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CBD & Hemp- Are They Legal? Clearing Up the Confusion

CBD and hemp are popping up in nearly everything these days, from coffee to bath bombs. Lots of people are already using and loving it, but some people still have questions. If you don’t understand exactly what hemp is or where CBD comes from, you aren’t alone. We want to clear up the confusion, so today’s blog post is addressing the two questions we hear most often:

Is it legal to use hemp and CBD?

What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

There is admittedly quite a bit of stigma and confusion surrounding hemp, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At Cherry Ridge Organic Hemp, we want to provide the information you need to feel comfortable giving hemp a try; so, let’s get you some answers!

Question number 1: Are hemp and CBD legal?

The short answer is- yes! The hemp industry began its modern progression in the U.S. after the passing of the 2014 Farm Bill, which allowed the growing of hemp under a pilot program regulated by each state. This bill was also important because it provided a definition of industrial hemp, marking the THC threshold at 0.3 percent (based on dry weight) and establishing that as long as this criterion is met, hemp is not a controlled substance. In other words, hemp is cannabis that contains only a miniscule amount of THC, the element in marijuana that produces psychedelic or euphoric effects.

The cultivation, transportation and sale of hemp became officially legal on a federal level when the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was signed into law by President Trump.

Since hemp CBD (short for cannabidiol) is isolated and derived directly from the hemp plant, it is also officially legal. It is worth noting, however, that some CBD is derived from marijuana, so be sure you purchase CBD from a reputable seller and know what you are buying!

Question number 2: What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

Well, to get technical, hemp and marijuana are actually the same species of plant- cannabis. Technically, hemp and marijuana aren’t even scientific terms; they are just names chosen by our culture to represent broad classifications of cannabis. We established earlier that hemp is cannabis containing less that 0.3 percent THC; so that means marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3 percent. Marijuana can actually contain up to 30% THC!

Since hemp and marijuana are varieties of the same plant, they can appear, smell and taste similar, even nearly identical at times. However, the effects of the two are very different, and it’s the chemical makeup of the plants that provides the defining characteristic which sets them distinctly apart. Because marijuana contains high levels of THC and can produce mind-altering effects, it is treated as a controlled substance and is illegal on a federal level per the Controlled Substance Act. Hemp, on the other hand, contains a nearly non-existent amount of THC. Instead, hemp is known for its high concentration of cannabidiol, or CBD, which is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound. CBD is the component of cannabis that provides health benefits which can reduce anxiety and depression, treat insomnia, relieve chronic pain, alleviate epilepsy symptoms and is attributed to advances in the treatment of many more conditions.

Impressive as it is, better health isn’t the extent of hemp’s value. The plant can be used to produce rope, clothing, paper, housing material, and you can eat it too! To throw in a short history lesson, evidence of the use of hemp has been recorded throughout time, and materials made from the plant have been discovered dating back more than 10,000 years. It may have even been one of the very first crops to be cultivated by man.

Hemp is truly an amazing plant and the many uses and history behind it is quite interesting; but we’ll save that for another blog, another time. For now, we hope you feel more comfortable with hemp; and if you haven’t already given it a try there is no better time than the present! Visit our online store at and be on the lookout for exciting new products in the near future!

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