Here are just a few of the most frequently asked questions the HIAF gets from the hemp industry. If you don't see the answer to your questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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1. What is hemp?
Hemp and marijuana are both technically the Cannabis sativa L. plant, but those plants with below 0.3% THC content are considered to be hemp by law. Plants with THC levels above 0.3% THC content are considered to be marijuana by law, a Schedule 1 Drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
2. Can I legally grow hemp in the United States?
Yes, the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act defined hemp and separated it from marijuana, thereby making it a legal agriculture commodity in the U.S. However, each state may have its own regulations if they are approved by the USDA and the USDA will have its own set of rules that each state will be subject to. All regimes will call for some sort of permit, so be sure to consult the relevant state statutes, rules, and regulations for your respective location. If you operate in FL or the SE maybe this will help [link to SE hemp guide].
3. Is hemp legal in other countries?
Yes, hemp is grown in over 29 countries including France, Germany, Italy, China, Portugal, Spain, and the list goes on.
4. Are hemp foods legal to import and consume in the U.S.?
Yes, hemp foods have always been legal and this was proven to be true in the 9th Circuit Case Hemp Industries Association v. DEA. This case created precedent ensuring that hemp foods will remain as fully legal in the eyes of the federal government.
5. What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol which is a cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant, found primarily in the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. It is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc. that can be found in the hemp plant.
6. Is CBD safe?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has actively eliminated CBD from the International drug control conventions. They have cited the fact that there are no case reports of CBD abuse or dependence. In addition to this, the U.S Health and Human Services Department (HHS) conducted a scientific review that concluded that there is no significant risk to the public’s health. Emerging research shows that CBD interacts with cellular receptors in physiological processes, which influence sleep, mood, and appetite.
7. Will CBD extracts influence results on a drug test?
Yes and no as this is a loaded question. CBD isolate, or any cannabinoid isolate that is not a THC derivative, should not trigger a drug test that is testing for THC content. However, it should be noted a less sophisticated testing protocol and tools test for the presence of cannabinoids as opposed to the specific THC cannabinoid. Tests like that may result in a positive test result, but technically it’s signaling the presence of cannabinoids and not necessarily THC, or its derivatives. Also, if you are using a full spectrum distillate you will fail as there is trace amounts of THC remaining in that solution, albeit less than 0.3% THC.
8. What is the right dosage of CBD?
First and foremost, consult your doctor or health care provider before taking any additional supplements. Please bear in mind, this is the question many researchers are currently trying to figure out. However, anecdotal evidence has shown that as little as 5 mg to 150 mg per day is effective in assisting in the relief of certain targeted ailments. If you are going to use any product, including hemp derivatives, we would suggest that you start in small doses and gradually work your way up.
9. What does CBD help with?
It is important to note that there is no scientific research proving that CBD cures diseases, but there is an FDA drug approved for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome along with a plethora of more clinical trials currently underway or preparing to launch. However, there are numerous case studies and testimonials from patients who have claimed it has helped with the following: anxiety, depression, chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, and epilepsy.
10. Who to trust for CBD?
At this stage, just about every major provider of hemp derivative products is under some sort of scrutiny because of their products or advertising, including class action lawsuits, individual complaints and/or harsh reviews. This does not necessarily mean the companies are guilty of the accusations, but at the least, it calls for the consumer to do more due diligence on their own part. Every product should be accompanied by a COA (Certificate of Analysis) that should display the results of a full panel test of the product for all potential adulterants or unhealthy contaminants. If there is no COA, we recommend you do not buy, ingest, or use that product.
11. Can you legally ship hemp derivatives?
You may ship hemp derivatives via USPS, but FedEx and UPS are currently not allowing the shipment of hemp derivatives. Shipping live hemp plants is a different scenario and should be done so after consultation with your attorney and/or compliance officer. In short, live hemp material may or may not be legal to transport, but is definitely subject to agricultural inspections, etc.
