Globally, many countries have introduced new laws concerning the legality of cannabis, considering the shift in view regarding its benefits.
Scientific and technological advancements have played a major role in clearing all forms of misconceptions and spreading awareness about the advantages of cannabis.
Moreover, a greater amount of the public has begun supporting the legalization of cannabis. Consequently, authorities in many countries have had to display some flexibility in their stance.
The medical use of cannabis is not a new concept; it goes back over centuries when cannabis was used as a medical herb. With advanced scientific techniques, it is easier to extract separate components of the cannabis plant.
With the growth in the cannabis industry, the methods of consuming cannabis are also evolving.
Apart from the medical and pharmaceutical industry, cannabis has roots that spread in the beauty industry, sports industry, and tourism.
However, as the new laws are yet to accommodate all the needs of the industry, business owners face a few hurdles.
Hemp Industry Daily reports a recent advancement in which a federal agency has warned banks about working with hemp producers.
Hemp – Uses
The variety of the Cannabis sativa plant containing negligible amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is hemp. Cannabis sativa has over 100 chemical compounds, all of which induce unique effects on the body.
Among these include tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Moreover, this compound produces psychedelic effects in the consumer.
Keeping in consideration these neuro-psychological effects of THC, most countries around the world banned its use. However, the Farm Bill 2018 defines hemp as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC.
Hemp is the industrial variation of cannabis. It is cultivated by farmers and used by industries for its fibers, seeds, and other naturally occurring substances that it contains.
Furthermore, people use hemp for the following purposes:
- People use hemp seeds in many variations, such as dietary products. Moreover, there are multiple ways of consuming these seeds. We can eat these seeds raw, grind them into meals, or convert them into milk, protein powder, and oil.
- If cultivated properly, hemp fiber can prove to be stronger than steel. We can use it to produce clothes, construction materials, paper, etc. We can also utilize the hemp stalk in making apparel, bags, rope, netting, canvas, and carpet.
- In addition, people use the untreated chunks of hurd by using them to make cement, insulation, and paper.
- Moreover, the pulp makes biodegradable and recyclable plastics. Also, hempcrete proves to be an excellent source of making animal bedding and biodegradable garden mulch.
Benefits of Hemp
Apart from being an industrial substance, hemp has health benefits as well. Its seeds are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Moreover, hemp oil has Vitamin E that helps in boosting the immunity system.
Hemp is also an antioxidant; its consumption is a good way of reducing free radicals that damage the body’s cells.
Additionally, hemp seeds are a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that effectively reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and improve heart health. Moreover, these are healthy fats that are very important for our bodies.
Furthermore, consuming hemp oil can also help relieve the symptoms of PMS as it contains a compound that has the potential to reduce the effect of the hormone prolactin.
Hemp seeds are also beneficial for the smooth running of our digestive system. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibers that can prevent the development of conditions, such as ulcers, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
Also, soluble fibers are very important as they feed the “good bacteria” that live in our intestines, i.e., prebiotic. Insoluble fibers lower the chances of developing bowel cancer as they are essential in increasing the bulk of the stool.
The hemp seed oil can relieve the symptoms of eczema, reducing the dryness and itchiness of the skin by balancing the lipids in the blood.
In addition, hemp seeds are a probable food option in the vegetarian/vegan diet, as they are a rich source of plant-based proteins.
Side Effects of Hemp
Consuming hemp may lead to some side effects, a few of which are:
- Slowing of heart rate (bradycardia)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irritation in the throat.
Furthermore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using hemp, as insufficient evidence supports its safety. Also, people who take medication should be careful as its consumption also leads to interactions with other drugs.
Legality of Hemp
In the US, there are conflicting laws concerning the legality of cannabis. On the one hand, many states have legalized the growth and possession of cannabis. On the contrary, federal law still considers the substance illegal.
However, the legality of hemp is comparatively much more vivid. In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the growth, use, possession, and distribution of hemp in the US. Nonetheless, there are a few parameters to keep the substance under control.
The main federal regulation states that the THC content of hemp has to be less than 0.3%. Moreover, a shared state-federal regulatory power will remain over the production and cultivation of hemp.
In addition, the farmers in a state are only allowed to cultivate hemp if the USDA has approved their state’s plan. Furthermore, the bill sets further boundaries that outline actions that are considered a violation of the law.
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Federal Warning to Banks
Hemp Industry Daily gives a detailed insight into a recent federal agency warning to banks working with hemp producers.
The agency warned banks not to work with hemp producers in states that have not yet received approval from the US Department of Agriculture.
Moreover, the notice covers further points that ask banks to contemplate whether hemp markets exist in their state and how the loan will be repaid if the USDA doesn’t approve the state’s plan.
Furthermore, banks have also been asked to consider the ways hemp is allowed to be used by the US Foods and Drugs Authority.
The federal agency’s warning to the financial institutions doesn’t sit well with the hemp advocates as it is a hurdle in their way of expanding the industry even though the substance is legal.
However, these steps are also necessary to keep hemp cultivation under strict regulation to avoid cases of misuse and mishandling.