Many people believe that hemp and marijuana are the same plant. While they are related they are definitely not the same just as a zucchini is not a watermelon. They are in the same family but that doesn’t make them chemically the same.
The history of Hemp and the laws around it and cannabis can be confusing
Marijuana’s scientific name is cannabis sativa. It can have up to thirty percent THC, the chemical that causes people to get high when taking it. Hemp’s scientific name is cannabis sativa L, the L being for Linnaeus. He was the father of botany. It contains only one third of a percent THC. It is impossible to get high when using it. It does do many of the other things marijuana is used for such as pain relief.
There is another big difference between the two plants. Hemp can be used in the manufacturing of many products that now use plastic. Everything from clothing to toys can be made from this durable material. Unlike plastic, things made from this plant are biodegradable. It won’t clog the oceans or sit in a landfill for thousands of years.
The history of marijuana is fascinating. It is believed that the species originated on the steppes of Mongolia and other parts of Eastern Asia. It spread throughout the world over the millennia including North America.
Making it illegal is considered by many to be an historical anomaly. It was used by the Vikings to help women giving birth. Other cultures used it in their religious activities. In fact the settlers of Johnstown were required to plant it in their gardens.
Drug law history:
Until 1906 there was very little oversight for drugs. Anyone could purchase anything if they had the money. However word got out about several problems. The biggest public outcry was over the Chicago stockyards. The unsanitary conditions there caused a great deal of people to become ill. At that point the Federal Food and Drug Administration was created. Their job was to check the purity of all foods and medications. Gradually that role expanded.
Up until 1924 it was still possible to buy drugs. Heroin was considered an excellent cough remedy. Most people kept at least one bottle of laudanum, an opiate, in their medicine cabinets. It was used for pain, sleeplessness and many other reasons. Morphine was also readily available. This created a serious problem. Opiate addiction skyrocketed and Congress was lobbied to do something about it.
Once this legislation was passed they turned to other drugs. Were there any gateway drugs that should be banned? There was a long debate about this in Congress. Those who were on committees dedicated to medications and medical regulations argued against banning cannabis. Unfortunately the rest of Congress didn’t agree.
The United States of America put a tax on all of the cannabis family in 1937. This made it necessary for anyone who had, gave away or sold the plants to pay a special tax. Buyers and or those who were given the plants also had to pay a tax. Everything had to be written and submitted to the IRS. Anyone who didn’t could face a fine of two thousand dollars and up to five years in prison.
This act was repealed during the 1960s but the government then passed a passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. This took all of the two hundred plus laws enacted by both the states and the federal government and put them into a schedule. The first schedule is the one for illegal drugs. They promptly placed the family in the Class I section of the drug code. The authors of the bill didn’t want to place it in that category but were again outvoted. Heroin is a Class I drug for good reason.
As this wasn’t enough they formed the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce these laws. This agency was formed in July of 1973. This agency has been tasked with enforce the laws concerning controlled substances that are going to be used illegally. This has included many raids on pot growing facilities and pot farms growing in wilderness areas. California has had a lot of these.
The US wasn’t the only country that either banned or restricted the cannabis family. Many countries in Europe banned it as did Canada. Now these bans are being lifted for either test gardens or for production. At this point China has the largest export business of hemp products. Russia has the most germ plasm, which is a substance that can grow the plants.
In the 2014 Farm Bill a provision was made to allow test plots of hemp. These test plots circumvented the need to get a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The plants were then processed for industrial use.
These test plots paved a way for the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill has legalized hemp. It can be grown, bought, sold and used in industry. It can be smoked or the oil used for the cannabinoids. This bill revolutionized farms and related industries.
The next question is what is hemp used for? There are several health applications for this plant. It contains more CBD than marijuana. These chemicals are what provide the pain relieving qualities of the plant. It can also be consumed in several different ways which adds to its versatility. There are a few of the other benefits of the seeds and buds.
In future articles we will discuss uses for hemp, both personal and in industries. There is also a market for pairing the plant with other herbs both to enhance the effects and to improve the flavor. Coffee and other beverages that can pair with it will also be investigated.
If you have any questions about this plant, its uses and/or its history feel free to contact us. We would be happy to address the questions either in an article or in reply to your questions. You can find the contact page on our website. Our website is It's Bro High CBD Hemp Products.