12. Can you get hemp crop insurance?
It depends. The USDA’s RMA (Risk Management Agency) has a hemp pilot insurance program running right now, note restrictions will apply and not everyone qualifies (see more here). Other private companies are offering coverage, but it is not a mainstream insurance policy offering just yet.
Dried hemp plant materials including the stalks and leaves that may include flowers/buds and/or seeds that have been harvested. Free of mold, grit, minimal (< 0.1%) non-hemp organic matter, and at least 80% dry. Industry-Wide acceptable moisture content is necessary to establish uniform pricing for hemp biomass. Any hemp biomass material that is above the standard moisture content will result in decreased value and an adjusted sale price to reflect a lower volume of the end product to account for further water evaporation. Biomass can also be milled, ground or pressed into pellets.
Dried CBD Flower
The dry flower is the dried flower and bud fraction of a hemp plant that has been removed from the stalks and contains minimal stems. The flower is suitable for smoking and for use in pre-rolled joints.
Hemp stalks are stripped of the outer bark/shell/skin of the stalk using a decorticator, ranging from hand-cranked to automated electric processing. The removal of the hard outer bark/shell/skin of the hemp stalk exposes the fiber core of the plant which is then readily usable for production.
Hemp stalks with the outer bark/shell/skin intact. The hemp stalks may or may not have gone through a retting process that allows microbes and moisture to break down the stalk, making the fiber easier to remove.
A clone refers to a plant that is an exact reproduction of an original parent plant, known as a mother plant, through asexual propagation. A clone is made by taking a stem cutting (or tissue culture) from a mother plant and placing the cutting into media to facilitate root growth. Once the roots begin to grow, the clone is transplanted into a field or cultivation facility.
Industrial hemp seeds comprise a broad range of hemp cultivars used to grow hemp biomass, hemp seed and grain for food oils and food products, and fiber for woven and non-woven applications.
CBD Seeds (Non-Feminized)
Hemp plants that are pollinated naturally or with traditional breeding techniques produce both male or female seeds. These are known as regular, or non-feminized, seeds and generally result in an even split between the two sexes.
CBD Seeds (Feminized)
Feminized seeds are seeds that have been modified to produce almost 100% female plants. There are a few techniques that can produce reliably feminized seeds. Feminized hemp seeds can be genetically modified to produce only female plants by eliminating the X chromosome. A non-genetic technique is to stress a healthy female plant by interrupting its light cycle during flowering. Another common and controlled method is to spray female plants with a colloidal silver or silver thiosulphate solution.
Crude Hemp Oil
Crude hemp oil is extracted from the hemp plant and contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and other plant compounds found in the biomass. Processors use a number of different methods to extract crude oil from hemp. Supercritical CO2 extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) to pull CBD (and other phytochemicals) from the plant. Solvent extraction uses ethanol or hydrocarbons, such as butane or propane, to process hemp biomass into crude oil. Other processes use olive oil or water as a solvent. Crude hemp oil is often “winterized.” Crude oil is winterized to remove organic plant compounds, such as lipids, waxes, and chlorophyll, that increase the potency of the oil and creates a more transparent distillate.
Refined Hemp Oil
Crude hemp oil is further refined through distillation to produce refined hemp oil, which includes full-spectrum oil and broad-spectrum oil. CBD full spectrum oil distillate is refined hemp oil extract that contains all the compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including all the cannabinoids, terpenes and essential oils. CBD broad spectrum oil distillate is refined hemp oil extract that includes all the compounds found naturally in the plant, except broad-spectrum oil has been processed to remove all or substantially all of the THC.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, which is produced by removing all other compounds found in the plant including terpene, flavonoids, plant parts, and other cannabinoids. CBD isolate comes in a granular or powder form and is odorless and tasteless. The end product contains 0% THC and is made up of 96% to 99.9% CBD.
*All definitions are attributed to hempbenchmarks.com.