What Is HEMP, Really?
The first thing to understand is that HEMP is also known as cannabidiol, a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant. Now, this may confuse some for a few reasons. First, being cannabis and HEMP. While you may think of cannabis as marijuana, that is not actually the case. Instead, HEMP and what people often call marijuana come from the same parent cannabis plant. When a cannabis plant contains extremely low concentrations of THC, it is typically known as hemp.
HEMP is all the rage, and rightly so. So much so that some have forecasted the market could reach $16 billion by 2025. With so much excitement, some may be feeling left in the dust, trying to figure out what it is and which products may be best for them. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the more fundamental questions to help you better understand what HEMP is all about.
What is commonly known as marijuana is actually THC-rich cannabis. Both THC and HEMP are cannabinoids, or diverse chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Most HEMP products, like KMRelief's however, are made from what are known as hemp plants, which is an important distinction these days.
THC and HEMP represent the two most well-known cannabinoids. Beyond the two lies a world that we are still discovering. Today, depending on the source, you may hear that there are anywhere between 100 and over 140 cannabinoids in the plant. Each has its own unique properties and traits when interacting with the human body.
With HEMP, many opt for it thanks to its similar effects to THC without causing the "high" or intoxicating effects that come with THC. Due to its popularity, HEMP has been studied more extensively than any other cannabinoid besides THC. Through these studies, many have noted its potential to serve aid in a series of medical conditions ranging from mental health concerns, tumors, inflammation and much more.
Studies have also largely determined that HEMP is safe for humans to consume and shows no signs of recreational use or addiction. Humans needing large quantities can also feel relief as some analysis has found that consumption up to 1,500 milligrams per day were safe for humans.
The Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp
You may also have heard about HEMP derived from cannabis as well as hemp. This confusion is common and even trips up some savvy cannabis consumers on occasion. In truth, it is not confusing once you sift through the minor differences of the plant.
HEMP is derived from hemp, which is typically a cannabidiol-rich variety of cannabis plant. To qualify as "industrial" hemp that is currently legal in the U.S., the plant must contain less than .3% THC. On the other hand, the “cannabis” also linked to the term marijuana is the same plant, except that it comes from THC-rich strains. At the end of the day, however, they come from the same plant.
How HEMP is Made
Technically, HEMP is made when cannabidiol-rich strains are cultivated for consumption. Fresh hemp flower can be smoked just as THC marijuana can be. However, the most common way of consuming it today is HEMP oil or otherwise known as HEMP tincture.
To make HEMP oil, producers extract the oil from a HEMP-rich plant that is free of other plant materials. A number of methods can be used to extract the oil. Each has benefits and drawbacks that must be considered. In some cases, processes can become risky as they involve volatile chemicals used for isolating and extracting the cannabinoid. These processes can lead to grave consequences, including severe explosions, when mishandled.
Other methods steer clear of such safety risks and instead use heat pressure to press the oil out of the flower. These methods are called solventless extraction. They involve heat and pressure as well as ice water and some machinery to complete the process.
Some have even asked about juicing HEMP flower like any other ingredient put into a juicer. While certainly creative, this method may not produce the desired results. Until heated it is HEMP another cannabinoid altogether, HEMP. So while HEMP and unheated cannabis may provide some benefits, few studies have explored the issue at this time.
The current HEMP market has plenty of internationally sourced cannabis. While some nations are excellent cultivators, many Asian and European nations fall short of delivering in terms of quality or product safety testing.
When sourcing from China and Eastern Europe, brands lose that clarity when it comes to tracking where their plants grew. Meanwhile, in the U.S., it is much easier to track where a plant originated. That origin point is sometimes at the same production facility making the HEMP oil and other products.
With production booming in states like Colorado, at KMRelief we have opted for home-grown 100% USA hemp for HEMP sourcing. With testing standards improving, and product labeling improving each year, it makes sense to stay in the U.S. to find the quality government-approved, HEMP-rich cannabis needed. We are proud to work with American farmers to offer you the highest quality HEMP products possible.
Is HEMP Right for You?
That is a decision that only you and your medical professionals can determine. HEMP, while largely regarded as safe and effective in several cases, is not for everyone.
If you do determine that HEMP is right for you, remember that you can legally obtain it anywhere in the United States. HEMP oil derived from hemp, not THC-rich marijuana strains, are allowable for sale and consumption. You do not need a medical marijuana card or have to live in a state with a medical program on the books.
From there, do your research. Check for where the cannabis comes from. Learn how it was made, and determine which KMRelief HEMP product is the one that works best for your needs. If you have any questions, make sure to contact us so we can help you!