“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: "Love. They must do it for love."
Say Hello To The Cannabis Plant
Hemp, it turns out grows very well in Vermont. Fifty years of hemp prohibition ended with the 2018 Farm Bill and CBD is on the rise. All good news. Seems like the right time to meet some of the farms, the businesses, and the cannabis compound superstar of Vermont’s craft-hemp movement.
Hemp, a common name for Cannabis sativa L. is a legal but regulated agricultural commodity and the source of 1000s of food, fiber, medicinal, and "industrial" products. CBD or cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating compound found in all varieties of the cannabis plant. CBD may be the latest hemp revelation, and it won't be the last.
Cannabis sativa goes by lots of unscientific names, with hemp and marijuana being the most common. Both have CBD but what legally sets them apart is the amount of euphoria-producing THC or tetrahydrocannabinol in each variety. By current legal definition, hemp can contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight (a trace amount). This is an arbitrary quantity of THC that legally distinguishes hemp from marijuana, which is cannabis that measures over 0.3 percent THC.
No matter the source, CBD itself will not make you high. Period. And yes, it is legal in all fifty states. According to the World Health Organization, cannabidiol presents no risk of toxicity or dependence. Other research on CBD points to its excellent safety profile.
With hemp’s new legal status, we can expect to see considerably more clinical and human trials delving into CBD’s effectiveness. So far, the dozens of peer-reviewed studies I’ve evaluated (see below) point to CBD’s benefits as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and antipsychotic compound. Cannabidiol alone, or acting synergistically with hundreds of other active compounds in hemp is shown to have potential medical benefits in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, arthritis, cancer, cognitive decline, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, nausea, pain, and PTSD.
Just Google “CBD” and you'll get 190,000,000 hits. That’s a lot of CBD. According to one recent report, 22 million Americans, or an estimated 7% of the US population are using it. How could this be? Quite simply, they're finding relief.
“One thing we have to realize from now on is that it doesn't matter if this is a dream or not. Survival depends on what we do, not what we think.”
In a previous post I was ringing the bell; from Maine to New York City, CBD hemp oil and other CBD consumables are being embargoed, and these products are being sent back to their maker. That's not good for anyone.
Since then, similar actions were taken in Ohio and other jurisdictions. Now, North Carolina has issued warning letters to CBD manufactures in that state, again citing FDA's statement on the issue. At least NC sent a warning, but the blockade is coming folks.
Let's be clear, these actions against hemp are being taken by state and local agencies, not the FDA. However, those states are taking the FDA's position; that CBD should not be used as a supplement because of a federal patent. It is not because CBD is found to be unsafe.
In Vermont, we're fortunate that all hemp oversight is with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture (VAAFM). Vermont's Administration and its Ag Agency have stated repeatedly there's "no way" the punitive actions we saw in Maine, and elsewhere will happen here. That's an encouraging and protective stance right now towards Vermont's CBD growers and processors.
However, at the end of the day, it is the FDA and not Vermont Ag that is poised to put the brakes on our budding hemp industry.
"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."
Klee Irwin, the founder of Irwin Naturals, has posted this valuable and concise explanation of where we stand right now with the status of hemp, CBD and the FDA. Klee deftly dissects the problem in his 14-minute video, and points the way forward for the hemp industry.
This short post ties in directly to my next one. Here, I want to let the video do the talking, it gives context and grounding to my fervor.
For those of us engaged with CBD as a farm or business especially, I can assure you, watching Irwin's talk is time well spent. Without further ado, or introduction...
But Before You Go...
I want to thank fellow blogger, attorney, and hemp and cannabis advocate from North Carolina, Rod Kight, over at Kight On Cannabis. Rod is insightful, much more prolific than I am, and always on message. Rod first drew my attention to Klee's video, and a number of other stories I follow and some I've passed along. Check him out.
As always, your comments and questions below are most welcome!
I'm Netaka, friends call me Tak ("tock"). I write from Vermont and curate Tak About Hemp.