Cannabis has been making headlines with CBD oil and other hemp products. Over the Christmas holiday cannabis related gifts were flying off the shelves in some parts of the country. Granted, some were for recreational use but not all. Maybe you were lucky enough to receive some in your stocking! And, if you have Facebook you have probably seen your friends discussing its uses in your news feed. Even the local pharmacy and health food stores are advertising CBD products in most states these days. The hype is growing and catching on everywhere.
Unfortunately, the normal consumer is also often confused about cannabis products and the uses for them. There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding this relatively new craze in the science and wellness world.
If you think that it’s just the natural health world excited about the advancements being made using hemp-based products you are quite mistaken! Not only is CBD being used in the natural health market, but in many mainstream medical practices too.
Jamaican performer Ziggly Martin said once,” I want people to get over the stigma about hemp. These seeds can't make you high, but they will make you feel good.”
Often, people associate cannabis with the 1970s weed smoking hippies and to some it probably seems other uses are just a new way of marketing the same product. This stigma is hurting the hemp market and keeping many people away who might be able to benefit from its use.
In order to better understand this growing field of research and medicine it is important to clarify and dispel common myths about hemp. So, here are five of the top misconceptions/questions today about CBD oil and hemp.
1. Hemp and Marijuana are the Same Plant.
One of the top misconceptions floating around in the world, is that the hemp and marijuana plants are the same plant. This is an understandable belief, but it is also false.
Hemp and Marijuana belong to the same plant species, the Cannabis Stevia family. They even contain some similar compounds and characteristics. But, that’s about it. Saying hemp and marijuana are the same, is like saying a panda bear and a grizzly bear are the same bear. It is just not true. Let’s look at couple of the differences that distinguish these two plants from each other.
The first difference is an obvious one if you know what to look for when viewing the plant in a field. The marijuana plant has thicker broader leaves and a denser flowers. Because of its width it needs more space to grow.
Hemp, on the other hand, is tall and slenderer. It leaves are concentrated more towards the top of the plant and the stalk tends to be more barren at the base. From a distance the marijuana plant looks like a short bush. The hemp plant is more distinguishable.
Marijuana is also more difficult to grow than hemp. It requires a controlled environment set at certain temperatures and stable levels of light and humidity. This is why it is almost always grown indoors. Hemp, on the other hand needs less space and can be grown in a variety of climates. Hemp can grow in most parts of the world and thus it is much more available and versatile. It has been grown by people for thousands of years.
And lastly, hemp and marijuana contain a different amount of THC, the compound in the cannabis plant that creates a psychotic high in users. Which leads us to the next misconception.
2. Can Hemp make You high?
People often jump to the conclusion that if hemp is in the same plant family as marijuana, then it must make you high. This is false. No amount of smoking hemp is going to make you feel high.
Plants in the cannabis family contain complex chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Photocannabinoids if you want to be more specific. The two most prominent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant family are Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC) and Cannabiniol ( CBD).
THC is the compound in marijuana that causes a psychotic high. It reacts with receptors hidden deep within the body’s endocannabinoid system. Don’t worry if you have never heard of it because this is relatively new science. The ECS ( Endogenous Cannabinoid System) was only discovered by scientists in the last 50 years, when one man wondered why marijuana makes you high in the first place. His research led to the discovery of a whole new system hidden away in our bodies.
Cannabinoids boost the natural process in the body called homeostasis. Big word! Homeostasis is basically the process that regulates our body and all it’s systems to keep us alive and comfortable, making sure that everything is working together as it should. Our bodies create their own cannabinoids named endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids jump starts homeostasis and looks a lot like the cannabinoids found in cannabis.
CBD tells the receptors in the endocannabinoid system to work harder and to produce more cannabinoids. The overproduction of cannabinoids increases the rate of homeostasis which in turn produces a healing effect in the body. Some people are also deficient in cannabinoid production and hemp can help supplement promote better health.
The marijuana plant contains a high concentration of THC. Hemp on the other hand has minimal amounts of THC and a high percentage of CBD. In fact, the content in of THC in hemp must be .3% or less to be legally classified as hemp in the United States. In other parts of the world THC content must be below .2% to be legal.
The process for growing hemp to produce CBD oil is also done in such a way as to maximize the CBD content and to minimize the THC content. So, the tiny amount of THC in hemp is canceled out by the CBD and it is impossible to reach any sort of high from the use of CBD oil. So no hemp cannot make you high.
3. Hemp is Only Good for Epilepsy.
Hemp has been proven to be effective in the treatment of epileptic seizures. In fact medicine used for Epilepsy treatment that contains CBD is the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA. But it is not the only use for the oil or hemp plant by any means.
CBD has been shown effective for the treatment of a myriad of different issues. It can be used to reduce inflammation, manage depression, improve memory, improve skin condition, improve digestion, and boost immunity to name a few. Sounds pretty hard to believe doesn’t it?
How is this possible? It all goes back to the endocannabinoid system and its use of cannabinoids for homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system is present within all living creatures. It is widespread throughout the entire body and all its systems. It effects your entire body head to toe. Therefore, taking CBD oil which works with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system present throughout the entire body, can produce an effect on the various systems in the body.
Also, CBD oil is effective for pets and other animals! Almost all living creatures aside from insects have an ECS system so they all benefit from the Cannabidiol. Pets suffering from anxiety, arthritis, or even cancer can benefit from hemp oil treatments. It is not just humans who get to reap the benefits of this powerful compound but fur babies too! Some stores even sell treats for your small pets as well as special horse pellets.
