Cannabis has mental and physical effects such as creating a "high" or "stoned" feeling, a general change in perception, heightened mood, and an increase in appetite.[21][22] Onset of effects is within minutes when smoked, and about 30 to 60 minutes when cooked and eaten.[21][23] They last for between two and six hours.[23] Short-term side effects may include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, red eyes, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety.[21][24][25] Long-term side effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started as teenagers, and behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy.[21] Studies have found a strong relation between cannabis use and the risk of psychosis,[26] though the cause-and-effect relationship is debated.[27]

In Europe and Asia, hemp farming has been conducted for millennia. Although most countries ceased growing hemp after the second word war, some didn’t, including France, China, Russia, and Hungary, so that essential knowledge of how to grow and process hemp was maintained. When commercial hemp cultivation resumed in Canada in 1997, many farmers undertook to grow the crop without appreciating its suitability for their situation, or for the hazards of an undeveloped market. Hemp was often grown on farms with marginal incomes in the hopes that it was a savior from a downward financial spiral. The myth that hemp is a wonder crop that can be grown on any soil led some to cultivate on soils with a history of producing poor crops; of course, a poor crop was the result.


In the 1950s, the Narcotics Control Act and the Boggs Act stiffened penalties for marijuana possession, with first-time offenses requiring two to 10 year sentences and a minimum $20,000 fine, according to PBS.org. Penalties were relaxed in the 1970s, but President Ronald Reagan increased federal penalties for marijuana possession in the 1980s. On the federal level, marijuana is now regulated under the Controlled Substances Act as a schedule 1 drug, meaning the government considers it to have a high potential for abuse with no legitimate medical or therapeutic uses.
Without arguing the merits of the above contentions, we point out that the legitimate use of hemp for non-intoxicant purposes has been inhibited by the continuing ferocious war against drug abuse. In this atmosphere, objective analysis has often been lacking. Unfortunately both proponents and opponents have tended to engage in exaggeration. Increasingly, however, the world is testing the potential of hemp in the field and marketplace, which surely must be the ultimate arbiters. De Guzman (2001), noting the pessimistic USDA report, observed that “Nevertheless, others point to the potential of [the] market. Hemp products have a growing niche market of their own, and the market will remain healthy and be well supported with many competing brands.”
Jump up ^ Juliet Eilperin (February 11, 2013), "'Good seed' versus 'evil weed': Hemp activists eye legalization", The Washington Post – via The Japan Times Online, [A] couple of factors — the high taxes the federal government imposed on growing hemp in the late 1930s and again in the early '50s, and then the DEA's interpretation of the 1970 law — made producing hemp nearly impossible. Since the DEA only grants permits in rare instances and demands costly, elaborate security precautions, large-scale hemp growing in the United States is not viable.
Israel, another example, has led the way with ground-breaking research into cannabis cultivation. The country recently recognized medical marijuana as an official part of the nation’s branch of agriculture. Israel is already one of the world’s leading exporters of medical-grade cannabis. Recognizing marijuana cultivation as an official branch of the country’s agriculture will open up even more funds to support Israeli cannabis farmers.
In November 2015, Uttarakhand became the first state of India to legalize the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes.[223] Usage within the Hindu and Buddhist cultures of the Indian subcontinent is common, with many street vendors in India openly selling products infused with cannabis, and traditional medical practitioners in Sri Lanka selling products infused with cannabis for recreational purposes and well as for religious celebrations.[224] It was criminalized in the Indian subcontinent by the Dutch and then the British. India and Sri Lanka have allowed cannabis to be taken in the context of traditional culture for recreational/celebratory purposes and also for medicinal purposes.[224]
In the early 1990s, industrial hemp agriculture in North America began with the Hemp Awareness Committee at the University of Manitoba. The Committee worked with the provincial government to get research and development assistance, and was able to obtain test plot permits from the Canadian government. Their efforts led to the legalization of industrial hemp (hemp with only minute amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol) in Canada and the first harvest in 1998.[77][78]
Hemp is plagued by bird predation, which take a heavy toll on seed production. The seeds are well known to provide extremely nutritious food for both wild birds and domestic fowl. Hunters and birdwatchers who discover wild patches of hemp often keep this information secret, knowing that the area will be a magnet for birds in the fall when seed maturation occurs. Increasingly in North America, plants are being established to provide habitat and food for wildlife. Hemp is not an aggressive weed, and certainly has great potential for being used as a wildlife plant. Of course, current conditions forbid such usage in North America.
Henry Ford recognized the utility of hemp in early times. In advance of today’s automobile manufacturers, he constructed a car with certain components made of resin stiffened with hemp fiber (Fig. 19). Rather ironically in view of today’s parallel situation, Henry Ford’s hemp innovations in the 1920s occurred at a time of crisis for American farms, later to intensify with the depression. The need to produce new industrial markets for farm products led to a broad movement for scientific research in agriculture that came to be labeled “Farm Chemurgy,” that today is embodied in chemical applications of crop constituents.
More round, soft, and green than sesame seeds and slightly sweeter than sunflower seeds, hemp seeds can be used to make hemp nut butter with a slight greenish cast from the chlorophyll. The oil has been described as having a pleasantly nutty, slightly bitter taste, and off-yellow to dark green coloring. High in unsaturated fatty acids, it can easily oxidize, so it’s not recommended for frying or baking.
Most human studies of CBD have been done on people who have seizures, and the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for rare forms of epilepsy. Clinical trials for other conditions are promising, but tiny. In one Brazilian study published in 2011 of people with generalized social anxiety disorder, for example, taking a 600-mg dose of CBD (higher than a typical dose from a tincture) lessened discomfort more than a placebo, but only a dozen people were given the pill.
The Gateway Hypothesis states that cannabis use increases the probability of trying "harder" drugs. The hypothesis has been hotly debated as it is regarded by some as the primary rationale for the United States prohibition on cannabis use.[249][250] A Pew Research Center poll found that political opposition to marijuana use was significantly associated with concerns about health effects and whether legalization would increase marijuana use by children.[251]

