Hemp can change the world with the many benefits it offers to people, and the planet. There’s usually confusion between the hemp plant and marijuana. However, it only has traces of intoxicating compounds when compared to the amounts of psychoactive chemicals produced by its cannabis cousin. A prominent and lucrative crop in the United States until 1937, hemp production was prohibited by the Marijuana Tax Act. Recently, U.S. legislation made changes that released hemp from its agricultural bonds. This allows the plant use for fiber, hurts, leaves, flowers, and seeds.
Today, hemp agriculture is contributing to major shifts in medications, personal care, and sustainable building materials. But it may take time for Americans to realize hemp’s full potential.
Federally decriminalized for a variety of uses, hemp is still commonly confused with its psychoactive cousin marijuana, which is only legal in 11 states. Unlike marijuana, hemp is legal everywhere in the U.S. now as a result of the Farm Bill so that everyone can take advantage of its numerous benefits.
Are Hemp And Marijuana The Same?
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants. But there are some significant differences between the two plants. Similar in many ways, hemp and marijuana’s differences can be seen when comparing THC and CBD cannabinoids side-by-side. THC and CBD are regulated differently in the U.S, so it is common for people to confuse the two cannabis crops.
THC vs. CBD
- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants. THC is responsible for the “high” users feel when they dose with marijuana.
- CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound that delivers many medicinal benefits to users without any psychoactive effects.
Industrialized Hemp Production Is A Game-Changer
The Farm Bill is just one part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 passed by the U.S. senate. Taking a giant leap forward for sustainable agriculture, the Farm Bill includes a provision that empowers farmers by including hemp as a crop for commercial cultivation. This cash crop is now booming, playing a key role in the future of America’s economy, which also includes marijuana plants rich in THC. High in CBD content, and low in THC, hemp industrialization has freed farmers to make a hefty profit growing the sturdy crop across the country.
Shortly after the Senate passed the reform in 2018 Senator Mitch McConnell said, “Last year alone, Kentucky hemp recorded more than $16 million in product sales through the state pilot program I previously secured, demonstrating that hemp holds great potential for the future of Kentucky agriculture.” The Senator went on saying:
For far too long, the federal government has prevented most farmers from growing hemp. Although it was a foundational part of Kentucky’s heritage and today you can buy hemp products at stores across the country, most American farmers have been barred from planting it in their fields.
5 Ways Hemp Can Change The World
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 released hemp from restrictions making it possible to have benefits unavailable before the reform. Not only a game-changer for hemp farmers, but CBD may also change your life!
Here are just 5 ways hemp is changing the world around you:
Today, common OTC medications including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are the most abused drugs in the United States. According to a recent study on the safety of acetaminophen overdose, researchers have found that liver failure is one of the most common results of POD (Paracetamol Overdose) — and that is just one clinical trial. From 1999 to 2017 the U.S. Center for Disease Control reported 702,000 deaths from a drug overdose. In 2017, over 70,000 people died as a result of drug overdose. This made it a leading cause of mortality in the United States with 68 percent of those deaths involving a prescription, or opioid medication.
Providing a safer alternative to conventional medications, hemp-derived CBD medications are indicated for ailments including chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and arthritis. CBD medications are available over-the-counter, and by prescription including Epidiolex, the first cannabis-derived medication approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for people suffering from seizures. Today, CBD medications are available to anyone over the age of 18 in the U.S. to replace dangerous drugs.
Bioplastics are a sustainable way to take on the economic and political problems of global pollution. Over time, the consequences of using plastic bottles have left the planet desperate for a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastic. Bioplastics are made from renewable resources including oil, corn, straw, wood, and hemp fiber. Hemp-derived bioplastics are available as a replacement to conventional plastics that contain known toxins found in our environment that contribute to pollution. You can find bioplastic bags, cutlery, crockery, pots, bowls, and even straws. In many ways, hemp plastic is a suitable replacement for petroleum-derived plastics that can worsen pollution as they biodegrade.
3. Personal Care Products
You might be shocked to learn that some of the most common everyday personal care and beauty products you are already using contain toxins. Some of the worst ingredients found in your beauty regimen may include parabens, sulfates, talc, and harmful chemicals. Estimated show hemp-derived CBD products to produce $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020. You can find all types of non-toxic CBD products for personal care on the shelves of your local drug store right now. Today, CBD infused skin care, pain relief, and tinctures are available across the U.S.
Hemp can change the world with its versatility in textiles. The fiber is ideal for making durable materials suitable for clothing, rugs, upholstery, and more. The ultra-strong fiber of hemp plants uses less water and energy to produce than cotton textiles. This makes the fashion industry an ideal place for hemp. If you want an affordable alternative to some of the most popular clothing brands, consider wearing hemp clothing. There are countless hemp clothing brands including these top picks: Recreator, Jungmaven, Wolven, Pact, Everlane, and Allbirds.
5. Building Materials
Hemp fiber offers so many properties that make it ideal for use in building materials. The sturdy industrial crop grows fast and dense. In 4 to 6 months the plants are ready for harvest. Useful for centuries as an eco-friendly replacement for conventional mortar, hemp cement is now available in the U.S. After releasing the crop from the American Controlled Substances Act, the plant can now be legally grown for industrial purposes, and used for all types of building materials. Hemp can change the world with its contribution to sustainable building materials including wood, cement, concrete, insulation, wood finish, stain, and more.
A Final Note On Hemp Legalization
The Farm Bill was signed into law on December 20, 2018, and includes a Section 10113 also known as “Hemp Production.” This is the act that officially removes hemp from the prohibition under the Controlled Substances Act. Today, 46 states define industrial hemp within strict production guidelines under the new Farm Bill provisions.
Hemp cultivation will continue to increase across the U.S. as the demand for hemp-derived products grows. This is due to its versatility, resilience, and sustainable characteristics. We can all reap the benefits of using hemp-based products as alternatives to conventional materials. Finally!