Water retting is another option. The stalks are immediately dried after harvesting then placed in water for a few days. The water softens the outer layer of the stalks and promotes the growth of additional bacteria, accelerating the process. Finally, chemical retting uses acids, bases, and special enzymes to break down the compounds that hold together the strong bast fibers.
There’s the added bonus of increased bioavailability. Through the act of inhalation, your bloodstream absorbs CBD much faster than it would after eating an edible or using a tincture under your tongue. Your body will also have access to a lot more of the CBD in the smoke or vapor when it’s inhaled. When consumed, a CBD edible goes through the digestive tract, and some of the potency is lost in the process.
As part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 Farm Bill), the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 reclassified hemp (with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I, the federal government’s most restrictive classification of controlled substances, which are considered highly prone to abuse and without medicinal benefits. This move to federally legalize hemp allowed for its cultivation and distribution as a legal agricultural product.
Male hemp plants flower much faster than females and do not produce nearly as much fiber. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Exactly how and when hemp originated in the New World is still highly debated. Though long thought to be introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus, hemp has been discovered in Native American civilizations that predate Columbus’ arrival. William Henry Holmes’ “Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United States” report from 1896 notes hemp from Native American tribes of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley.
All of each plant can be utilised for some purpose, but hemp and weed have their own specialities. With hemp, it tends to be the stringier bits that are harvested and used. Hemp fibre is a very strong and malleable material, and it can be pulped and reformed to make a wide range of materials; or, the fibres can be wound together.
Though THC is most prevalent in the flowers, there are many alkaloids, terpenes, and cannabinoids in the rest of the plant too, especially in the small “sugar leaves” surrounding the buds. So cook the leaves and stems down into butter or perform extractions to harness all the good stuff!
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis sativa. To understand the difference between hemp and marijuana, we need to know a bit about the s ubtypes, or cultivars, of the cannabis plant. Cultivars are breeds of a plant species bred for different purposes. The three types of cannabis cultivars are:
Which Parts of the Plants Are Used?
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the farm bill) in the States legalized the production of low-THC hemp (that which falls under 0.3%) for industrial purposes. This law was passed on a federal level, and thus applies to all of the states. As a consequence, hemp oil is now available in huge quantities and varieties. Though, this is not the same as CBD oil—and the same plants are not used in the production of both hemp fibre/seeds and CBD-rich flowers.
If hemp is high in CBD, does that mean that hemp oil is CBD oil? It actually doesn’t. Hemp oil is cold-pressed from cannabis seeds, while CBD oil—or any cannabinoid oil—must be extracted from the flowers. Hemp oil doesn’t contain CBD, but it’s still special—it contains the golden 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, a combination that fights inflammation and helps build your brain. It’s also high in vitamin E, which has been shown to have anti-ageing properties.
In Europe, it is more difficult to give exact dates, as ultimately each country deals with its laws separately. That being said, on the level of the EU, the production of low-THC hemp (under 0.2%) is legal for industrial purposes as part of EU Regulation 1307/2013. However, in some countries (such as Portugal), they’ve gone so far as to decriminalise recreational cannabis too.
Marijuana, cannabis, hemp, CBD—all wonderful words, but do we really understand the relationships between them? We’re about to ask some crucial questions about the relationship between marijuana and hemp. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what hemp is, what marijuana is, and why understanding this distinction matters.
For one, the marijuana plant is stalkier, while the hemp plant is taller and thinner. But more importantly, the hemp plant contains low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana can contain anywhere from 5 to 30 percent.
The short answer is no. As mentioned above, hemp seeds are not cultivated from the marijuana plant, but from the hemp plant, which contains minute amounts of THC. According to Jolene Formene, staff attorney at Drug Policy Alliance, “Hemp seeds are non-psychoactive, meaning that consumers cannot get high by eating them.” In other words, it’s impossible to get high from them.
In the past few years, hemp seeds have gained popularity and have started moving into mainstream markets. These days, you can even find them at Trader Joe’s. People sprinkle them on their salads, blend them into their smoothies, bake them into granolas and even turn them into hemp milk.
What are hemp seeds, actually?
As we sprinkle the seeds on top of our salads, we can’t help but wonder: what’s the deal with hemp seeds and THC?
They also won’t cause you to fail a drug test. We know that other foods like poppy seeds, which contain trace amounts of opiates, can make you fail a drug test. Certain places actually ask that you don’t eat poppy seed bagels or muffins before testing. But hemp seeds won’t cause the same confusion. A study found that eating hemp seeds had little effect on a person’s THC levels ― and never enough to exceed the levels looked for in federal drug testing programs.
But there’s something many people just can’t get over: hemp’s link to marijuana.
Hemp seeds have long been a staple in health-food stores, being prized for decades for their nutritional benefits ― they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a complete protein source, and a rich source of essential minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.