Let’s be blunt: Keeping track of the status of cannabis is a struggle. From the federal legalization of the hemp plant to the rise of CBD stores, the last few years have brought a ton of changes in the cannabis industry. That’s why we’re breaking down what’s Fact or Fiction when it comes to cannabis to help clear things up.
But first, a vocabulary lesson:
- Cannabis: A genus of green, flowering plants.
- Hemp: Cannabis with a 0.3% or lower concentration of Delta-9 THC by dry weight.
- Marijuana: Cannabis with a Delta-9 THC concentration higher than 0.3% by dry weight.
- Delta-9 THC: Usually just called “THC,” Delta-9 can offer relaxation, bliss, giggles, and the munchies. Safety note: Do not consume Delta-9 before driving or before a drug test.
- Delta-8 THC: A form of THC that grew to prominence due to the legalization of hemp. Safety note: Do not consume Delta-8 before driving or before a drug test.
Fact or Fiction: Historically, the hemp plant has many uses.
This is fact. Since the colonial era, hemp has been grown as a valuable + versatile crop, and was used to produce paper, rope, and cloth. Because hemp grows so quickly (think: as quickly as bamboo, one of the fastest-growing plants in the world), it’s seen as a sustainable alternative to other fibers such as cotton that are more expensive to produce.
Fact or Fiction: Because it contains THC, hemp is currently illegal.
This is fiction. Hemp is legal… and it contains THC. The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as cannabis with a 0.3% or lower concentration of Delta-9 THC. And in fact, there are many products with hemp-derived THC that are legal in all 50 states.
Fact or Fiction: Delta-9 is a form of CBD, which is why it’s legal.
This is fiction. Delta-9 is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol —which means it’s a form of THC, not CBD. Delta-9 is federally legal when extracted from hemp and appears in a concentration no greater than 0.3% by dry weight. Hemp-derived Delta-9 is legal in all 50 states, but with Delta-8, legality varies from state to state.
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