Farm bill legalizes growth of hemp products

The U. S. Farm Bill, otherwise known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, passed by Congress, Wednesday, legalizes hemp, a plant that’s roughly identical to marijuana and is a  key source of highly touted wellness ingredient CBD.

The bill defines hemp as an agricultural product for the first time and amends a major drug law that hadn’t been altered in 50 years.  Experts said the shift could spike interest in CBD, which is also the active ingredient in the first cannabis-based medicine to gain federal approval in the U.S.

Many people get confused about the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, but the distinction is important.  Matt McCall, editor of Investment Opportunities, who has followed this development, explained the differences like this…..

“They are kind of like cousins.  The biggest difference is the amount of THC in each plant.  The marijuana plant can contain up to 30% THC, which as you’ll recall is the compound that makes you high.  In contrast, the hemp plant has less than 0.3% of THC.  The hemp plant also contains more CBD.  That combination — more CBD with only a trace of THC — is why you can use it and not get the stoned feeling,” says McCall. 

CBD, a short name for cannabidiol, is already used by medical professionals as an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.  CBD oil is used to treat everything from anxiety and depression to chronic pain to the reduction of inflammation to childhood epilepsy.  

After the president sighs the bill, which is expected, growing hemp will become legal in the United States.