Published by MG Magazine. Written By Jorge Olson. December 28, 2023

You might be familiar with recent news coverage on hemp, but what exactly is this “miracle plant,” and why hasn’t it taken the world by storm? The widespread confusion surrounding hemp’s nature and benefits, coupled with the confusion with marijuana – another Cannabis sativa derivative – has hindered its broad acceptance.

The surge in hemp’s popularity has given rise to misinformation, exacerbated by media sensationalism surrounding the hemp and marijuana industries. The confusion is understandable given these factors.

So, what is hemp, and how is it utilized? In the United States, the key distinction lies in federal law, which mandates that hemp must contain THC levels below 0.3% by dry weight. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive cannabinoid present in varying concentrations in all Cannabis sativa plants. Hemp’s low THC content prevents the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana, dispelling the misconception that hemp can induce a “high.”

Despite its low THC levels, hemp may harbor other beneficial cannabinoids, such as CBD. Hemp-based CBD products have demonstrated positive effects on conditions like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Beyond medicinal uses, hemp is being explored for consumer products, with hemp seeds used raw or processed into milk substitutes and protein powder. Innovators are also leveraging hemp fiber for sustainable initiatives, such as eco-friendly textiles and plant-based plastics.

Navigating hemp’s legality is complex due to its regulatory status. While federally legal since the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, some states still prohibit cannabis-derived compounds. Users must also consider safety, as not all hemp-derived products are equal. Research is crucial, and consumers should seek independently tested products for safety and efficacy.

To dispel misconceptions, users of hemp-based products should educate themselves and share accurate information with others. Advocacy for clearer regulations is vital. Establishing an FDA approval process for hemp and CBD products would subject them to rigorous testing, ensuring consistency and safety, making these products more accessible.

Hemp, with its exciting potential applications, deserves a proper understanding to rectify common misconceptions.

Jorge Olson is cofounder and chief marketing officer at two publicly traded companies, Hempacco and Green Globe International. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, without running water or electricity, he now is the author of business and inspirational books, as well as an authority on consumer packaged goods, beverages, and wholesale distribution. His partners include entrepreneur Sandro Piancone, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, James Linsey, and Rick Ross.

Published by MG Magazine.

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