Factoid #11 – Hemp vs Medical Cannabis – 101
Still, even today, millions of people in this country…as well as the world, are sadly ill-informed when it comes to the cannabis industry as a whole. Many of us have been so duped over the last several decades by some very well-crafted propaganda, that we tend to refuse to see the real facts.
Along with some caustic political influence and a vindictive Presidential agenda in 1972, cannabis, in general, has been bastardized with a one-sided evil stigma that has taken over 80 years to recover from.
Fortunately, the tide has turned. With the help of prevailing scientific minds and especially social media, the word is finally getting out. The diversity of industrial hemp and the overwhelming medicinal benefits of cannabis are now ultimately and relatively conclusive. Science and numbers do not lie. As of the publishing of this article, 32 states have legalized some form of medical cannabis…even Utah, one of the most conservative states in America. That alone should tell you something. The perception and overall general consensus of the masses are shifting equivalent to a runaway freight train. And there is no stopping it now. The benefits of both industrial hemp and even medical cannabis in its broad definition of the substance far outweigh any preconceived disadvantages.
Fact 1: Hemp has NEVER been a narcotic plant/substance. Ever…regardless of classification. It is as innocent as a poppy seed is to opium, yet they both come from the same plant. Hemp has no more THCa in it than a trace amount at best. Hot chocolate has caffeine in it too but you don’t see people drinking it to stay awake either.
Fact 2: Hemp has identical leaves as marijuana being derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant family. A relatively close cousin to recreational and medicinal cannabis, true, but still remote enough to have its own distinction as the most diverse and resourceful plant to ever grace this planet.
Fact 3: Hemp has over 25,000 different uses. It can cloth, feed, heal, provide energy and even shelter. Hemp has been used for decades in cosmetic products, hair care products, textile industries, food additives, health supplements, pet foods, bird feed, CBD oils, energy drinks, and building blocks to insulate homes. The list is seemingly endless with more and more products being innovated almost daily. Yet, it cannot be grown in the US legally by the average farmer.
Fact 4: Hemp products are imported into the United States from Canada, China and India at the tune of over $800 million worth of trade a year. This translates into real farming and manufacturing jobs that rob our economy annually. But as an illicit substance classified by the DEA, we can buy it from other countries but prohibited from cultivating it here for our own use or export.
Fact 5: The Farm Bill of 2018 includes the Farm Hemp Act that could potentially remove Industrial Hemp from the DEA Controlled Substance Act list once and for all where it continues to be placed next to Heroin and LSD that are true lethal substances with no medicinal value whatsoever.
Fact 6: Hemp produces very high levels of Cannabinoids/Cannabidiols (CBD’s) and only trace amounts of THCa, whereas medicinal and recreational marijuana yield much lower levels of CBD while producing significantly elevated amounts of THCa, its key psychoactive component. It’s also important to note that in the presence of hemp CBD’s, THC levels diminish, canceling out its psychoactive effects. Currently, there are 483 chemical compounds found in cannabis and over 113 of which are cannabinoids.
Fact 1: Medical or even recreational cannabis (marijuana) has never killed anyone. There are no documented instances where any form of cannabis has led to an overdose to any human. It simply does not affect the human body in a lethal way.
Fact 2: Unlike industrial hemp, medical cannabis (sativa, as well as indica) only grows to about five feet on average, whereas hemp can grow to heights of 30 or more feet high making it the superb fibrous plant for rope and other textiles.
Fact 3: And finally, medicinal and recreational cannabis (marijuana) contains significant amounts of THCa. (THC is only present when cannabis is heated beyond 200 degrees.) This is the substance that gets you high. It is the psychoactive component that sets it apart from Industrial Hemp.
Fact 4: The THC cannabinoid in medicinal cannabis is the key component to the success of Epidiolex, a new drug recently approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals headquartered in the United Kingdom.