Don’t Worry Be Hempy
Don’t Worry Be Hempy focuses on helping everyone distinguish cannabis from hemp,
Section 201(s) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FD&C Act”) defines “food additive” to encompass any substance that may reasonably be expected to directly or indirectly affect or become part of a food. Until a food additive is tested and found safe for its intended use, it is deemed unsafe. A food additive is considered safe if there is a reasonable certainty that it is not harmful under its intended use and condition. If a food additive is added to food prior to FDA approval, its presence renders the food adulterated and subject to enforcement action.
Because the FDA has yet to approve CBD as a food additive, Hemp-CBD products, particularly edibles and infused drinks are deemed unsafe under the FD&C Act.
Though state health authorities embargoed CBD edibles and other CBD products used for human consumption, they told affected business owners they could continue selling CBD products that “could be smoked, vaped, worn as a patch or applied as a lotion.” This is because cosmetics and smokable products are subject to less onerous FDA regulations than foods and dietary supplements. This all may change when the FDA soon releases its plan to regulate Hemp-CBD products.
Don’t Worry Be Hempy
The Anatomical Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana
At a quick glance, it’s impossible to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana since the two looks similar in terms of appearance. But, appearance is just the tip of the iceberg. Marijuana has dense buds, a “bushy” appearance, and broad leaves. Hemp, on the other hand, has skinny leaves. It grows skinnier and taller than marijuana. If you hold the two plants next to each other, you should clearly be able to see these subtle differences. Now, let’s talk about what is arguably the most important distinction, which is based on their chemical composition.
Hemp vs Marijuana: The Composition
This is probably the most significant difference that people need to know. Cannabis carries a range of compounds called cannabinoids – CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) being the two most dominant ones. Both of these cannabinoids have benefits to offer to the human body. However, tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive substance, which is what causes the ‘high’ and the sense of euphoria when using marijuana. CBD, however, carries no psychoactive properties. This is the BIGGEST difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp carries almost negligible levels of THC (<=0.3%, typically), whereas marijuana is rich in THC, with concentrations as high as 15 – 40%.