Hemp 101 & FAQ's
Welcome to our FAQ &Hemp Educational Page. Feel free to peruse our FAQ and the articles and resources below to help you learn as much as you can about Hemp and its products. Thanks for visiting.
What is Hemp? Technically, Hemp is the common name for the plant Cannabis Sativa L. A member of the Cannabaceae Family of plants, it is a Cousin to Marijuana (Cannabis Indica) and is characterized by it's high concentration of the Cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD) and low concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the substance that causes the high in Marijuana) Industrial Hemp is the technical term for the Hemp plant when it is grown for use of it's fibers, seeds and hurd (core),
Hemp is a versatile crop with a long, storied history and over 50,000 uses. It is legal and it's details can be both interesting and confusing. Hopefully, below, we can answer some of your questions and clear up a few misconceptions about the miraculous plant.
Hemp has been around for a long time. Most of human history in fact. Although it is unsure, the historic record points to Hemp appearing in the area of Asia (Himalayas). It is known, however, that Hemp was being used by tribes in Taiwan more than 10,000 years ago.
The first uses of Hemp was for clothing, textiles, pottery, paper and as a food source, amongst other things.
It's first uses as medicine was approximately 2800 to 2700 B.C. It was used for pain relief and to speed up the healing of wounds.
Some other notable moments in Hemp history include:
About 400 A.D., the first discovery of Hemp's use in "Bio-Plastics" was discovered with the finding of the Yin Pang Mummy in China.
The first book to be printed, the Gutenberg Bible, was printed upon Hemp paper.
Between the 16th and 19th Centuries in America, people could actually PAY their taxes using Hemp. It was a staple of farms everywhere and, in fact, sometimes during this time frame, it was even illegal to NOT grow Hemp.
In the United States, Hemp has had a more spotty and confused history. Up until the 20th Century, Hemp was commonplace in the U.S.
This all changed, prior to World War 2, with the enactment of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
This law effectively stopped production of Hemp by imposing a tax so high that it became impractical and unprofitable to grow it. Although this law was still effective, the prohibition was lifted to support the war effort, which required Hemp supplies that were cut off, but was enforced again after 1944.
In 1970, then President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act into law, which placed Marijuana, and inexplicably it's cousin Hemp, as a Schedule I Narcotic, whose growth and possession could lead to imprisonment, fines, or both.
Finally, for a variety of reasons, the fog began to clear. Appellate court cases affirmed the publics ability to import Hemp, while the Congress moved to strip Hemp away from the now 80 year reputation it had garnered being unfairly associated with Marijuana.
The Farm Bills of 2014 and 2018 respectively established "Pilot" programs and then fully legalized Industrial Hemp in the nation.
While some states have been slow to adopt their own Hem growing rules and laws, the path is set on allowing Hemp to make a well deserved comeback and claim it's rightful place in the Consumer world.
Click to enlarge.
Click to Play. "Hemp for Victory" is a short film produced by the USDA during WWII to encourage the growth of Hemp for the war effort.
Why was Hemp made illegal in the first place?
That is a good question with many different answers. It would be easy to say it was all just a overblown case of confusion, but the reality of it was that several powerful parties with varied interests came together to deal a death blow to the Hemp industry because it was convenient and easy thing to do at the time they did it. Let's examine some contributing factors:
In the years following the end of Prohibition in America, there was a growing need to have something to enforce by the Federal Narcotics Bureau (later the Drug Enforcement Administration). Headed by a man named Harry Anshlinger he lobbied for the outlawing of Marijuana, which he was convinced was a "gateway" drug that could lead to other "unchristian like" behaviors as well as the use of harder, ore dangerous substances. He also falsely claimed that the substance could lead to overdose and death.
Enter into the picture a man name William Randolph Hearst. You may have heard this name before. He was a media magnate that controlled a small newsprint empire. Some even say that his manipulation of the media under his control fanned the flame of public opinion and led to the Spanish American War. You would think a businessman like Hearst would embrace Hemp as a cheap, efficient material for making paper for his holdings. But in fact, Hearst owned considerable interest in timber across the hemisphere, and viewed the use of Hemp paper as a threat to his financial interests. He turned the ire of his media machine against Marijuana while secretly lobbying behind the scenes to outlaw Hemps use alongside of it.
Hemp was not only well known in the world as a great raw material for paper, but it's fibers were renowned for their qualities in clothing and textile manufacturing. Into that landscape, we find that DuPont had recently patented Nylon, the first synthetic fiber made from petrochemicals. Protecting this investment would be beneficial to their future plans. It should also be noted that Andrew Mellon, former Treasury Secretary, was invested heavily in this new technology and may have used his influence to lobby for Hemps demise.
