Amidst all the excitement regarding cannabis legislation, there is still a LOT of misinformation out there, especially pertaining to hemp. An increasing number of companies are selling hemp products, ostensibly as medicine but some customers are disappointed because they mistakenly figure that the hemp will do something miraculous or remarkable, that it’s in no way “designed” to do.
In this quick hemp FAQ, we answer several crucial questions about the “non-psychoactive” cannabis plant to hopefully boost your knowledge and understanding on what it can – and CAN’T – do.
1 – Will Hemp Help Me Get High?
No! First and foremost, hemp and marijuana are not really the same thing. Sure, they both come from the Cannabis sativa L plant, but they are different cultivars. While marijuana is often cultivated to contain the psychoactive compound THC (which gets you high), hemp contains minimal THC and is instead cultivated with high levels of CBD (cannabidiol) in mind. Cannabidiol is non-intoxicating, and while it is used in medicine, it doesn’t cause a high.
2 – Is Hemp Legal in the United States?
The answer to this question is extremely complicated. Growing hemp is federally illegal and has been since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
In 1970, it was grouped with marijuana and classified as a Schedule 1 substance. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 repealed federal laws, but only for hemp that was used by research facilities of “higher education” for the purposes of research.
In May 2018, the DEA muddied the waters even more by saying that hemp-derived CBD oil products are federally legal, even if they have no intention of enforcing such illegalities:
“While CBD currently is still Schedule 1,” says DEA spokesperson Barbara Carrasco, “with our limited resources marijuana has not been our highest priority … It is not a priority like opioids or synthetics which are killing people.”
It is hoped that the bipartisan Hemp Farming Act of 2018 will change the law and make hemp legal on a federal level, even though hemp is already legal in numerous states thanks to individual state laws.
In the meantime, it IS legal to purchase hemp-derived products in their final form including oil, protein powder, or even apparel.
3 – Is the Declaration of Independence & The Constitution Written on Hemp Paper?
This is a cool tale, but it is unfortunately false — kind of. While the first and second drafts of the Declaration of Independence were indeed written on Dutch hemp paper, the final version was in fact copied onto parchment.
4 – What Kind of Effects Can I Expect to Feel After Using Hemp Oil?
While we can’t provide you with a definitive answer as everyone’s experience is different, we can provide a general overview. Users tend to feel more relaxed and less stressed out, and although they can’t get high, there is a suggestion that hemp oil can improve mood, concentration, and energy levels.
Hemp is filled with phytocannabinoids (naturally-occurring chemical compounds), which influence our body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is responsible for keeping the body in ‘balance,’ and our body produces endocannabinoids to assist with biological processes.
5 – What is the Best Way to Consume Hemp?
For the most part, this is a matter of preference. Topical creams and lotions can be rubbed into a specific areas, and are arguably the best option for people with joint-related pain (from arthritis) that is in a localized area.
Edibles take longer to work, but normally taste delicious! Oil works faster, but some people dislike the taste, whereas capsules are an ideal consumption method if you dislike the raw taste of oil. In other words, there are hemp products for just about everyone.
6 – Does Hemp Have Any Negative Side Effects?
All of the research to date suggests that hemp causes minimal side effects, although we need long-term studies to be 100% sure.
As hemp seed oil is filled with polyunsaturated fats, there is a slight risk of cardiac conditions if you consume too much of it. And in rare cases, hemp can result in digestive problems, and some people have said it should not be used by pregnant women.
7 – Why Do Some Hemp Oil Brands Add Extra Ingredients?
For the most part, top-quality hemp sellers tend to keep added ingredients to a minimum, but additions such as clove and black pepper can increase the efficacy of the product. Clove and black pepper contain beta-caryophyllene, a phytocannabinoid that binds to the CB2 receptors in our body.
CB2 receptors are linked with immune and nervous system function and could lead to a feeling of calm and relaxation. Rosemary is a natural antioxidant preservative and includes several terpenoids including pinene, camphene, and limonene. All of these terpenoids are believed to promote relaxation and healthy inflammatory response.
8 – Why is Hemp Used to Make Clothing?
The hemp stalk consists of the hurd and the bast. The bast is the fiber of the plant, and you can weave it into various types of cloth (did you know that Levi’s first blue jeans were made from hemp)?
Although the cloth created by hemp isn’t as soft as that made from cotton, it is far more durable. It is also more environmentally friendly — did you know, for instance, that 50% of all U.S. pesticide use is on cotton crops?
9 – What is the Right CBD Hemp Oil Dosage?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the quality of hemp, the number of cannabinoids it contains, the size of the person using it, and the reason for consuming hemp in the first place.
For example, someone using it to treat epilepsy will need a hemp plant with an extremely high level of CBD, while those who use it for something like stress or mild pain will need less. Here’s a great guide we recently did on some common CBD hemp oil doses that people take for a range of different conditions.
10 – When is the Best Time to Take Hemp Products?
Again, we are assuming here that you are using hemp for its CBD content. Thus, the answer to this question depends on the form of consumption; it can take an hour for hemp products taken orally to work, while inhaling hemp via a vaporizer or vape pen works much faster.
If you’re using hemp to deal with pain, you’ll probably want to take it in the morning. If you want to improve sleep, on the other hand, it is best to use it an hour or so before bedtime.
For anxiety and stress, hemp can be taken anytime of the day (or night) as needed. Just make sure you are consistent when using hemp, and always remember that your body becomes more sensitive to cannabinoids over time.
Lastly, be advised that neither hemp nor CBD are recognized medicines, and you should not treat them as such. In other words, be realistic in terms of what the natural therapeutic compound can – and cannot – do.