Cannabis — The New Frontier Opens Wide
December 20, 2018 headline:
“Congress passes hemp legalization, President Trump signs it.”
We are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution. Industrial hemp will soon become legal nationwide, which is a very good thing for the future of the economy and ecology of our country.
Growing low THC cannabis is also most beneficial to entrepreneurs and farmers who are—and more who will be—creating all kinds of industry and family legacy businesses around it.
Hemp has been in all kinds of products for years using imported hemp. This bill brings the farming and supply back to our shores and to our economy.
With tens of thousands of known uses and benefits, the re-introduction of hemp into modern culture has the potential to revolutionize key sectors of our lives. Cannabis will transform farming, medicine and nutrition, paper and plastic, energy and food, construction and textiles.
We’re excited that the legislative approval of medicinal hemp will likely improve wider spread acceptance of plant medicine and healing through herbs.
Legalization of hemp production should bolster the medicinal herb industry as well.
Hemp production can revolutionize farming, medicine and nutrition, paper and plastics, energy and food, construction and textiles.
What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?
It’s important to make a clear distinction between the rope and the dope… between hemp and marijuana.
Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis. The difference is that Mari is high in THC… hemp is high in TLC.
Marijuana and hemp are of the same species known as Cannabis sativa. However, hemp has only traces of THC.
HEMP contains a minuscule amount of the intoxicant THC (.3% max [that’s point 3%]).
You can’t get high on hemp.
MARIJUANA, (AKA: pot, sativa, bhang, kush, weed, ganja, pakalolo) contains mind altering levels of THC.
You can get high on marijuana.
Marijuana versus Hemp
Hemp = not high
Marijuana = high
We will leave the marijuana off to its own for now with all its attendant pros and cons and moral sticky wickets.
It’s taken some digging to unravel the actual differences since both marijuana and hemp are of the same species (Cannabis sativa).
But, like dogs which trace their lineage back to wolves, over the centuries the hemp and marijuana plants have been selectively bred for their specific uses.
Just like a rottweiler bears vague resemblance to a chihuahua thanks to their common heritage, what we have are same species but different varieties. Note below the visual differences.
Hemp and Marijuana are same species but different varieties.
A Curious Bit of History
So, how did the non-psychoactive hemp get lumped in with the psychoactive marijuana as a Schedule One Drug on par with heroin, LSD, and meth?
Perhaps, the better question would pertain as to why hemp was relegated to a higher degree of control than cocaine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
Influence and Power
Tracking back to the 1930’s, the very utility of hemp as a long-standing source for paper and emerging formulations into plastic did not align with certain magnates of the newspaper and chemical industries.
Those titans owned vast tracts of timber and the latter had petro-sourced plastics and fiberglass in mind. Couple this with the end of prohibition which left law enforcement bureaucracies looking for something to do.
Thus they targeted marijuana, including hemp, both of which became illegal under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. All sorts of misinformation and conflation with hard drugs and crime was widely disseminated.
Criminalizing hemp was a convenient target that served several agendas.
Perceptions Over Realities
Then in 1970, US Congress passed and Nixon signed off on the Controlled Substances Act which categorized drugs according to perceived potential for abuse and medical applications (if any).
Cannabis (marijuana and hemp) was placed in the top tier of controlled substances as having no medical applications, being highly addictive, and very prone to abuse.
In spite of valid refutations and protests, all types of cannabis went onto the Schedule One list. Some believe it was because Nixon had it in for the pot-smoking anti-war hippy protestors.1)http://time.com/4298038/marijuana-history-in-america/
Hemp is Now Officially Legal in the USA
Fast forward to today, hemp officially becomes legalized on 12/20/2018 with the passing of the Farm Bill.
The full fledged impact of this liberated resource has only just begun to take effect.
Marijuana may indeed follow on the same path to legalization. Time will tell. However, the entire focus of this article is on hemp and its derivatives like CBD (Cannabidiol) which have no intoxicating effects yet yield an astounding array of benefits and uses.
In fact, the more we explore the potentials and applications, the more impressed we are that hemp production will foster an enormous growth industry, beneficial for all.
Hemp Passes with Bipartisan Approval
Given that a significant number of states in the US have legalized the high-producing (TLC laden) weed to lesser or greater extents, it’s not a big surprise that the low-THC industrial hemp could be federally unfettered through a bipartisan passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
In fact, one of the main proponents was Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who sees the potential for beleaguered tobacco farmers in Kentucky switching to hemp.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill will do much to launch industrial hemp into a whole new frontier. It will remove the constraints on advertising, interstate commerce, banking, and financial services. CBD is included in all the provisions as well.
