January 5, 2024

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Introduction to the hemp and marijuana industry

The hemp and marijuana industries have been gaining significant attention in recent years, not just in Tennessee but across the United States. As the legal landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial to understand the differences between hemp and marijuana to navigate the complex legalities surrounding these two plants.

What is hemp?

Hemp, scientifically known as Cannabis sativa, is a versatile plant that has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is primarily grown for its industrial uses, such as fiber for textiles and construction materials, as well as for its seeds and oils. Hemp is characterized by its low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana its intoxicating effects. In Tennessee, hemp is legally defined as cannabis with a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%.

Hemp cultivation has seen a resurgence in recent years due to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the list of controlled substances at the federal level. This legislation opened up new opportunities for farmers to grow hemp as a cash crop, leading to a rapid expansion of the hemp industry in Tennessee.

What is marijuana?

While hemp and marijuana come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa, they are distinct in terms of their THC content and usage. Marijuana refers to the cannabis plant that contains higher levels of THC, typically above 0.3%. This higher THC concentration gives marijuana its psychoactive effects, making it sought after for recreational and medicinal purposes.

In Tennessee, marijuana remains illegal for recreational use and is still classified as a Schedule VI controlled substance. The differentiation between hemp and marijuana lies primarily in their THC content and their intended use.

CBD products and the legal implications in Tennessee

CBD products have gained significant popularity in recent years, touted for their potential health benefits. In Tennessee, CBD derived from hemp is legal, as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. These CBD products can be found in various forms, including oils, tinctures, topicals, and edibles.

However, it is crucial to exercise caution when purchasing CBD products, as not all products on the market may meet the legal requirements. Consumers should look for reputable brands that provide third-party lab testing to ensure the CBD content and THC levels are accurately labeled.

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