In 2018, the Farm Bill Act changed federal policy for hemp crops by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act and considering it, instead, as an agricultural product. This opened the door for state legislatures to act and many have done just that. Most states have followed suit with the federal legalization of hemp and have passed their own legislation to varying degrees.
But just what is hemp and how does it vary from marijuana?
Hemp Versus Marijuana
Marijuana and hemp are both species of the cannabis plant; however, hemp is different from marijuana in that it typically has a much lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical in marijuana that is responsible for the “high” one feels after ingesting or smoking it. CBD oil is produced from the hemp plant and both are distinct from marijuana for the same reason. In addition to CBD oil, hemp produces a prolific amount of other useful products.
Hemp for Textiles
For millennia, industrial hemp application has been used by China and throughout the Middle East. Hemp is connected to thousands of products. Hemp textile and fibers are used in things like paper, rope, canvas and clothing. In fact, the U.S. Constitution was written on hemp paper. Hemp clothing and rope is durable and lasts for a long time.
Hemp in Food
Hemp contains high amounts of amino acids and essential fats.You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it, but it is naturally vegan. You can make salad oil or eat the seeds just as you would regular nuts. Hemp seeds can be added to baked goods, smoothies, or ground to make flour.
Hemp in Construction
Hemp can even be used in construction materials like cement. The use of hemp in construction materials produces strong materials that are resistant to weather.
As you can see, hemp has a wide range of uses and has for thousands of years. Recent changes in federal and state legislation are creating new opportunities for hemp growers and distributors.