Beleaguered tobacco farmers may now turn to hemp.
CBD — Cannabidiol has no intoxicating effects, yet has many benefits and uses.
Journey of Discovery into Hemp, CBD and Hemp Oil
While the legalization of hemp proceeds, we’re basically trying to gauge the relevance for ourselves as landowners, investors, and consumers of naturopathic remedies. As such, we welcome you, our friends and followers, to tag along on this journey of discovery.
We’ll do our best to properly inform and deliver objective research. You also have the open invitation to pitch in with your own perspective and experience, which we may also share here.
Here’s a bit of a disclaimer:
Some of our followers are already up to speed on the topic of industrial hemp. And we know a number of you are amateur growers of the alternate species. Sites, publications, blogs, and news articles abound. We came into this research and are of interest by accident.
We launched into learning about cannabis quite by accident. A car accident in fact.
We Bumped into Hemp and CBD… backwards sort of
Several weeks ago, a distracted driver plowed into the back of my car and nearly totaled it. Thank Heaven, nobody was seriously injured. A few hours later, the shock of the impact did cause some latent injury and chiropractic treatment was needed.
I’d not been to the doctor’s office in months and while checking out, I noted a display of “CBD Freeze” pain rub and a few other products laced with CBD. Hmmmm.
I didn’t even know our state had allowed this substance for retail sale! The doc assured me this was so. Maybe, I’d pick some up on the next visit. . . if needed.
Rural American Hemp Fields
We are definitely in a stage of transition. The scene captured below may be a very common rural scene in just a few years, and these are not Christmas trees!
Cannabis and Canada
Having casually read snippets about hemp and the industry’s history, we weren’t totally ignorant. Also, attending a financial conference in Canada back in October, just after recreational cannabis had been legalized, gave pause to consider how many states in the US were individually allowing medical and/or recreational use.
During breaks, a number of attendees would step out for a number. As they returned to the meeting, the distinctive bouquet was hard to miss. According to my Los Angeles cousin, legalization has made such experiences of non-partakers very commonplace.
In legal marijuana states, lunch breaks and potty breaks may have assumed a whole new meaning.
But let’s take a brief look at CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (pronounced: canna bih die ol) is one of many compounds derived from cannabis plants. Though present in the marijuana variety, CBD is most available in hemp.
CBD – cannabidiol (cann-bih-die-ol), is most available in hemp.
Our wide scoped research indicates that CBD has many attributes as an herbal medicine for treatment of seizures, insomnia, anxiety, and pain yet has no psychoactive (intoxicating) effects.
Hemp CBD is derived from the leaves, stems, and flower tops of the hemp plant, and is most commonly tinctured into an oil for use in many cosmetic and medicinal products.
Some CBD Oil Benefits
Hemp oil is derived from the hemp seeds which impart some amazing nutritive components along with other industrial oil-based applications. For example, everyone is now aware of the importance of omega fatty acids. Hemp oil contains a complete array of essential fatty acids with very little CBD content.
If derived from hemp, both hemp oil and CBD oil can be sold legally in the USA.2)https://cannabis.net/blog/medical/4-key-differences-between-hemp-oil-and-cbd-oil
CBD is not the same extract as hemp oil. Hemp oil is derived from hemp seeds.
CBD oil is derived from the leaves, stalks and flower heads of the hemp plant.
So, now we’ve begun intensive research into the topic of industrial hemp, its derivatives (including CBD and hemp oil) and the monetary potential for farming it.
So far, our venture is quite humbling in terms of all there is to know. We thought we could just wade into the pool of information but soon found ourselves dog paddling in the deep end!
There’s so much to learn in every category involved, which also means so much opportunity!!
For each illustration, multiple examples might be drawn. A search on Amazon reveals a plethora of hemp products, from food to cosmetics, medicine to shoes.
Hemp Products Include
- Paper Products
- Body Care
- Livestock feed
- Livestock bedding
- Nutritional supplements
- Essential oils
There are already so many hemp and CBD infused products on the market with infused lotions for pain, skin care, hair care, body soap, pet care, and oral care. And yet this industry is just in its infancy.
And guess what? Turns out we’ve been using hemp soap for years now, but didn’t even notice!
