The United States Congress recently legalized hemp. Many of us may think that’s great but there is bound to be a lot of confusion as to what it means, especially for the CBD oil industry. It is therefore extremely important that we understand what this legislation means so we can understand how it impacts the CBD oil industry.
What Is Hemp?
This is the most logical place to start because hemp,cannabis, marijuana and CBD oil are all terms which are often confused. Hemp comes from the Cannabis. When most of us think of cannabis, we think of weed and recreational smoking but hemp is a little different. Although hemp is also derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, it doesn’t get you high because it has lower levels of THC (the psychoactive agent in cannabis) and higher levels of CBD.
If It Doesn’t Get You High Then What Is Hemp Used For?
Hemp has a variety of commercial uses which include use in food, oils, textiles, paper, animal feed, etc. You might therefore find yourself wondering why we don’t often hear of hemp being used in our mainstream products on the shelves. There is a good reason for this and the short of it is that the use of hemp for commercial products has been (probably unjustifiably) outlawed in many countries (including the USA) under various drug laws such as the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 due to hemp’s link to marijuana. Even if you believe in the prohibition of marijuana, the link between it and hemp is a strange one as hemp does not have the effects of marijuana but has many commercial uses as outlined earlier.
So How Has Hemp Been Legalized And What Are The Effects Of Legalization?
We discussed earlier that there is a distinction between hemp and recreational marijuana. The Hemp Farming Act contained within The Farm Bill was signed into law by President Trump on the 20th of December 2018. It changed how hemp is categorized in the United States from a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity. The new legislation therefore legalizes hemp federally without impacting on the legality of recreational marijuana (which may be legal or illegal depending on where in the US you live).
The legalization of hemp does however have a large impact on farmers, manufacturers and consumers of hemp products. For example, it is now much easier for farmers to get production licenses and financing. Furthermore, the increased production of hemp may lead to more economic opportunities and growth due to a boom in the hemp industry.
What Does Legalization Of Hemp Mean For The CBD Oil Industry?
Understanding the differences between hemp and marijuana and what is legal and what is not is an important part of understanding how it will impact on the CBD oil industry.
CBD oil is derived from hemp plants and therefore naturally, the legalization of hemp plants across the US has a variety of positive impacts on the industry.
Benefits of the legalization of CBD oil include:
- Manufacturers of oils will be able to have a greater access to a wider variety and higher quality of plants. These plants will be more regulated so that you can be more assured of a greater quality product.
- Manufacturers may even become farmers of their own hemp plants as the barrier to growing these plants has been removed.
- CBD may become more become more mainstream. With the barriers (such as financing difficulties, bans on advertising, etc.) that the illegality of hemp being removed and the public becoming more educated on the uses of CBD oil and related products, the taboo surrounding these products will be removed. We are likely to see a more visible CBD presence as retailers and manufacturers of CBD products navigate new, more CBD friendly spaces. The benefits hemp related products such as CBD oil may reach new markets that it was not able to reach before.
The legalization of hemp may be a game changer for many people and indeed the US economy. Of most interest to CBD users however is that it will offer CBD manufacturers and retailers access to a wider variety of raw materials. These are exciting times for everyone interested in CBD oil.