All of this culminated into what would become the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, where, despite the objections of the AMA and Industrial Hemp supporters, Hemp was foolheartedly lumped in alongside Marijuana and essentially outlawed.
Although this theory may sound a bit too conspiratorial to some, it does represent a confluence of interests that cannot be wholly nor soundly rejected. In fact, you can find many sources (poorly sourced and corporate sponsored for the most part) debunking this as a theory online. But the point remains, for whatever reason, the crop of Hemp was foolishly and without good cause brought to a halt in this country in 1937. Despite the governments correction of that error, only recently, there are still many attitudes, beliefs and misconceptions about the plant which need to be educated about and overcome.
Is Hemp Legal now?
The short answer to this question is; Yes it is. But it is a little more complex than that. When you discuss the legality of Hemp, you have to split into two separate groups; Hemp (and Hemp derived products) and Hemp Extracts (anything containing Cannabinoids such as CBD oils or creams).
First, lets look at Hemp Extract products. Yes, these are perfectly legal. The Farm Bill of 2018 removed Hemp and its products from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration by removing it from the Scheduled Drugs that it regulates/enforces. The Food and Drug Administration is now the governing body when it comes to these products. Although not official yet, they are currently crafting a policy on the use of Hemp Extracts.
With regard to all other Hemp products, with the enactment of the aforementioned Farm Bill of 2018, the growth and cultivation of the Hemp plant is legal. It's regulation also having been removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration and placed in the hands of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As of writing this, the USDA has not arrived on any final rules on Hemp farming, but has published a set of draft rules which it allows states to use (if they do not establish their own).
These rules affect what the law defines as "Industrial Hemp." In basic terms, Industrial Hemp is Hemp which is grown for use of it's fibers, seeds, Cores, etc. (essentially, non Hemp Extract products). The law defines Industrial Hemp as Hemp which contains <.3% of THC by Dry weight. This low number was picked for a couple reasons, mostly to eliminate the possibility of psychoactive effects and thus, make it more palatable to be legalized.
The Farm Bill also established a few other rules to assist in the growth of the Industrial Hemp markets. It provided money for states to conduct "research" into it's uses and to improve methods of farming it. It also made it legal to transport Hemp across state lines.
The confusing part about these laws comes into play when you discuss individual states. To date, nearly all have some kind of Industrial Hemp law or regulations (or have adopted the Federal language) save a handful that still will not, inexplicably, allow their farmer's access to this new "cash crop" If you want to grow Hemp in a certain state, then you should check with your states Agricultural Department to make sure you comply with all the licensing and rules that may (or may not) be required.
Additional confusion comes into play when you bring in Local Law Enforcement, Certain other Federal and State Agencies, and some private companies. For example, there is still a great deal of confusion at the Transportation Security Administration when it comes to carrying CBD products onto airplanes. Certain cruise lines will still tell customers Hemp Extracts are "forbidden items" because they either willfully, or neglect to understand the differences between Hemp and Marijuana. And finally, certain Social Media companies and Search Engines will not allow Hemp businesses (that in n way deal with Marijuana) to use their platform to advertise Hemp Extract (CBD) products because they inexplicably refuse to update their policies and algorithms to reflect the law.
To be clear, this confusion and controversy 99% of the time, applies to Hemp Extract (CBD) products, not those derived from Hemp fiber, seeds or Hurd (as these contain NO Cannabinoids like CBD or THC). So be assured, you will not likely be hassled wearing your comfortable new Hemp clothing o a flight.
Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
This law was the culmination of efforts in the U.S. to curb the consumption of the substance Marijuana by placing a tax upon it so high, that growing it was deemed impractical and unaffordable. The law also classified Hemp as the same as Marijuana, effectively ending the burgeoning Hemp industry in the country.
Wikipedia Article on the Act
Throughout the years, there has been a number of Court Decisions and Laws that have affected Hemp and/or it's products. Here is a summary of some of the major ones.
Hemp vs. Marijuana, how are they different?
Hemp Extracts (CBD) have been shown to have benefits for a LARGE NUMBER (These are the more common ones) of conditions. (Click to enlarge)
Just Visually you can see the difference between Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) and Marijuana (Cannabis Indica). (Click to enlarge)
Hemp as Medicine
Please Note: These videos are shared for informational and educational purposes only. We do not endorse any person, opinion, place, method or product that may be mentioned, sold or marketed during them.
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Improve your Hemp Vocabulary
The percentage of the substance which actually enters the bloodstream and is usable by the body. Used as a measure of the effectiveness of any particular ingestion method.
A Hemp Extract product which generally contains a full profile of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, etc. Bu has been put through additional processing during extraction to remove the THC from the product.