Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use. Hemp products are now regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for developing and administering the regulations governing the production and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products.
The 2018 Farm Bill defines “hemp” as any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis. THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the “high” associated with marijuana use. Hemp plants must also be registered with the state Department of Agriculture where they are grown.
Hemp products may only be sold if they are produced in a manner that complies with the 2018 Farm Bill and AMS regulations. These requirements include testing of plants and final products, disposal of non-compliant plants, and tracking of products from seed to sale using a traceability system.
AMS also regulates the labeling of hemp products to ensure that they do not make false or misleading claims about their content or efficacy. For example, labels on hemp products cannot claim that they are a “cure” for any disease or condition.
The 2018 Farm Bill provides states and tribes with the option to submit plans to the USDA for approval to administer their hemp programs. Plans must demonstrate that they will be able to meet the requirements of the Farm Bill, including compliance with AMS regulations. To date, more than 30 states and tribes have submitted plans and been approved by the USDA.
If you are interested in producing or selling hemp or hemp-derived products, you should check with your state Department of Agriculture to see if there is a state or tribe plan in place that would allow you to do so. You can also contact AMS for more information about federal regulations governing hemp production and marketing.
- USDA Hemp Production Program
- AMS Hemp Regulations
- State and Tribal Hemp Plans Approved by USDA
- FAQs about Hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill
Safe Use of Hemp
Hemp products are safe for use by people of all ages. However, some people may be allergic to hemp or hemp-derived products. If you have any concerns about using hemp products, please consult your healthcare provider.
It is also important to note that while hemp plants must contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis, they can still contain higher levels of THC when they are wet or have been processed into certain products. For example, full-spectrum hemp oil may contain up to 0.9% THC. This is why it is important to check the labels of hemp products to make sure that they meet the THC content requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Hemp products that are intended for human or animal consumption must also be safe for those purposes, as determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has not evaluated the safety of hemp products for human or animal consumption, so you should always check with your healthcare provider before using any hemp-derived product.
Hemp products that are not intended for human or animal consumption, such as fiber and seed, are not subject to FDA regulation. However, they must still meet the THC content requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill.
What Are the Uses of Hemp?
Hemp can be used for a variety of purposes, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel. Hemp seeds and oil can be used in a variety of foods, such as salad dressings, smoothies, and baking. Hemp seed oil is also used as a cooking oil. It is one of the fastest-growing biomasses on the planet and can be cultivated in many different climates and soil types. With its rapid growth cycle, hemp is an ideal crop for sustainable agriculture.
Hemp products have a long history dating back to ancient China, where hemp was used for paper, rope, and clothing. In more recent years, hemp has made a comeback as a popular material for environmentally friendly products.
Despite its many uses, hemp is still considered a controversial crop in many countries. This is due to the association of hemp with marijuana, as both plants are members of the Cannabis sativa species. However, hemp does not contain the psychoactive compounds that are found in marijuana, so it does not have the same mind-altering effects.
Despite its controversial status, hemp is a versatile and sustainable crop that has the potential to provide many benefits for people and the planet.