So what is the difference between what is known as “marijuana” and “hemp”? The terms can be confusing, so it is important to define them. Technically, the species of plant is “cannabis”.
Cannabis originally hails from East Asia and has been cultivated by humans for millennia. Typically, marijuana refers to the female flower bud which contains THC, which is classified as an illegal drug in the U.S. Hemp typically refers to the fiber of the plant which can be used to make everything from clothing to paper. Hemp can also be grown for its flower buds containing CBD, which is a legal compound used for medicinal purposes. While CBD and THC are both mood-altering “psychoactive” compounds, CBD does not create the “high” that THC creates. Think of the different types of cannabis as sisters with different purposes. I will be using the terms “hemp” and “cannabis” interchangeably. The hemp on the Burnsville Hemp Company farm is solely grown for CBD. It was actually only made legal to grow hemp in this way in the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed “industrial hemp” to be grown and defined it as containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. You can learn more about hemp’s history and uses in the video below.
In late September, a few CCJ staff members took a field trip to Burnsville Hemp Company in West Finley in Washington County, with Greene County and the Bailey Mine CRDA just a stone’s throw away (see the photo above). As we drove through the winding roads to the farm, I was amazed how much of this region I have still not discovered despite having lived here my entire life. We pulled up to an unassuming farmhouse and were greeted by two friendly dogs and Nicholas and Amber Martin. Nicholas had grown up in the area and had always dreamed of farming and contributing to his community. After seeing how CBD helped his own quality of life, he started the CBD hemp farm in 2020 in order to bring it to others in this community at high quality and a low price.
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