I have been talking to people about CBD for over a year now and many are using it to help with difference issues. But there is still a lot of mis-information out about CBD. There are still people asking, “If I use CBD will I get high?, If it is found in my car will I be arrested?, or just the belief that hemp is marijuana. Together lets talk about what is true and how hemp (CBD) has been a part of American history.
Hold on did I say hemp is part of American history? But how can that be if it has been illegal for longer than most a Americans have been alive. We will talk about that later in this article, but first how about we start with what hemp (CBD) is.
Both hemp and marijuana come from the Cannabis sativa L family of plant. So, if it all comes from the same source, what’s the difference?
Is hemp marijuana?
Is hemp marijuana? I get asked this question all the time and here is how I explain it. A wolf belongs to the canine family and so does a chihuahua. But yet you think of them completely different.
So, even though hemp and marijuana come from the same plant family they are completely different, sort of like that wolf and chihuahua. The difference comes down to the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, level in the plant. THC is a known compound that leads to the psychotropic, or “high” feeling reported after marijuana use. While marijuana is grown and bred to product high levels of THC, hemp is grown and bred to contain very low levels of THC. According to Federal Law a cannabis plant must contain 0.3% THC or less when harvested to be a hemp plant.
The Farmer must grow and harvest the hemp plant correctly so that the Hemp Farming Act regulations are not broken and the product can be used for CBD products. These regulations assure that the hemp we buy to produce our UltraCell® Berry, Lemon, Raw, Topical, Pet, and CBG products has been tested and legally grown. After harvesting the hemp Zilis UltraCell® products have what little THC, (0.3% or less) removed during the processing. While no hemp product can say it is THC free Zilis UltraCell® products come very close.
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Did you know that Hemp can be eaten or made into clothing?
Products & Food
Hemp is also very different from marijuana in the looks of the plant, but we will talk about that more later. For now just know that since the hemp plant is more fibrous, it can be use as a key material for textiles, including clothing, rope/ships’ rigging, paper, and packing materials; car parts; parachute webbing; and baggage. Here is a neat fact. The US $10 bill was printed on hemp paper and has a scene on the reverse showing hemp harvesting.
Throughout history hemp has been used as a food source. Hemp contains many great nutrients like amino acids and essential fatty acids. Check this out, about 25% of the calories in hemp comes from protein, while carrying a rich payload of minerals, including zinc, calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin E. And don’t forget other nutritional benefits, like Omega-3, Omega-6, and fiber. Some groups are looking to grow hemp in nations that have food supply issues. Hey, that protein we mentioned, is by weight similar in amounts to beef and lamb without all the livestock issues.
Until 2018 hemp has been illegal in the US since the 1937 Hemp Tax Act was passed, but yet many countries around the world have grown hemp for over a thousand years. Hemp recently is being used in products such as hemp plastics and hempcrete as a concrete alternative.
Hemp now is being used for its therapeutic properties, which include its cannabinoids and terpenes. Over 8,000 studies have been done over the recent years to understand the interaction of hemp with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Growing
Marijuana and hemp also differ in how they look. While they may share a similar looking leaf the plants look very different. Hemp is very tall and stalk, while marijuana is a shorter bush type plant.
Hemp can grow in nearly anyplace in the world, in any type of soil; it is, after all, a “weed”. Hemp is also known as a phytoremediator, (phyto = plant and remediation = to heal). This type of plant absorbs everything from the soil, the good and the bad. This makes it very important to be sure and get an organic clean grown product. This cleaning property of the hemp plant was used to try and clean up the soil around the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster area in Ukraine in 1986. Phytoremediation is great for the environment but proves why testing products for quality and safety is so important.
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History of hemp in the U.S.
Hemp was widely grown and used in the United States throughout WWI until it was outlawed by the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. Dupont was forced to invent a new cord, nylon, for parachutes because they could no longer use hemp as they had in the past. During WWII, however, the restrictions on hemp were lifted and the U.S. launched the “Hemp for Victory” campaign. You can still find the The Hemp for Victory propaganda film, on YouTube. ?This campaign was started in 1942 and the film, explained the uses of hemp while encourageing farmers to grow as much hemp as possible to support the war effort. These industrial hemp fibers, were used in the manufacturing of naval rope, parachute webbing, shoelaces for soldiers and firehoses. After WWII, the ban on hemp was reinstated, making hemp and hemp-derived products illegal again. The ban on hemp would last for over eighty years.
In 2014, hemp was declared federally legal, but restricted to research only, under the Agricultural Improvement Act. After hemp pilot programs were granted to some state and university research facilities, Hemp in December of 2018 was removed from the Controlled Substance List with the passage of the Hemp Farming Act, found in the U.S. Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.
Wow! I bet you did not think you would get so much info about hemp today, but I hope you see that hemp is a great product that has many uses.
In a future article we will go into the ECS in more depth in a future article, but just a quick review: The ECS is a complex network of receptors that are found throughout the brain, body, and immune system. This system is believed to be responsible for balancing internal functions related to sleep, relaxation, cognition, etc. Your ECS is fueled by endocannabinoids, which are molecules produced by your body to interact with these receptors. When the production of endocannabinoids is slowed or imbalanced, phytocannabinoids—produced by the hemp plant—can supplement what the body may be lacking.
About Zilis’ Scientific Research & Development Department
Zilis Scientific Research and Development Department is headed up by Dr. Marielle Weintraub, a hemp industry expert. She holds a master’s and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience and is very active in many dietary supplement and hemp industry trade associations, including her role as the current President of the U.S. Hemp Authority. Dr. Weintraub is committed to the continued development of hemp-specific information and testing to fulfill the Zilis mission.
Zilis is the creator of UltraCell®, a CBD oil product derived from hemp. Based in Argyle, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, Zilis is privately held.
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