What’s the Deal with Legal Weed and Hemp?

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There is no doubt that at certain times the cannabis industry can be confusing and there’s probable cause to be confused. With so many new laws going into place around the country and the world, it can be hard to keep up. After the midterm elections in the U.S., it seems as though the marijuana market has become much more open and that the political sphere is quickly shifting as well.

For starters, it’s important to separate the differences between hemp and cannabis. Hemp is a plant that comes from the same family as marijuana, but it has several distinct characteristics that are different. For one, while cannabis can contain high amounts of THC, the main psychoactive component, hemp usually contains a very low amount.

Hemp has been used for thousands of years as an industrial product where it can be turned into rope, fabric, clothing and more. Additionally, hemp can be used to derive CBD or cannabidiol, which is one of the main medicinal components of the cannabis plant.

The real issue that comes into play when differing the two is the legislative differences. The recent passing of the Farm Bill brought a large number of changes to how hemp is allowed throughout the country. The Farm Bill allows the growth and production of hemp and hemp related products, but it does not, however, allow for marijuana legalization from a federal perspective.

Marijuana is still considered to be a Schedule I substance in the U.S. which means that it does not have any medicinal value as well as a high rate of abuse. Both of these claims are highly untrue and have been propagated by years of lacking research. The farm bill will allow for the production of CBD from industrial hemp, but not from marijuana which makes the situation quite difficult.

In the U.S., it has become extremely popular to legalize cannabis from a statewide perspective. As many as thirty-four states in the nation currently have some sort of legal measures in place to allow the use of cannabis. 10 of those states make it legal for recreational adult use marijuana.

CBD products, however, seem to be one of the biggest health crazes that we’ve seen. The potential for CBD’s use in a medicinal way is extremely high, but the issue is that the research is lacking. It’s lacking mostly in part due to the legislative challenges that make it extremely difficult for researchers to get ahold of the substance.

The overwhelming public support of legalization, however, should help to overturn some of these issues and allow the research and use of cannabis on a wide scale. Over the course of the next few years, we may see the federal government in the U.S. move more toward a nationwide legal stature, but only time will tell. For now, it seems as though we will have to abide by state laws and continue to watch as the world passes us by in legalization of medical and recreational cannabis.

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