The hemp plant itself is being used in many industrial ways as well. It is used to make clothing, jewelry, construction materials, paper and biofuel. And, CBD has become so popular in some areas that some companies are experimenting with adding the cannabinoid to products such as drinks, food, vapes, makeup and body wash and lotions.
These types of uses for hemp have been used for centuries. Even some of America’s founding fathers and heroes such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln dabbled in growing and using this versatile plant. It was even said that Henry Ford made a hemp car!
Actually, a hemp car isn’t that farfetched an idea. Back in 2016 the New York post ran in article about a man named Bruce Michael Dietzen who made a convertible car from hemp after being inspired by the story of Ford. He had to have the material imported from China since it was illegal to grow in Florida at the time. The car was made from about 100 pounds of woven hemp and is 10 times more resistant to dent damage then steel. His eco friendly car is not only amazing to see but an inspiration to many who are working towards green solutions in the auto industry.
4. Hemp Can Be Used to Clean the Soil.
This is true! The use of plants to clean soil effected by toxins is not a new idea. Phytoremediation has been going on for some time, and hemp is proving itself as a top plant in the world of soil cleaning. It’s deep roots and easy growth make it ideal for soaking up toxins and filtering them from the ground.
Probably the most famous example of this is Chernobyl. A chemical plant explosion left the ground unusable and barren for miles in the area. In an effort to help, a company specializing in phytoremediation was enlisted to detoxify the ground. First sunflowers plants were used, but soon hemp was added in to aid the process.
The hemp plant is being used all over to decontaminate the earth. Most of these areas were contaminated by pollutants from factories and other Industrial waste. One wide-scale use of the hemp plant for phytoremediation is in Puglia, Italy. A large steel plant poisoned miles of earth rendering it unusable for all those living in the vicinity.
Farmers in the area decided to plant hemp in order to detox the soil. Around a hundred farmers participated in this effort and it proved not only to work in clearing the soil but also provided an economic boost for the town. The hemp used in remediation cannot be harvested for medicinal use but it is valuable for creating textiles and biofuels. So, not only is hemp cleaning the soil, it is also providing valuable materials for our world.
The use of hemp for phytoremediation is still being studied. The plant has shown to tolerate and absurd many harsh chemicals and metals in the ground. In some parts of the world scientists are working to create a hybrid plant created especially for the purpose of cleaning the soil and tolerating harmful toxins. The goal is to make the plant as strong and resilient as possible to handle an ever-growing threat to our world’s farms and land.
One man who worked on making a more resilient hemp plant is Gavin Stonehouse at Colorado University. Stonehouse said, “If you can clean up the environment and still get a commercial product you are killing two birds with one stone.” It certainly seems like a worthwhile goal!
The use of hemp for fighting against soil pollution is exciting. It could help improve the lives of millions of people all over the world and change toxic situations into places of economic growth. Especially considering the hemp can be used in various ways from cleaning the soil to making textiles like building material, paper and fuel. It truly is an amazing plant.
5. Hemp is Illegal in the United States.
Given the misunderstanding about the differences between hemp and marijuana it isn’t surprising people think hemp is an illegal drug. Even certain government organizations wanted to classify hemp in the same category as marijuana. But, as science is exploring hemp oil more people are coming to understand and accept its difference from the pot plant.
For many years hemp and marijuana have been lumped together in government regulations. It was considered a drug and illegal for many years. Up until now, hemp was not allowed to be grown on a mass scale in the united states. Keeping many farmers from being able to profit from the crop.
On December 22,2018 President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp in all 50 states. This is a huge step for the hemp industry. Now hemp is no longer under the Controlled Substance Act and the doors are opening to more and more farmers to expand the hemp industry. It won’t happen overnight, most likely, as there are still certain regulations in place, but it is a huge achievement for hemp growers.
CBD oil production and sales are a little more tricky as it is now controlled by regulations from the Food and Drug Administration. There is more to debate between state laws and FDA regulations to make the oil more available and easier to produce in the US. Right now, most CBD oil is being made from hemp coming from oversees. It kind of falls under radar and that is rather unfortunate in some ways. The lack of regulation provides for more open sales of Hemp oil, but it also makes it easier for companies to market low quality oil and dupe the consumer who isn’t sure what to look for in a quality oil. This is why looking for quality oil is very important.
Clearly, the hemp industry can be a game changer for local economies and personal wellness. It’s easy to grow, has multiple health uses, and has positive environmental effects. These make the hemp plant worth fighting for in the United States.
As laws are made and misunderstandings are sorted out, this versatile plant is making its way into our lives with growing acceptance and speed. People want a more natural alternative to both industrial products and personal health products. They want a greener planet free of toxins and pollutants in the air, soil and food they eat. They want clean water and overall better health in a society that is overrun by bad health.
It is no wonder companies all over the world and in the US are trying to get in on the hemp market, adding CBD to all sorts of products in an effort to experiment with consumer acceptance. Farmers are excited by what is ahead for their farms and how the plant can help them economically and also environmentally.
So, despite all the myths and misconceptions, people are slowly becoming more knowledgeable about one of the most misunderstood plants on earth. As they are educated the stigma associated with the cannabis plant will decrease and hopefully better health and wellness will abound on a cleaner earth and happier planet.