The new 2018 Farm Bill was approved in late 2018 and while it comes with plenty of positive merits, the one that stands out the most and most people are excited about is the fact that it will legalize the production, sale, and distribution of industrial hemp at a federal level.
Most of the effort put into legalizing hemp comes from the fact that it contains CBD, or cannabidiol, a compound with an array of possible health benefits without the psychoactive effects of its counterpart THC. It’s now estimated that the hemp industry could be worth an astonishing $20 billion by the year 2022, and most of that worth will come from the CBD industry.
The 2018 Farm Bill And CBD
A little history: The 1970 Controlled Substances Act classified both hemp and marijuana as Schedule 1 drugs, or substances with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
The new Farm Bill now removes industrial hemp from the Schedule 1 list, allowing it to be “cultivated for any use” including the production and extraction of CBD. So now, hemp will be classified as a regular agricultural crop, meaning growers across the US will be able to start growing and selling it, buy federally-subsidized crop insurance, file for trademarks and advertising their product. So what this means for consumers of CBD is that you will likely start seeing a lot more hemp derived products on store shelves real soon.
One important thing to understand, however, is that the Farm Bill does not legalize the growth and sale of marijuana on a federal level. Even though marijuana contains CBD, most strains of the plant also contain THC, which the government still has a major problem with. Therefore, if your CBD is derived from marijuana and not hemp it will still fall within Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it will not be legal federally.
Getting Government Approval Was No Easy Task!
By now most of us understand that CBD is a cannabis-derived compound that according to a boatload of anecdotal evidence and mounting scientific research, can help with everything from general aches and pains to cancer-related nausea and epilepsy. The effects of CBD on the human body will need to be studied more, and most certainly will be as time goes on, but just recently, the Food and Drug Administration made history by approving a drug containing CBD to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Even though a growing majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, not everyone in Congress feels the same way. A lot of effort went into demonstrating the difference between hemp and marijuana and explaining that hemp-derived CBD cannot get you high, but more importantly, that hemp could be an amazing cash crop for American farmers struggling in the “heartland.”
So What Does The 2018 Farm Bill Mean For Consumers?
As one hemp grower explained, the huge population and high levels of pollution in China causes their hemp products to pick up heavy metals, and in turn, these metals were causing chemical reactions within the genetic makeup of the hemp plants. When this happens it downgrades the potency of the final product. Also, anytime you pick a plant it starts to die, and the same goes for hemp.
From China to the States plants go through a lot of handling and this added stress can increase the oxidation rate of hemp and destroying a number of crucial phytochemicals. By keeping everything local, you wind up with fresher, higher-quality CBD products.
Having hemp readily available helps open more doors for more research and more research is desperately needed since hemp is behind the curve of scientific breakthroughs. And even though nearly half of the nation supports medicinal cannabis, the Food and Drug Administration has only approved one cannabis drug to date.
With a lot of ground to still make up, and having all 50 States on board, the opportunity to research hemp is more possible than ever, and any time research hits the mainstream, it quickly starts to open the eyes of the consumers. One thing is certain, over the next decade or two the stigma surrounding hemp will be lifted entirely and many will look back at hemps prohibition with confusion, and CBD will continue its rise to the top of the health and wellness ladder. As one Congressman concluded “We have farmers growing thousands of acres of hemp in dozens of states across the US already. You can have hemp products shipped to your doorstep.”
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