When industrial hemp was legalized, many farmers quickly took to the crop because of its numerous uses, including CBD extraction, textile or rope making, biofuel making and animal feed, among others. However, a raft of hemp thefts have been reported in different parts of the country and law enforcement officers believe those who steal the crop want to smoke it in order to get high.
The police forces in the affected areas believe that those who are stealing hemp plants are unlikely to be individuals who want to process hemp into its different end-products since such an undertaking requires sophisticated equipment that is unlikely to be accessible to these petty thieves.
Those stealing the crop in the hope of getting high are in for a disappointment since hemp is so low in THC (the compound which makes users high) that the people who smoke the plant may simply irritate their throats without experiencing any psychoactive effects.
Smoking hemp also comes with another risk that those stealing the plants may not be thinking about. Hemp regulations are not yet in place, at least federally, so it is possible that some farmers are using pesticides as they grow the crop.
When one smokes hemp that was recently doused in these pesticides, he or she exposes themselves to potentially serious health risks from the ingestion of those chemicals.
But, it is totally unlikely that hemp can get someone high?
On paper, hemp is legally defined as a strain of cannabis whose THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent. Such a low concentration will not cause any psychoactive effects in a user.
However, a number of things can go wrong resulting in what was thought to be hemp triggering a high. For example, experienced hemp growers have heard of “hot hemp.” That term describes hemp that has been found to have more THC than is acceptable in this crop. The conditions under which the plants are grown can cause the crop to have higher THC than is typical in this cannabis variety.
The specific information on how growing conditions can cause hemp to have higher THC levels is only available to commercial farmers to prevent that information from being misused by people with other intentions.
For now, different police departments in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Vermont, North Carolina and other places where hemp thefts have been reported have posted notices and have run announcements on different media channels telling people that the hemp grown in their jurisdictions will not make one high, so they should not attempt to smoke it.
It would be interesting to know how hemp industry players like Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) and SinglePoint Inc. (OTCQB: SING) would advise farmers to deal with this emerging threat to their crop.
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