Hemp 101

The recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized hemp on the Federal level! This will create incredible opportunities for the hemp industry in the US.  Hemp has been around for thousands of years, even dating back to 8,000 BC.  Its uses are broad ranging from paper products to food, to cosmetics, oils for physical ailments, and so much more!

A little Hemp history

Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis family on the sativa side.  The history of hemp in the United States is extensive, dating back to known records of hemp use when farmers grew it to produce items like paper, rope, lamp fuel, etc.  It was even the material that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on!

In 1970, hemp was included in the “Controlled Substances Act” which classified it as an illegal Schedule 1 drug.  This put hemp in the same category as marijuana. In 2014, President Obama allowed hemp to be grown for research purposes.  But it wasn’t until 2015 that the first hemp license was granted in North Dakota. Aside from the progression which started with the 2014 farm bill, to our most recent 2018 Farm bill, far more exciting times are ahead of us with the approval on the Federal level. This will provide for a massive growth in production, further research, and furthering societies awareness, education, and understanding of hemp.

So what does the 2018 Farm Bill Mean for Hemp?

The Federal legalization provides assistance to farmers joining the industry as well as protection to farmers crops, as long as the plant contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis, which must be tested by a state certified lab. Hemp is now regulated by the USDA and is not considered a Schedule 1 drug.  During the next year, the USDA will be studying the 42 states where growing hemp was previously legal.  Their goal is to study what the economic viability is, domestic production and sale of industrial hemp will be.

The Farm Bill does NOT regulate CBD, which is under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What’s the big deal about Hemp anyways?

Hemp has so many uses, upwards of over 60,000 known to date! So many we can’t even name them all.

  • Fiber – stronger, softer and more tolerant than cotton.
  • Paper products – producing 2-4 times more paper per acre compared to an acre of trees and in 3 months time compared to decades.
  • Fiberboard – stronger and lighter than wood.
  • Plastic substitute – Plastic hemp panels in cars were shown to be 10 times stronger than steel.
  • Hemp seed protein can replace soybean products and contains 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids.
  • Hemp seed oil produces non-toxic diesel fuel, paint, varnish, detergent etc.
  • Source for ethanol fuel.

It is also a dual-use crop. The upper portion of the plant provides leaves and flowers which contain cannabinoids and terpenes (acquired through extraction) and once those are removed, you’re left with the stalk, which can be used for textiles and hemp fiber.

One of our favorite uses for hemp is the extraction of cannabinoids (CBD) oils.

What are CBD oils?

CBD oils get extracted from the flower and leaves of the plants.  It is a natural botanical concentrated compound.  CBDs have been shown to have amazing benefits from pain relief, anxiety, epilepsy and more. They can also be used by humans and pets at any age. Because of the low THC level of the hemp plant (0.3% or below), it is non-psychoactive.This is a significant difference between marijuana and hemp and the reason why hemp is becoming more appealing to many.

There are CBDs derived from hemps cousin plant, marijuana, however much higher THC levels are contained in marijuana which does produce the psychoactive effect.  Learn more about the differences between Hemp and Marijuana.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. and therefor products produced by Freedom Hemp Co are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or make any health claims.

In conclusion

According to Vote Hemp, US Crop report, 78,176 acres of hemp was grown in 2018.  This was an increase of 52,463 acres from 2017.  With the passage of the Farm Bill, production is expected to continue to rise drastically. At Freedom Hemp Co, we believe in growing organic, high yield hemp plants and we want to help educate other farms to do the same. Reach out to us at hello@freedomhempco.com if you have questions and also if you have an interest in becoming a partner farm! We are more than excited to talk to you.