The Increasing Demand for CBD Products Pushes the USDA to Allow Industrial Hemp Growing

There is a new program that the USDA passed that will allow farmers of all 50 states to grow hemp on their farms. This program will also allow hemp to be grown on reservation land. The announcement came on October 29, 2019 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and falls under the Domestic Hemp Production Program. Farmers can now grow hemp for the many products that are currently on the market as well as open up other opportunities for new products.

Farmers will have guidelines and requirements they will need to follow that the USDA is finalizing. These include maintaining records where the hemp will be grown, passing tests for THC levels in the proper range and where and how to dispose of plants that do not fall within the guidelines.

Over the last several years there has been more and more demand for CBD oil which is extracted from hemp. This rapidly growing market for CBD oil products is because it is believed to have medicinal properties used for a wide variety of medical conditions. It is used in everything from pet food and wine to creams that help relieve major aches and pains. CBD oil has also been successful in the treatment of epilepsy and many use it to relieve anxiety and manage pain for certain disorders.

Even though CBD is often associated and confused with marijuana because they both come from the cannabis plant, CBD oil has none or only traces of THC. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that causes a user to get “high.” Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants but have different levels of THC. CBD products can also be used as frequently as needed because they are none addictive.

CBD based products come in many forms. Some can be mixed into different foods or drinks or they can be taken with a pipette or dropper and placed directly under the tongue. Other products are available in capsules or as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin.

Hemp can be grown organically on most of the world’s farmland and it requires little to no pesticides. It is a rapidly growing plant that matures in about 8 to 12 weeks, has the ability to choke out other weeds and has strong resistance to most pests. Hemp has a long tap root that makes it able to reach water, therefore hemp crops can be grown in areas that are prone to drought. A harvested crop of hemp can produce about 50,000 different products and applications across many different Industries. Industrial Hemp has many uses, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, health food, fiber, beauty products and many other products.

With allowing farmers to grow hemp, CBD product sales in the United States and are expected to exceed $20 billion by 2024. The 2020 growing season will be used as a chance to “test-drive” the USDA interim rules to guide any changes or adjustments that need to be made in the final rule.

Laura Peters

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