Here’s Why Edible Hemp Will Never Get You High
Hemp seeds have long been a staple in health-food stores, being prized for decades for their nutritional benefits ― they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a complete protein source, and a rich source of essential minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
In the past few years, hemp seeds have gained popularity and have started moving into mainstream markets. These days, you can even find them at Trader Joe’s. People sprinkle them on their salads, blend them into their smoothies, bake them into granolas and even turn them into hemp milk.
But there’s something many people just can’t get over: hemp’s link to marijuana.
As we sprinkle the seeds on top of our salads, we can’t help but wonder: what’s the deal with hemp seeds and THC?
What are hemp seeds, actually?
Hemp seeds are cultivated from the hemp plant, which is grown predominantly for its seeds and fibers.
Here’s where the confusion comes from: The hemp plant looks a bit like the marijuana plant and it actually come from the same plant species, Cannabis Sativa L, but there are major differences between the two.
For one, the marijuana plant is stalkier, while the hemp plant is taller and thinner. But more importantly, the hemp plant contains low levels (less than 0.3 percent) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana can contain anywhere from 5 to 30 percent.
The seeds of the hemp plant are housed in small, brown hulls that are removed before we get our hands on them. The white seeds we buy at the store are the inner seeds, sometimes called the heart, and they’re soft enough to eat and cook.
Will hemp seeds get you high?
The short answer is no. As mentioned above, hemp seeds are not cultivated from the marijuana plant, but from the hemp plant, which contains minute amounts of THC. According to Jolene Formene, staff attorney at Drug Policy Alliance, “Hemp seeds are non-psychoactive, meaning that consumers cannot get high by eating them.” In other words, it’s impossible to get high from them.
They also won’t cause you to fail a drug test. We know that other foods like poppy seeds, which contain trace amounts of opiates, can make you fail a drug test. Certain places actually ask that you don’t eat poppy seed bagels or muffins before testing. But hemp seeds won’t cause the same confusion. A study found that eating hemp seeds had little effect on a person’s THC levels ― and never enough to exceed the levels looked for in federal drug testing programs.
So, now that you know you can pass a drug test and eat hemp seeds, here are a few recipes you should try.
There’s one key reason.
Can you get high off hemp? We’ll help clear the fog about marijuana’s ‘kissing cousin’
A look into the various uses for hemp.
The Ananda Hemp product known as Full Spectrum Extract is powerful enough to require only a few drops to be effective. 10/9/17 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to CJ) Buy Photo
It’s possibly the No. 1 question about hemp: Can you get high?
So we’ll weed out the myths. And, uh, clear the fog.
Even if you smoke it, gulp its peppermint oil and munch on nutty hemp heart seeds and chocolate hemp bark until your belly aches, you’re not gonna binge your way to a buzz. Ever.
You can throw a party with hemp-laced brownies, but the most your guests can hope for is an extra dose of protein and omega 3’s. Or maybe a more restful sleep.
Hemp and marijuana are often confused.
That’s because they’re “kissing cousins,” said Brent Burchett, head of value-added plant production for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Both come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa. They have the same pointy leaves and pungent smell.
The key difference can’t be seen.
Industrial hemp grown in the United States since 2014 must limit the level of mood-altering Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol — a psychoactive compound better known as THC — to 0.3.
That amount is minuscule. Even ridiculous, according to some hemp advocates who are pushing to increase the legal amount.
Pot is much stronger.
How much? Marijuana on the streets today has an average of 42 times more THC, according to drugs seized by federal agents last year and analyzed for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Today’s pot is much more potent than what was available decades ago. The average pot seized by law enforcement in 1995 had about 4 percent THC. Even that was 13 times the current legal amount in hemp.
What hemp does offer is powerful cannabidiol oil, better known as CBD, extracted from the flower of the plant. For years, pain sufferers have touted its power to ease headaches, arthritis and other pain and inflammation. New research shows it has even lessened violent and potentially deadly seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy.
But taking CBD can cause you to fail a drug screening if it simply tests “positive or negative” for the chemical and doesn’t measure the amount. So you might want to take a doctor’s note to your employer.
Many hemp products in stores today are derived from hemp seeds, which don’t contain THC. The seeds have been called a “superfood” since they are rich in protein and omegas.
So go ahead and drizzle your salad with hemp-seed oil dressing, chomp on a hemp burger and guzzle a hemp beer. You can snack on hemp products until the hemp-fed cows come home — without getting high.
Hemp and marijuana are often confused because both come from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa, and have the same leaves and pungent smell.