It’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false when it comes to hemp. There’s a lot of confusion between cannabis and hemp, which is also known as Cannabis Sativa L. In this guide we’ll explain the top fallacies about hemp and discuss how easy it was for these items to be believable at first. We believe in providing valuable information to the Canna Trading Co. community, which includes differentiating the difference between true and false statements regarding the very plant that our products are derived from.
Industrial Hemp Doesn’t Need Pesticides So Regulations Aren’t Necessary
This is one of the top fallacies about hemp because it simply isn’t true. While hemp is capable of adapting to several climates, it’s also what’s called a bio-remediator. What this means is, it can take in toxins and heavy metals from contaminated soil. Hemp is a sponge – whatever is in the ground it’s grown in, it’s likely to absorb.
Hemp can be infested by pests. There are organic pesticides that can be used, and is what organic hemp farmers opt to use. Hemp plants do have built-in defense mechanisms that help protect the plants from pests and disease, but this does not keep them completely safe from harm.
Industrial hemp is traditionally grown for its seeds and fiber, meaning it’s not very resinous. The low amount of resin makes industrial hemp plants a little more vulnerable to potential pest attacks. This also makes it more vulnerable to potential mold.
High-resin hemp and cannabis plants are able to defend themselves a little better from these harmful predators. Organic fungicides and pesticides may be used when growing industrial hemp just as an extra layer of protection. A farmer could lose an entire crop to mold and pest infestations.
Industrial Hemp is Prime for CBD Extraction
CBD is the same whether it comes from an industrial hemp plant or another variety of cannabis. The quality of the CBD is where the difference lies. Hemp and cannabis plants that are grown specifically for cannabinoids, extractions and medicinal purposes have better quality CBD as well as higher concentrations of it.
Something you might not know is that industrial hemp plants only have a maximum CBD concentration of 3.5%. Hemp and cannabis that are grown for medicinal purposes can have 20% or more CBD by dry weight.
When it comes to industrial hemp, a massive amount of hemp biomass (leaves, stems and stalks) is required to obtain enough CBD oil to be used for tinctures and other applications.
The Separation of Hemp from Cannabis is Based on Merely Science
It’s easy to believe that hemp only has 0.3% THC or less. It is true; however, that hemp has less THC than cannabis. However, the separation of hemp from cannabis in this sense is regulatory (political). The classification dates all of the way back to a 1976 report by 2 Canadian plant scientists. It’s generally understood that Arthur Cronquist and Ernest Small didn’t intend for the 0.3% THC reference to stick as the identifier between hemp and cannabis.
It seems that this “suggestion” was taken way too far and that 0.3% THC threshold just stuck and became the norm for laws around the world. Hemp can have more than 0.3% THC and now, farmers are forced to destroy their crops if they do test above 0.3% THC.
Science has yet to prove that industrial hemp doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC or that it shouldn’t. Under the U.S. Government’s regulations though – it can’t be legally sold as a hemp product and cannot be used for interstate distribution as a hemp-derived CBD product if that THC concentration is above 0.3%.
The intention here is not to confuse you. The goal is to provide you the facts on how these limits and restrictions are defined and implemented. It is important to understand that science regarding hemp and cannabis has been heavily restricted. Until federal prohibition ends, we won’t likely know everything we possibly can about these two plants. Unfortunately, that is just the cold, hard truth of the matter. We won’t truly understand these two classifications of plants until the handcuffs are off and real science can uncover the answers to everyone’s burning questions.
CBD Commerce Became Legal with the 2018 Farm Bill
Almost, but not quite. The Farm Bill deemed hemp containing 0.3% THC or less an agricultural crop. CBD was removed from the Controlled Substances Act. But that still doesn’t mean that CBD commerce is completely legal.
The FDA says that CBD is strictly pharmaceutical due to its approval of Epidiolex.
So, if hemp is legal – why is there such an issue with CBD? It’s hard to understand.
Let’s sidetrack for a second to the financial sector – CBD companies have a hard time maintaining credit card processors due to uncertainties surrounding the legality of CBD. Banks are still confused about whether or not CBD is legal, so, they’re choosing to err on the side of caution. Several already understand that hemp-derived CBD products shouldn’t pose a problem for them when it comes to FDIC guidelines.
Now, how can CBD products legally be sold? There’s so much contradiction that is still in place, even with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. It’s important to know what the laws are regarding hemp in your state. You might notice, if you live in California, that hemp-based products are available at farm markets – this includes CBD products. California law allows it. Some states still prohibit hemp products of all kinds. Several other states are still waiting for USDA approval of their proposed hemp laws. It’s all a huge gray area. The Farm Bill only went so far.
Most states aren’t raising a fuss over hemp-derived CBD products as long as they are testing at or below 0.3% THC. Shipping of these products is also not interfered with when the products are coming from a hemp/CBD-legal state to another.
Until federal guidelines are set (which are expected to be out within the coming months) – it’ll just remain a big ball of confusion. Generally speaking – hemp is legal to cultivate, process and manufacture. CBD comes from hemp—put two and two together and you have the common sense answer.
We hope that this clears up some of the confusion about what you’ve heard about hemp. It’s not as cut and dry as you might think. Some of what you’ve believed to be true might now cause a little bit of confusion. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.