Common Hemp Misconceptions
There’s so much misconception surrounding hemp and the products it can make. We’ve made a list here to help you distinguish fact from fiction.
Hemp is Just for Hippies
You don’t have to be a 1970s flower child to appreciate hemp products. What you may not know is that hemp is much more widely used in the U.S. marketplace than most people think! Ford, Mercedes, and BMW have been using hemp-based composites in their cars for a decade. Some well-known shoe brands like Adidas, Nike, Converse, and Vans have created products from hemp. Even some higher end companies like Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein brought hemp textiles to the fashion runway. Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association, pointed out in the U.S. Agriculture Outlook, the marketplace for hemp ranges from textiles and building materials to health foods and beauty products. There is a growing demand for this versatile, eco-friendly resource.
Hemp Foods Are A Fad
As industrial hemp becomes legal to grow across the U.S. you’ll start to see more of it being used as an ingredient in foods you enjoy like Kind Snacks’ Kind & Strong granola bars or Nature’s Path’s Hemp Plus Granola. It might seem like a sudden emergence of hemp health foods may imply that hemp is just the latest food fad. But a not so well known fact is that hemp has been used in food for centuries. It has a high nutritional value which makes it no surprise that it as a staple in some cultures diets thousands of years ago. Hemp seed is easily digestible and hemp oil provide a balance of essential fatty acids, complete protein, and are rich in magnesium, iron, and vitamin E.
Hemp is the Male Marijuana Plant
If you know a little about how marijuana is cultivated, you may know that the female plants are prized more than the male plants. The reason is that marijuana farmers don’t want pollination between male and female plants since it results in seeds, which are of little value compared to the leaves, flowers, and resin of the plants. Hemp plants are monoecious which means they can be female, male, or both. Male hemp plants typically die shortly after pollination is complete. Female plants grow to maturity and are harvested.
Hemp Can Get You High
Though there are trace amounts of THC in hemp, there is not enough to produce any psychoactive effects unless an individual is extremely sensitive to THC. In Dr. David P. West’s article, Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities, he explains that the high levels of CBD in hemp actually block the psychoactivity of the trace amounts of THC. If you smoke or ingest hemp with the hope of getting high, you will be disappointed.
Hemp Foods or Products will Cause You to Fail a Drug Test
While we aren’t doctors or lawyers, so we aren’t giving you medical or legal advice, the rumor that hemp can make you fail a drug test is not backed by strong facts. The small amounts of THC in hemp foods and products (ranging from 0.01% to 0.03%) are said to only rarely ever trigger a positive test result. The rare occurrence of a false positive would usually require consuming unusually large amounts of cannabinoid-rich hemp products (more than 1000 – 2000 mg daily).
Growing Hemp is a Cover to Grow Illegal Marijuana
While I’m sure you’ve seen it in a movie or TV show but hiding illegal marijuana plants within a field of hemp would actually ruin the quality of the product. Many advocates for medical and recreational marijuana have even spoken out against hemp farming because the pollen from hemp plants diminishes the amount of THC in marijuana plants. An amateur pot farmer hiding his plants in a hemp field would put himself out of business.
Cultivating Hemp Will Hurt the Medical and Recreational Marijuana Industry
Though it is true that hemp pollen could travel long distances, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that it doesn’t damage any legal medical and recreational marijuana crops. As with all types of farmers, hemp and marijuana farms can work together to help both industries thrive. As you can see, more often than not the opinions of others that get spread around as fact are actually fiction. For over 80 years hemp has been persecuted for being something it isn’t. Thankfully this year the Hemp Farming Act was passed which will hopefully make the rest of this wonderful plant possible in the United States.
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