Air-dried stem yields in Ontario have from 1998 and onward ranged from 2.6-14.0 tonnes of dry, retted stalks per hectare (1-5.5 t/ac) at 12% moisture. Yields in Kent County, have averaged 8.75 t/ha (3.5 t/ac). Northern Ontario crops averaged 6.1 t/ha (2.5 t/ac) in 1998. Statistic for the European Union for 2008 to 2010 say that the average yield of hemp straw has varied between 6.3 and 7.3 ton per ha.[67][68] Only a part of that is bast fiber. Around one tonne of bast fiber and 2-3 tonnes of core material can be decorticated from 3-4 tonnes of good-quality, dry-retted straw. For an annual yield of this level is it in Ontario recommended to add nitrogen (N):70–110 kg/ha, phosphate (P2O5): up to 80 kg/ha and potash (K2O): 40–90 kg/ha.[69] The average yield of dry hemp stalks in Europe was 6 ton/ha (2.4 ton/ac) in 2001 and 2002.[14]


Some of the reference citations in this summary are accompanied by a level-of-evidence designation. These designations are intended to help readers assess the strength of the evidence supporting the use of specific interventions or approaches. The PDQ Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board uses a formal evidence ranking system in developing its level-of-evidence designations.

A chief argument that has been advanced in favor of developing hemp as a paper and pulp source has been that as a non-wood or tree-free fiber source, it can reduce harvesting of primary forests and the threat to associated biodiversity. It has been claimed that hemp produces three to four times as much useable fiber per hectare per annum as forests. However, Wong (1998) notes evidence that in the southern US hemp would produce only twice as much pulp as does a pine plantation (but see discussion below on suitability of hemp as a potential lumber substitute in areas lacking trees).


The use of Cannabis for seed oil (Fig. 36) began at least 3 millennia ago. Hempseed oil is a drying oil, formerly used in paints and varnishes and in the manufacture of soap. Present cultivation of oilseed hemp is not competitive with linseed for production of oil for manufacturing, or to sunflower and canola for edible vegetable oil. However, as noted below, there are remarkable dietary advantages to hempseed oil, which accordingly has good potential for penetrating the salad oil market, and for use in a very wide variety of food products. There is also good potential for hemp oil in cosmetics and skin-care products.
Hemp was made illegal to grow without a permit in the U.S. under the Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970 because of its relation to marijuana,[17] and any imported hemp products must meet a zero tolerance level.[87] Some states have made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal, but farmers in many states have not yet begun to grow it because of resistance from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration,[88] making "large-scale hemp growing" in the United States "not viable" as late as 2013.[89] In 2013, after the legalization of cannabis in the state, several farmers in Colorado planted and harvested several acres of hemp, bringing in the first hemp crop in the United States in over half a century.[90] Colorado,[91] Vermont, California, and North Dakota have passed laws enabling hemp licensure. All four states are waiting for permission to grow hemp from the DEA. Currently,[92] Oregon has licensed industrial hemp as of August 2009.[93] Congress included a provision in the Agricultural Act of 2014 that allowed colleges and state agencies to grow and conduct research on hemp in states where it is legal.[17] Hemp production in Kentucky, formerly the United States' leading producer, resumed in 2014.[94] Hemp production in North Carolina resumed in 2017,[95] and in Washington State the same year.[96] By the end of 2017, at least 34 U.S. states had industrial hemp programs.[97] In 2018, New York began taking strides in industrial hemp production, along with hemp research pilot programs at Cornell University, Binghamton University and SUNY Morrisville.[98]
Hemp can be used as a "mop crop" to clear impurities out of wastewater, such as sewage effluent, excessive phosphorus from chicken litter, or other unwanted substances or chemicals. Additionally, hemp is being used to clean contaminants at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site, by way of a process which is known as phytoremediation—the process of clearing radioisotopes and a variety of other toxins from the soil, water, and air.[44]

Pain management improves a patient’s quality of life throughout all stages of cancer. Through the study of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and synthetic agonists and antagonists, the mechanisms of cannabinoid-induced analgesia have been analyzed.[46][Level of evidence:1iC] The CB1 receptor is found in the central nervous system (CNS) and in peripheral nerve terminals.[47] CB2 receptors are located mainly in peripheral tissue and are expressed in only low amounts in the CNS. Whereas only CB1 agonists exert analgesic activity in the CNS, both CB1 and CB2 agonists have analgesic activity in peripheral tissue.[48,49]

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