Industrial hemp is nature’s richest source of CBD. As the CBD industry booms, so does its demand for hemp, and so countless farmers across the US are forgoing their normal crops for this highly profitable, highly unprecedented new option. It’s been a clear shift for the better.
But did you know that industrial hemp is really just a type of cannabis? It’s true — the designation is a legal term, not a botanical one. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Industrial Hemp?
Industrial hemp is any variety of Cannabis that contains .3% THC or less, by dry weight, even when it’s fully mature and ready for harvest. The 2018 Farm Bill and other legal documents have made this low-THC requirement very clear.
Industrial hemp was given its name because of its many, well, industrial uses: its derivatives can be made into paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, health food, fuel, and medicine.
Ironically enough, most industrial hemp grown today forgoes this level of utility and is actually just grown to produce CBD oil. Some cultivators take a more holistic approach and give their hemp flower to a CBD processor and their remaining biomass to someone else.
Is Industrial Hemp legal?
Here’s a long-overdue simple answer: yes, industrial hemp is fully legal in all 50 US states. Different states regulate the way hemp is grown differently, and some states are even pushing to introduce more forgiving THC cutoffs to hemp farmers.
Despite these discrepancies, industrial hemp that contains .3% THC or less, by dry weight, specifically when it’s fully mature...is fully legal nationwide.
How is Industrial Hemp regulated?
Industrial hemp is often regulated on a state-by-state basis. Most adhere loosely to guidelines set by the USDA, which introduced its own set of metrics in tandem with the Federal Farm Bill.
Just as with anything else (business licenses, car titles, etc.) some States make growing hemp harder than others. Each state has a licensing process requiring hemp farmers to apply, qualify, and then register with the licensing agency. Hemp farmers can have their fields inspected and tested at any time — it all goes back to compliance with those ≤.3% THC levels.
What the future holds
These days industrial hemp grows virtually everywhere, and industry experts predict that twice as much hemp will be grown in 2020 as in 2019. That means hundreds of thousands of acres...in North America alone! Expect hemp flower to become more affordable in tandem with this increased productivity.