Luke Zigovits, chief executive of Wisconsin-based Hemp Science, said, “We can finally relax. Because now we can source seed, now we can sell our product across state lines. Prohibition is over. It broadens horizons, allowing universities to do research, for example.” Beyond moving the industry into legitimacy, Zigovits said there are opportunities for tobacco farmers in Wisconsin and elsewhere to start growing industrial hemp crops as well.
The leaves have a peculiar and diagnostic venation pattern that enables persons poorly familiar with the plant to distinguish a cannabis leaf from unrelated species that have confusingly similar leaves (see illustration). As is common in serrated leaves, each serration has a central vein extending to its tip. However, the serration vein originates from lower down the central vein of the leaflet, typically opposite to the position of, not the first notch down, but the next notch. This means that on its way from the midrib of the leaflet to the point of the serration, the vein serving the tip of the serration passes close by the intervening notch. Sometimes the vein will actually pass tangent to the notch, but often it will pass by at a small distance, and when that happens a spur vein (occasionally a pair of such spur veins) branches off and joins the leaf margin at the deepest point of the notch. This venation pattern varies slightly among varieties, but in general it enables one to tell Cannabis leaves from superficially similar leaves without difficulty and without special equipment. Tiny samples of Cannabis plants also can be identified with precision by microscopic examination of leaf cells and similar features, but that requires special expertise and equipment.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Henceforth, Epidiolex would be considered a Schedule V drug, the least dangerous designation under the Controlled Substances Act.
Cannabis has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed. The immediate desired effects from consuming cannabis include relaxation and euphoria (the "high" or "stoned" feeling), a general alteration of conscious perception, increased awareness of sensation, increased libido and distortions in the perception of time and space. At higher doses, effects can include altered body image, auditory and/or visual illusions, pseudohallucinations and ataxia from selective impairment of polysynaptic reflexes. In some cases, cannabis can lead to dissociative states such as depersonalization and derealization.
^ Jump up to: a b Weinstein A, Livny A, Weizman A (2016). "Brain Imaging Studies on the Cognitive, Pharmacological and Neurobiological Effects of Cannabis in Humans: Evidence from Studies of Adult Users". Current Pharmaceutical Design. 22 (42): 6366–6379. doi:10.2174/1381612822666160822151323. PMID 27549374. 1)The studies reviewed so far demonstrated that chronic cannabis use has been associated with a volume reduction of the hippocampus...3)The overall conclusion arising from these studies is that recent cannabis users may experience subtle neurophysiological deficits while performing on working memory tasks, and that they compensate for these deficits by "working harder" by using additional brain regions to meet the demands of the task.
The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the US raised concerns over tests conducted from 1995 to 1997 that showed that consumption of hempseed products available during that period led to interference with drug-testing programs for marijuana use. Federal US programs utilize a THC metabolite level of 50 parts per billion in urine. Leson (2000) found that this level was not exceeded by consuming hemp products, provided that THC levels are maintained below 5 ppm in hemp oil, and below 2 ppm in hulled seeds. Nevertheless the presence of even minute trace amounts of THC in foods remains a tool that can be used by those wishing to prevent the hemp oilseed industry from developing.
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Hemp has at times in the past been grown simply for its ornamental value. The short, strongly-branched cultivar ‘Panorama’ (Fig. 43) bred by Iván Bósca, the dean of the world’s living hemp breeders, was commercialized in Hungary in the 1980s, and has been said to be the only ornamental hemp cultivar available. It has had limited success, of course, because there are very few circumstances that permit private gardeners can grow Cannabis as an ornamental today. By contrast, beautiful ornamental cultivars of opium poppy are widely cultivated in home gardens across North America, despite their absolute illegality and the potentially draconian penalties that could be imposed. Doubtless in the unlikely event that it became possible, many would grow hemp as an ornamental.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 24 smokers were randomly chosen to receive either an inhaler of CBD oil or a placebo. Participants were asked to take a puff every time they had an urge to puff a cigarette. Over the week, those with placebo inhalers saw no change in their total number of cigarettes consumed, while those who were taking CBD saw a nearly 40 percent drop in their intake. Using the inhaler decreased the number of cigarettes without increasing their craving for nicotine, pointing towards a purpose for Cannabidiol in the withdrawal process.
Given the uncertainties and handicaps associated with hemp, it is fortunate that there are compensating factors. As noted, as a crop hemp offers some real environmental advantages, particularly with regard to the limited needs for herbicides and pesticides. Hemp is therefore pre-adapted to organic agriculture, and accordingly to the growing market for products associated with environmentally-friendly, sustainable production. Hemp products are an advertiser’s dream, lending themselves to hyperbole (“healthiest salad oil in the world,” “toughest jeans on the market”). While the narcotics image of C. sativa is often disadvantageous, advertisers who choose to play up this association do so knowing that it will attract a segment of the consuming population. In general, the novelty of hemp means that many consumers are willing to pay a premium price. It might also be said that those who have entered the hemp industry have tended to be very highly motivated, resourceful, and industrious, qualities that have been needed in the face of rather formidable obstacles to progress.
"Skunk" refers to several named strains of potent cannabis, grown through selective breeding and sometimes hydroponics. It is a cross-breed of Cannabis sativa and C. indica (although other strains of this mix exist in abundance). Skunk cannabis potency ranges usually from 6% to 15% and rarely as high as 20%. The average THC level in coffee shops in the Netherlands is about 18–19%.
What is clear, though, is the DEA’s classification of all cannabis extracts as Schedule 1 controlled substances. Even as more states “legalize it,” all forms of cannabis are still illegal under federal law. And that’s a problem for HempWorx distributors who have to move product. As the DEA spokeswoman told the Port City Daily news site in North Carolina, where marijuana is illegal but decriminalized: “The plant, for human consumption, is illegal, bottom line. If you ship it — then that’s interstate commerce, that’s trafficking, and so that’s a problem.”