When the United States of America made hemp legal once again in 2018, it opened the veritable flood gates for new products to be released onto the market.  Four years later and we have seen an even larger increase in them.  For many of us, this inspires questions such as is hemp safe, what is it anyway, and is it legal everywhere?

My goal today is to help answer some of these questions and more.  This topic is surprisingly complex, after all, and a lot goes into it.  That means that learning and understanding more about it requires some in depth research and discussion, so hopefully I can help out with that.

What is Hemp?

Let us start here, as it is probably going to be some of the most useful information for you in this article today.  As you can see from my sources, such as this one, hemp and marijuana are not the same thing.  They both come from the cannabis plant, but they are different strains of it.

What is the difference between them, then?  Well, it all comes down to the THC content.  Tetrahydrocannabinols are the full name of them, and they are the chemicals that give us humans the feeling of a high when we ingest it.  What we know as marijuana or weed has high levels of THC.

In contrast, hemp contains limited trace amounts in most cases.  Recently, though, this line has started to become blurred more and more.  This is because in certain states, it is legal to cultivate hemp that contains higher amounts of THC as long as they are not strong.

What Does this Mean for Products?

As I am sure that you can imagine, this does make the market a bit trickier to navigate in terms of items that are labelled with “hemp.”  It is a bit harder to discern which will give you the euphoric sensations and which will not, which is a big factor in how many people cannabis shop for these items.

What options do we have, then?  Well, you can see some examples of this in real time as shown on Hifi Farms` website if you want to know some of the things to look for.  The key is really in how the items are labelled no matter what broker that you shop with, so let me explain some of them.

Delta 8 is the one most commonly associated with hemp right now, and that is because while it is a type of THC, it does not give strong psychedelic effects.  That is why it is often referred to as “diet” weed.  It is still popular for some of its other properties, though.

Most often you can find it in the form of vape cartridges or in certain types of oils or snack bars.  This allows for flexibility in how we choose to consume it, which can certainly be nice.  It is just good to note that there are some side effects that you could experience, similar to regular marijuana.

The other popular type of hemp products are delta 9 and CBD.  Delta 9 is another type of THC, but it is stronger than the other variety that I have discussed today.  It can potentially have strong psychoactive impacts, so be careful with it.

In terms of CBD, it contains little to no THC.  So, items containing it will not get you high.  Rather, they can have a soothing affect.  This is a large reason for its popularity amongst patients suffering from chronic disorders that cause significant pain or anxiety on a daily basis.

Is it Legal?

This is where things do get a bit confusing and complicated depending on the state that you live in.  You can see some resources out there like this one, https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-drug/def/delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, but finding the regulations per region in the United States can be a bit of a pain.  Part of it is that legislature is having a hard time keeping up with the advances in products that are being released.

That being said, hemp products that contain CBD are legal across the entire country.  There are no restrictions on them as the plant itself was made legal in 2018, as I mentioned above.  So, you have nothing to worry about if that is what you are looking to purchase.  You cannot get in trouble for having them.

It is when we get into the items that have tetrahydrocannabinols that things get a little trickier.  While this substance is not notably carcinogenic (cancer causing) or addictive, it still provides that feeling of getting high.  Naturally, this means that the federal and state governments are watching them more closely and there are more regulations surrounding them.

Before you purchase anything containing delta 8 or delta 9, I do recommend that you check in with your local laws surrounding them.  In most states where medical marijuana or regular marijuana are permitted, products with these types of THC should be fine to have.  It is always a good idea to double check, though.

Even if you end up not being able to or not wanting to get and products that contain THC, there are always the CBD varieties instead.  Both can achieve similar goals, so it will largely be up to us as consumers to decide which we would prefer in terms of what might work for us.