There is a slew of food products already available like hemp milk, cereal, oil, protein powder, hemp flour, and, wait, there’s more!
- Hemp Milk
- Protein Powder
- Hemp flour
- Beer & Wine
Many new beverages containing hemp extracts are gaining popularity and shelf space-energy drinks, sparkling beverages, and, of course, hemp improved beers and wines. Look for this sector, especially with more CBD ingredients, to explode as well.
Hemp seeds, just hemp seeds alone, have multiple culinary and nutritional uses. They contain more essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) than fish oil supplements or any fish. These components promote better brain function, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, moderate blood pressure and reduce risks of stroke and heart disease. 3)https://foodfacts.mercola.com/hemp.html
Check this out-just 42 grams or around 3.2 tablespoons of hulled seeds provide:
Image Credit: MiracleSource.com5)https://miraclesource.com/hulled-hemp-seed/
Hemp seeds contain more essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) than fish oil supplements or any fish.
More Hemp Products: Old, New, and Yet to Be Discovered
Given that this is a very young industry involving a plant species that has been a part of human history for millennia, there’s definitely a lot more in the pipeline.
For every traditional use, newer products will be derived. For example, hemp oil once burned in 19th century lamps can now replace corn ethanol fuel with 100% higher crop yield, and double to triple the biomass per acre with 1/3 less water. The fibers traditionally used for rope can now be spun into fine cloth and yarns.
We end our brief foray into the “New Frontier” of the hempside story of cannabis sativa. As the industry itself begins a new cycle, thanks to its long awaited, and well deserved legalization, we have much more to explore and we continue to gauge our involvement. We’re definitely excited and eager to share our discoveries along the way.
Remember, you can easily find hemp oil on Amazon, such as those linked images below. For organic CBD oil, here’s what we use:
And next, a final word on hemp imports versus domestic cannabis.
Let’s Grow Hemp at Home, USA
Q. How is it that hemp has been illegal in the US when there are many hemp products for sale in stores and online?
A. Well, in most cases you’re buying products made from imported hemp.
We can import them, we can process, resell, and use hemp products but up till present, we’ve barely been allowed to grow hemp.
The US imports millions of dollars worth of hemp products, mostly from China and Canada. Now we can bring those dollars home.
Whatever is imported is strictly controlled and monitored for it’s THC content, and subject to inspections by the US Customs (ICE) and Drug Enforcement Agency. But remember, “subject to inspection”, doesn’t mean that it’s all inspected.
The 2014 Farm Bill Allowed Limited Production
The 2014 Farm Bill was a half measure toward allowing limited hemp cultivation here in the US on a state by state basis. States could certify growers, and license “pilot projects” under the auspices of their agriculture departments or institutes of higher learning.
States which have gone legal on marijuana allow more liberal cultivation of hemp. 7)https://www.cannalawblog.com/whats-up-with-hemp-in-washington/
But up until the passage of the new 2018 Farm Bill, there were many Federal roadblocks to interstate commerce, including sales across state borders, banking, investing, and insurance. 8)https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrebourque/2018/12/17/how-hemp-and-the-farm-bill-may-change-life-as-you-know-it/#393c29e6694c
The former restrictions on growing cannabis hindered hemp commerce and revenue for the US. Now that will change. Time for us to grow and export!
This situation will change with the 2018 Farm Bill as it allows US farmers to grow acres of hemp domestically.
A Green Horizon
Shifting from massive imports to domestic production will be a tremendous boon for farmers, product manufacturers, and retailers.
Some experts predict that our current 100 million dollars worth of yearly imports will be eclipsed by a rapidly expanding industrial hemp market and generate up to 20 billion dollars in revenue by 2020. 9)https://seekingalpha.com/pr/17362290-hemp-inc-featured-forbes-oregonian-additional-news-outlets-u-s-farm-bill-heads-president-s?ifp=0
Now THAT, is great news! Time for more farms and farmers to flourish. We see green horizons ahead.
We use ours to help with sleep, aches and pain, and the CBD Pets for Devani’s Maltese, Caspian, who’s afraid of storms or when the power surges.
We also use hemp oil for the essential omega fatty acids and to improve inflammation, brain food and more. But be aware that more studies are needed before absolute claims can be made on all these reported benefits.
We’d love to hear from you and what you’re using, growing and/or interested in, and if you have direct experience to share, we may add that to this article.
G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson
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