two is in their chemical makeup, specifically the abundance or scarcity of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC).
A typical marijuana plant contains anywhere between 5% to 20% THC. Some premium cultivars are bred to produce very high THC concentrations, sometimes up to 35%.
Legal industrial hemp, on the other hand, is not supposed to have more than 0.3% delta-9 THC. Such low amounts of THC make it impossible for hemp to get you high.
Other differences lie in appearance. Both plants have pinnate leaves; however, marijuana has broader leaves and have tight buds. Hemp, on the other hand, has skinnier leaves. Marijuana is short and bushy, while hemp is slimmer, taller, and has fewer branches below the top.
Hemp can grow anywhere between 1.5 to 5 meters in height, so it makes sense that it is typically grown outside. Marijuana is more delicate and requires a controlled atmosphere to grow.
Does Hemp Get You High?
No, hemp products will not get you high. The prominent cannabinoid in hemp is CBD, which is the primary non-intoxicating compound in cannabis.
The cannabinoid associated with the “high” is THC. As we have already stated, it occurs in minuscule amounts in hemp, usually not more than 0.3%, which is not enough to cause any psychotropic effects.
Users of hemp products such as hemp oil and CBD oil describe it as calming and relaxing. It is rather different than the confusing and disorienting effects induced by marijuana.
Is Hemp Legal?
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal to cultivate, possess, and use hemp and hemp products in the United States.
All cannabis plants and products became illegal in the mid-20th century under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, including the non-psychoactive industrial hemp.
It wasn’t until the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill that things started to change for hemp. This bill defined hemp as having 0.3% THC and allowed states and institutions of higher learning to cultivate industrial hemp for research.
However, it was after the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that hemp and its products became legal in all 50 states. As of August 2020, most states and territories have approved USDA hemp production plans.
Hemp is only legal if it contains 0.3% or less THC-9 on a dry weight basis, which means even plants with 0.4% THC would be classified as marijuana, although that amount is still not enough to cause psychoactive effects.
Marijuana is still a schedule 1 drug and, therefore, illegal federally in the USA unless you live in a state where it is legal for medical or recreational use.
The Many Uses of Hemp
Today, hemp is more famous for its extract – CBD oil, than any of its other uses.
However, almost every part of the plant can be used for either dietary or industrial purposes. Hemp is also beneficial to the environment.
Here are some of the things hemp can be used for:
- To make paper – Hemp paper has been used for hundreds of years, even before trees were cut to make paper, leading to large scale deforestation. Hemp is a good source of paper as it grows faster than trees and is more dispensable. Hemp also contains more cellulose and makes sustainable and more durable paper.
- To make clothes, textiles – Hemp fiber has been used throughout history to make textiles. It is readily cultivable, cheaper than other sources, and way more environmentally friendly than synthetic fabric.
- As fuel – Hemp biofuel could offer an environmentally friendly and sustainable fuel alternative as we turn our backs on fossil fuels.
- For construction purposes – Hemp is cheaper than wood and is a better insulation material. It is also a greener solution, rather than cutting down trees for timber.
Hemp For Food And Nutrition
A sizeable portion of hemp products falls under the food category.
Most healthy recipes now include hemp seeds or hemp seed oil that is surprisingly nutritious and rich in healthy fats and proteins.
Hemp seeds contain 30% fat and are rich in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids that are linked to numerous health benefits.
They also provide high-quality protein and are a great source of vitamin E.
Hemp is also the source of more refined and beneficial products that are convenient and easy to use. These are the major reasons why hemp is all over headlines and scientific studies, and we have them for you. They include:
CBD And CBG Oils And Tinctures
Hemp is the source of the health and wellness buzzword – CBD oil. CBD oil is popular for many reasons in the USA, especially for its calming and relaxing properties.
When it comes to using them, nothing says easy than applying a few drops of the tincture under your tongue and holding for 30-60 seconds, swallowing, and experiencing the benefits 15-30 minutes later.
Vaping is the quickest way to get CBD into your system; you experience the benefits of CBD within 5 to 15 minutes after the first puff.
This makes it the fastest method to experience relief, and not only that, vaping offers the highest bioavailability.
If you prefer taking CBD infused foods, we have CBD gummies that are palatable, sugar-free, THC free, and easy to use.
Hemp extracts can be administered in different ways, orally, through vaping, and through topical application. Our CBD creams and lotions are relaxing, calming, and are beneficial to the skin.
Hemp Plant – Take Away
In the United States, hemp is defined as a Cannabis Sativa L plant that has 0.3% or less delta-9 THC levels in the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized its cultivation, processing, and use of its products in all 50 states.
Hemp has many uses; it is environmentally friendly and also sustainable. It can be grown for its fiber, biofuel, extracts, and seeds that are highly nutritious and healthy.
However, its extracts, such as CBD oil and tinctures, are what have put it on the map. They are easy to use and have wellness and health benefits.