Prior to the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, 41 states had passed industrial hemp-related legislation. Thirty-nine of those states legalized statewide cultivation programs that defined hemp specifically to differentiate it from marijuana, establish licensing requirements, and regulate production.
Exactly how and when hemp originated in the New World is still highly debated. Though long thought to be introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus, hemp has been discovered in Native American civilizations that predate Columbus’ arrival. William Henry Holmes’ “Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United States” report from 1896 notes hemp from Native American tribes of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley.
Hemp fibers are primarily used for textiles, paper, building materials, and other industrial products. Raw materials such as hurds, or shives, are short woody fibers typically found inside the stalk. They’re used for making bedding materials, absorbents, particleboard, ceiling panels, compost, and other industrial products.
Hemp has been cultivated on a global scale for thousands of years. The oldest documented evidence of hemp cultivation is a rope, which dates back to 26,900 BCE, found in today’s Czech Republic.
Depending on the desired final product, hemp cultivars are chosen based on several factors, including:
The country has a licensing program for those interested in growing certain cultivars of hemp that contain less than 0.35% THC.
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They contain an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids for healthful consumption. A 2008 study also found that hemp proteins are more digestible for humans than common soy protein isolates (SPIs) used in food products. Hemp seeds can be used as food directly or via oil produced from them. Seeds can also be ground up for flour or mixed with water to create hempseed milk.
Oils (Mostly CBD)
So, are the first two hemp, and the third cannabis? Not quite. It’s more accurate to say that numbers one and two tend to be hemp, while number three tends to be cannabis.
Yes. Whether it is pleasant or not depends on what kind of hemp you smoke. If you’re smoking hemp grown for the production of CBD flowers, then the experience will bear little difference to smoking recreational weed (except you won’t get stoned). However, if you’re smoking hemp grown for its fibres, you might find it a little unpleasant. Moreover, you might struggle to find enough flowers to smoke in the first place!
How Important Is THC?
These days, some industrial hemp producers are extracting CBD from leftover material and marketing it as “CBD oil”. These products are generally considered to be of lower quality—with reduced concentrations, and higher risk of contamination—than CBD oil harvested from plants specifically grown for medicinal use.
Marijuana, cannabis, hemp, CBD—all wonderful words, but do we really understand the relationships between them? We’re about to ask some crucial questions about the relationship between marijuana and hemp. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what hemp is, what marijuana is, and why understanding this distinction matters.
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis sativa. To understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, we need to know a bit about the s ubtypes, or cultivars, of the cannabis plant. Cultivars are breeds of a plant species bred for different purposes. The three types of cannabis cultivars are:
In North Carolina, licenses must be approved by the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission, which is affiliated with the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Licensed growers must abide by stringent regulations, including tests to ensure that the THC levels in any hemp remain at or below the limit of 0.3 percent.
What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
“Ninety-five percent of North Carolina hemp crops are grown for their flowers,” Melton says. “CBD is widely acclaimed for use in addressing many aches, pains and mental disorders. However, there is little data supporting many of the claims.”
Is growing hemp for CBD legal?
There’s been a lot of discussion about hemp recently, since the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal for farmers to grow industrial hemp for the first time since the passage of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (or, practically speaking, since the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act).
There are still quite a few restrictions and regulations associated with growing hemp, but the fact that hemp is now legal – while marijuana is not – has raised a lot of questions.
Hemp and marijuana are, taxonomically speaking, the same plant; they are different names for the same genus (Cannabis) and species.