Hemp has been used for industrial purposes for thousands of years, even in antiquity. For example, archeologists have found the remains of hemp cloth from ancient Mesopotamia, and it was cultivated in China for over 6,000 years for the same purpose.
Even ancient people realized the value of this remarkable plant, but modern society has struggled with the legality of hemp. Hemp is in the same family as other strains of Cannabis sativa with high THC content, the chemical that causes psychoactive responses. However, hemp is a distinct strain with low THC.
To understand more about the legality of this misunderstood plant, check out the information below.
What Is Hemp?
To fully understand the legality of hemp, it’s essential to know the difference between hemp and other types of Cannabis sativa. While hemp may be legal in your area, it looks similar to other plants that may be listed as a controlled substance.
Hemp has been cultivated for industrial purposes for around 50,000 years, first used for its fibers to create cloth. According to the law, the main difference between hemp and psychoactive types of Cannabis sativa is that it has less than 0.3% THC.
Uses of Hemp
Aside from bamboo, hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet. Its strength and abundance offer plenty of potential solutions for our current environmental problems. Hemp is incredibly useful, and some of its products include:
- Impurity filtration
- Building materials
- Composite materials
The best part about hemp is that its cultivation and processing are much less detrimental to the environment than many of the current industrial processes used to create these products.
Legality of Hemp
Thanks to the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, hemp has been removed from the list of controlled substances, completely decriminalizing the cultivation of the plant. This is provided, however, that the hemp being grown has 0.3% THC or less.
Since hemp has such a high cannabidiol (CBD) concentration, the cannabis industry has kicked into high gear processing hemp and creating a variety of smokable and edible CBD products. However, this is where the legality of hemp enters a gray area. This is particularly true for smoking hemp and buying smokable hemp products.
Some states with restrictions include:
- North Carolina
The specifics of these states’ laws vary, but the general consensus is that it is illegal to smoke hemp there. These laws are also subject to change at any time and frequently do. The cannabis industry is quick to take these states to court as some argue they violate the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, a decision that is part of federal law.
Marijuana, CBD, and Vaping
The legality of hemp should have been clear after the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, but unfortunately, conservative state lawmakers have gotten involved and made things messy. So before buying smokable hemp products, make sure to check the legislation in your area to avoid jail and/or fines.
For more of everything marijuana, CBD, and vape-related, check out our page.