Hemp has been a subject of debate for many decades in the USA and across the globe. This is because hemp belongs to the cannabis family of plants. As such, it is closely associated with marijuana which is also a cannabis plant. So, is it alright to smoke hemp? Are there any significant benefits or disadvantages of smoking the industrial hemp plant?
But before we discuss whether you can smoke hemp or not, first let us make a distinction between hemp and marijuana. This will help us understand why marijuana is smoked and how hemp is different.
What comes to most people’s mind when marijuana or weed is mentioned is getting high after smoking. However, hemp is associated with CBD oil and the many derivatives that can be processed from the plant. You can use the seeds, stalk, flowers, and leaves to produce various products. Some of the products you can produce from hemp include bioplastics, hemp paper, hemp milk, hemp wick, to name but some.
How Different Is Hemp From Marijuana?
The signing of the 2018 Farm Bill by the USA President Donald Trump on December 2018, revived the hemp industry. In this regard, a common question people ask is how different hemp is from marijuana. First, legally speaking, hemp is legal at the federal state level while marijuana is not. The 2018 USA farm bill put a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana.
Whereas in the past hemp was classified with marijuana, heroin, LCD and other drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, now it is not. That leaves marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, under Schedule I substance. Therefore, illegal and only legalized in some states in the USA. It is illegal to handle marijuana in some states and if you are found in possession of marijuana or you are high from it, you can get imprisonment.
Why is hemp different from marijuana? A distinction that even the law recognizes
The main difference between hemp and marijuana plants is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels.
What is THC? THC is an active compound that causes a psychoactive effect when smoked or ingested. THC levels are very high in the marijuana plant and low in hemp. Legally, a hemp plant should have less than 0.3% THC. THC levels in marijuana vary but are usually between 5% and 40%; sometimes even higher than this when extracted and added as an ingredient in edibles. THC is considered a drug under the law. Because of having low THC levels, hemp is non-intoxicating but consuming marijuana or taking marijuana edibles will get you high. Therefore, if you take marijuana, because of the high THC levels you will fail a drug test. But smoking hemp buds will not cause you to get high or fail a drug test.
In summary, hemp is different from marijuana because hemp has low levels of THC, making it legal because it won’t get you high or cause you to fail a drug test.
Can You Smoke Hemp Flowers?
No doubt hemp rolls are becoming very popular in many states in the USA which means that you can smoke hemp. Hemp buds are smokable. Basically, hemp buds are hemp flowers. Smoking hemp involves the burning of hemp buds to produce smoke and inhaling the smoke. But are there any benefits or negative health implications of smoking hemp buds since, as explained above you will not get high from it.
Medical practitioners will tell you that taking in any smoke has inherent health risks. It can result in lung and throat health conditions. To avoid smoke, medical practitioners advise smokers to turn to vaporizers as an alternative to smoking. That said, there are certain benefits associated with smoking hemp buds.
Benefits of Smoking Hemp
1. Hemp is an Alternative to Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plant. Both plants have CBD compounds, however marijuana has psychoactive effects. You can smoke hemp to get CBD in your system without the high effect. This can prevent you from getting mind-altering effects. Smoking hemp can especially help smokers who want to cut down on marijuana or cigarette smoking which is addictive and has serious health implications. Hemp smoking offers a non-addictive alternative.
2. No Addictions From Smoking Hemp
Hemp has very low levels of THC, 0.3% or below and has no other active compounds. As such, you will not get high from smoking it. Secondly, hemp smoking is not addictive. In this regard, you can enjoy smoking hemp without worrying about getting hooked to it.
3. You Won’t Fail a Drug Test
Since hemp has very low levels of THC, the amounts are too low to cause a psychoactive effect or make one fail a drug test. As such, it is safe to take hemp because you will not get into any legal battles.
4. Likely to heal Bones
Smoking hemp can have positive health implications because of CBD. The industrial hemp plant contains cannabidiol which is a cannabinoid. According to a study conducted by Tel Aviv University on mice, cannabidiol makes bones stronger. This is because the presence of cannabidiol in the bone tissue enhances the absorption of minerals.
How to Smoke Hemp
You can smoke hemp buds by rolling them or inserting them in joints, bowls or bongs. You simply use hemp wicks, matches or lighters to light the bowl. To enjoy the experience, inhale the smoke slowly and deeply.
When buying hemp buds, look for reputable organizations that sell organic hemp buds. Secondly, to prevent CBD overdosage, start with low doses and increase gradually if you need to.
There is no harm in smoking hemp, apart from the smoke being detrimental to your health. Unlike tobacco which has nicotine and marijuana which has high levels of THC, hemp has no psychoactive compound. Noteworthy, there are various benefits that smokers can get from smoking hemp since it is rich in CBD and it works as a good alternative to marijuana or cigarettes.