What’s the difference between “Cannabis” and “Hemp”?
Hemp IS Cannabis. It is variety of Cannabis sativa has been cultivated over time to contain very low amounts of THC. It is a non-psychoactive, and genetically distinct variety of the plant Cannabis sativa that has no use as a recreational drug.
Hemp is called “industrial hemp” when grown in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill – Section 7606. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Does hemp come from “seed and stem” of a cannabis plant?
No. Cannabis grown as agricultural hemp and Cannabis grown as marijuana are genetically distinct varieties of Cannabis, but they are the same species of plant. Some people believe that hemp comes from only the seeds and stems of a cannabis plant, but this is not true. If a plant is a hemp variety of cannabis, the whole plant is a hemp plant. Seed, stem, leaf and flower. Some Hemp is grown to be high in fiber, some is grown for seed and some is grown for flower.
Once again, hemp is cannabis. It’s a cannabis plant bred for specific traits that make it undesirable as a recreational drug. The WHOLE plant is considered hemp.
Then why is there so much uncertainty?
Because it’s confusing. Not only is there disagreement between state and federal law for hemp, but we also have “industrial hemp” versus non-hemp.
Let’s start by clarifying the term “industrial hemp”. The term “industrial hemp” is a legal designation given to Cannabis that has been grown in accordance with federal law. And what that law says is that the dry weight of the plant cannot have more than 0.3% THC.
Wait… isn’t Industrial Hemp that crappy stuff they use to make rope?
Remember that the term “industrial hemp” is nothing more than a legal designation. The actual plant is Cannabis and depending on the genetics it can be the ugly, stalky stuff; or it can be the sticky, resinous stuff that looks like smokable weed. These days, Industrial Hemp is mostly grown for the (non-THC) cannabinoids found in the flowers.
Do all the CBD products on my shelves use Industrial Hemp?
No. Although they should. Industrial hemp can be used to make 100% pure CBD isolate, full-spectrum extracts, and even high quality, smokable bud. It can be certified organic, non-GMO, you name it. It’s the real deal. But many folks associate it with the low quality ropey stuff and that drives many CBD brands away from using it.
Is it legal? Will the DEA come in and arrest me or confiscate my store?
The short answer is yes, it’s legal in some states, and no, the DEA can’t come in and bust you, providing that you are in one of these states.
In 2014, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell created a federal “safe harbor” for growing and marketing cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. The law is Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill and was largely created to put Kentucky tobacco farmers back to work. The cannabis grown under the 2014 Farm Bill has been cultivated to contain less than 3 parts per 1,000 of THC, and for all intents and purposes, is considered to have no THC.
Under the 2014 Farm Bill, this cannabis is classified as “industrial hemp”. Using this federally legal framework, products containing CBD derived from industrial hemp grown by farms registered through the Farm Bill can be sold in any state, providing that local and state laws do not object.
“Congress has blocked DEA and other federal law enforcement authorities from interfering with state agencies, hemp growers, and agricultural research. Appropriations bills have also blocked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from prohibiting the transportation, processing, sale, or use of industrial hemp that is grown or cultivated in accordance with the 2014 farm bill provision.”
To reiterate, this is a federally legal program, and the federal government, including the DEA, cannot object to cannabis grown as industrial hemp. However, if the state you are based in has laws that prohibit the use or sale of any products that have ingredients derived from any type of cannabis, then then local and state authorities could potentially have issue, and state laws will apply.
What testing is performed on the CBD we use in our products and on our products?
The CBD isolate we use is purchased from a supplier located in Kentucky. They are a licensed participate of the pilot program set up under the 2014 Farm Bill. We have a due diligence/legal compliance file that was put together by our attorney that we can forward it if required.
The farm is licensed to produce “industrial hemp”. Industrial hemp is a legal designation granted to cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC (entire plant, dry weight). The CBD we buy is extracted from the plant using a CO2 extraction process. The final powder is white, has no smell or taste, and is QC tested using the following tests:
Qualitative Analysis (Gross Visual/Microscopic)
– Foreign matter
– Molds and mildews
– Product Feel
Quantitative Analysis (AOAC 4.1.03, AOAC 4.1.10)
– % Moisture
– % Ash
Microbial Analysis (BAM-3, AOAC 49.2.05, BAM-18)
– Standard plate count
– Total Aflatoxin
– Total Yeast
– Total Mold
Cannabinoid Analysis (HPLC-DAD)
– Total Cannabinoid
– Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA)
– Cannabidiol (CBD)\
– Cannabidivarian (CBDV)
– Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA)
– Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 9 THC)
Heavy Metal Analysis (6010B)
Pesticide Analysis (AOAC 2007.1)
– Multi Residue Pesticide Analysis
Residual Solvent Analysis (GC/MS Headspace)
– Isopropyl Alcohol
After we produce the CBD products, we do our own standard quality tests (for bacteria, yeast and mold) and additionally test for CBD concentration. This is done to ensure that the CBD content called out on the container is actually present in the product. These are available upon request.