Jamie Dixon writes for the entertainment site The Pyrrhic, with a focus on music. She enjoys all things pop culture.
Hemp - You Can Smoke It?
Recently, I was hired as a freelance writer to develop blog content. This is nothing unusual - I've written plenty of blogs, and companies hiring freelance writers to produce them is the industry norm.
What was unusual (for me, anyway) was the topic. The website sells smokable hemp. "What?" you might think. "I thought you couldn't even smoke hemp, because it doesn't grow like marijuana or something like that. I don't know, someone said it in 7th grade." Or, you know, something like that. That's what I said, anyway - don't judge me.
My friends, it turns out that since 2018, it is a WHOLE NEW cannabis world out there. No, smoking hemp is not like smoking a rope. Yes, hemp is cannabis, just like marijuana - but hemp is currently legal in all 50 states.
Stick with me, and I'll catch you up on everything us straight-laced goody goodies have been missing, and what I've learned in the process.
Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
First, I'm gonna give you a short version of what, exactly hemp is. I've been researching it for about a month now, and here are the bullet points. I knew nothing going into this, even about the more popular marijuana plant, so bear with me if I get too basic and you're rolling your eyes thinking, "duh".
Hemp and marijuana are, essentially, the exact same plant. Both are cannabis. If cannabis grows with high levels of THC, it's marijuana. If THC is less than .3%, it can be classified as hemp according to the 2018 farm bill. According to that same bill: if it's hemp, it's legal in the US.
THC is what gives marijuana its psychoactive properties, or makes you high. With low levels of THC, you can't get high. That's why there aren't the same restrictions on hemp these days.
If you've ever been interested in marijuana for medicinal reasons but didn't want to deal with the obvious problems of handling illegal drugs, hemp is the obvious solution.
Cannabis plants contain more than 100 different compounds, and there's much more to them than THC. Many of the supposed effects or benefits of smoking cannabis are from these "good" compounds, so you can smoke hemp to obtain them. If you want something for, say, pain relief or insomnia, you don't need to ride out the high that comes with marijuana.
Beyond this, I'm not going to get more into hemp. I could write pages about why hemp has low THC, or how the breeding is different, or the different compounds at play here. If there's any interest, I might add follow-up posts, so feel free to comment. But, for the purpose of my story, this is where the botany lesson ends.
How I Got Here...
In the past, I had heard a little about the benefits of marijuana. I mean, who hasn't, right? The idea of legalizing it comes up every now and then, with lots of support based on all the good things you might be able to get from smoking.
I was also, vaguely, aware of CDB edibles. I didn't really understand the full story behind the farm bill, and why they started popping up. I did know that they, supposedly, weren't the same as marijuana, wouldn't make you high, but also generally didn't do ANYTHING. I didn't fully understand why they weren't beneficial, I was just told they weren't - much like taking many vitamins that "seem" healthy but don't do anything in your body. So I never tried them.
Occasionally, I'd hear something about a benefit of marijuana that appealed to me. For example, when I started getting migraines, I was looking up ways to deal with them. Somewhere on that list was smoking weed.
It was interesting, but I wasn't convinced. I mean, the idea of proving I had a condition that warranted a medical card just...sounded like a lot, and it might not even help. I don't know anyone who smokes weed, really - I mean, if we rule out people I "sort of knew of" who smoked it in college or something. No one in my actual life now smokes and could tell me anything real about how useful it is.
I definitely didn't want to get caught with illegal weed - I'm far too "straight edge" for that. I'm your standard pearl-clutching, middle-aged soccer mom in a minivan. I've never even had a traffic violation.
Then I got hired for this job, and I have to admit, I was intrigued. Perfectly legal, above the board hemp, that you can smoke just like marijuana, is organic and "safe," and will have whatever supposed benefits weed does without being...well, weed?
It took me a few weeks of thinking it over, but hey, sign me up!
Step One: Get Some Hemp Buds
I ordered my stuff from a company called Dreamland Organics. It was the company I was writing for, which might seem obvious. But I do have to say - when I started writing, I didn't expect to try it myself. After a month of writing about how the company grows their hemp organically and slow cures it for the best quality "product," I was intrigued.
It sounded relatively safe, and the more I was looking up other companies, the more I realized most of them don't follow the same safety protocols in the interest of capital gain. The owner of this company is, on the other hand, an avid "fine hemp connoisseur" the way others rave about wines. He wants to create something as close to natural as possible, with a smooth smoke "true fans" will rave about. My words, not his - but again, I've talked to this guy for a month at this point.
His enthusiasm for this stuff is contagious, I think, and my FOMO is kicking in. Hemp never sounded appealing until this guy started explaining it. There are flavors and profiles and all sorts of things I never dreamed of!
I decided to go with a variety - one Sativa, one Indica, one hybrid. Then I threw in a high CBG strain, which is supposed to be great for anxiety. To finish it off, I decided to try one of their limited release options (again, FOMO). I'm going to start by trying to smoke it, though I'm not quite sure how at this point.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Jamie Dixon