Last Thursday, the President officially signed the 2018 Farm Bill. That means hemp is officially legal in the U.S. and that hemp and its derivatives are no longer considered Schedule I narcotics. This opens many doorways to U.S. farmers who have been struggling more and more economically in recent years.
Senator Mitch McConnell signed the Farm Bill with a hemp pen before sending it to Trump and the luck carried over. Jack Herer is certainly smiling from the afterlife and pontificating about how hemp can save the world! The more likely outcome of hemp farming, however, is predominantly the manufacturing of CBD oil.
As long as the hemp plant has under .3 percent THC, it’s kosher, but most CBD isolates have 0 percent THC in them. That being siad, it’s important for non-cannabis experts to know that even having a small amount of the psychoactive component enhances the CBD component exponentially. There’s a synergy between cannabinoids, terpenes and other pot parts that makes the real magic happen.
And there enters the concern of the FDA. They see the claims being made by CBD manufacturers and salespeople and see them as reckless. It is possible to get FDA approval on a CBD product, but it must be considered “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS).
So far the FDA has approved three such products, including Hemp Fresh Foods, which uses the hemp seed as a nutritional supplement to foods, adding protein and omega-3’s. As to the food aspect of hemp seed, the FDA had this to say:
Although hemp is from the same species as cannabis (marijuana), the seeds themselves do not naturally contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. The hemp seed-derived ingredients that are the subject of these GRAS notices contain only trace amounts of THC and CBD, which the seeds may pick up during harvesting and processing when they are in contact with other parts of the plant.
The Farm Bill being passed is a major win for farmers, especially in states with a rich history of hemp production, like Kentucky. With machinery that separates the fibers from the seeds from the flowers, there are multiple avenues to producing quality U.S.-grown hemp products that will not only bring in profit, but will be amazing for environmental reasons like soil quality, the reduction of deforestation, and its many sustainable, earth friendly usages.