#1 – Hemp and Marijuana are not created equal.
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between hemp and marijuana since the two plants look identical. Though they are both varieties of cannabis, they are not the same. Hemp belongs to the species Cannabis sativa L and it contains 0.3% or less of the psychoactive compound delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In contrast, marijuana plants contain 5% to 20% of THC. Another difference is that hemp plants usually contain significantly more cannabidiol (CBD) which is a compound that actually counteracts the psychoactivity of THC and has significant medical benefits.
#2 – You cannot get high from smoking or ingesting hemp.
Hemp does not contain enough THC to produce any psychoactive effects. As Dr. David P. West explains in his article Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities on the North American Industrial Hemp Council’s website, the trace amounts of THC in hemp are blocked by the high percentage of cannabidiol (CBD) in it. If you smoked hemp, you wouldn’t get a buzz.
#3 – Buying hemp products is legal in the U.S. in all 50 states.
Hemp oil, dietary hempseeds, and other hemp products are legal in all 50 states but it is not legal to grow hemp in most states. Even though marijuana and hemp are two different plants, the federal government considers all cannabis plants a Schedule 1 Substance. According to Vote Hemp, only fifteen states— Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, Delaware, Vermont, Maine, West Virginia and Hawaii—allow industrial hemp farming for commercial purposes and/or research. This might change if the government passes the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015. If you think that it should be legal to grow hemp in all 50 states, please let your senators and congressmen know by signing our petition on Change.org.
#4 – Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in hemp
Hemp contains at least 85 chemicals called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. Cannabidiol is one of those chemicals. It is an active ingredient in hemp capsules, hemp oil and many other health products made with hempseed oil.
#5 – Hemp can be used to make more than 25,000 different kinds of environmentally friendly products from health foods and beauty products to paper supplies and even building materials.
In 1938, the magazine Popular Mechanics called hemp the “New Billion Dollar Crop” because researchers had discovered that hemp could be used to manufactory over 25,000 different kinds of products “from cellophane to dynamite.” With our technological advances today we are constantly discovering even more ways to use this incredibly versatile plant.
#6 – Eating hemp can be great for your health.
Hemp seeds and hemp oil are rich in magnesium, iron, and vitamin E along with the healthy fats omega-3 and omega-6. (If you want the full skinny on hemps nutritional value, check it out on Self Nutrition Data). Hemp is also a complete protein which makes it a great plant-based protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Many people enjoy eating hemp seeds in salads, yogurt, cereals, granola and smoothies. Though hemp oil should not be used for high-heat cooking, it can be used in the kitchen too. (It makes a great salad dressing!) You can also find delicious substitute dairy products made from hemp and hemp protein powders.
#7 – Clinical and scientific researchers have discovered that CBD is a potential treatment for a wide range of conditions.
Hemp has been used in medicine for thousands of years but the scientific community has only begun to extensively research it over the last few decades. Through their research, they have learned that CBD is the compound in hemp that is primarily responsible for its medicinal benefits.
#8 – Hemp farming and production is great for the environment.
There are few crops that are as environmentally friendly as hemp. According to Canada’s Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, hemp matures in just 3 to 4 months and absorbs carbon dioxide 5 times more efficiently than trees. Unlike cotton which requires lots of water and heavy use of chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides; hemp can be grown organically without the use of chemicals or toxins and without the need for excessive water. It is also great for the environment because it returns nitrogen and nutrients to soil. Hemp’s long roots actual aerate soil and help to prevent both soil erosion and mudslides. Another benefit for farmers is that it can thrive in almost any climate and any type of soil. It is no wonder that the L.A. Times’ tip to American farmers is to grow hemp.