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September 28, 2021

Why Is Hemp Suddenly So Hip?

Why Is Hemp Suddenly So Hip?

It seems everywhere you turn these days you see hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) products, whether online, on TV, or at your local grocery store. We've even run across CBD products at the gas station! Why is hemp suddenly such a hot commodity?

After all, hemp and its close cousin marijuana have been harvested since the dawn of civilization around the globe. But until recently, hemp had always been lumped with marijuana as a controlled substance. However, as scientists have learned more about hemp and CBD, they discovered that it contains a small fraction of the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as marijuana—the active component responsible for creating the "high" sensation. As a result, proponents of hemp have pushed to ease the restrictions on its possession and use.

With the passage of the 2018 farm bill, the federal government did just that. This bill legalized the production and possession of hemp at the federal level, as long as it contains THC at a concentration of no more than 0.3%. However, state regulations regarding hemp and CBD may vary from those enacted in the farm bill and supersede the Fed's. For example, some states allow hemp/CBD only for medicinal use, while three states—Idaho, Iowa, and Mississippi—ban hemp and CBD products altogether. To avoid a possible fine, it's best to know your state's regulations before you purchase hemp/CBD products.

Also, as long as a hemp/CBD product is not marketed for medicinal use, it does not fall within the FDA's jurisdiction, similar to the vitamin supplement industry. Savvy entrepreneurs have seized on this opportunity to infuse CBD into a wide assortment of products from those you'd expect (creams, oils, gummies) to the, ahem, offbeat (sparkling water, toothpicks, potato chips).

Is hemp here to stay, or is it merely the latest fad? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain. When it comes to hemp/CBD products, it's important to do your homework and purchase from a trustworthy source.