A truck driver from Portland, Denis Palamarchuk, 36 years old, was accused of hauling almost 7,000 pounds of marijuana through southern Idaho. But the driver said he was only hauling legal hemp.
The Idaho State Police stopped him on January 24 and was found to be hauling several thousand pounds of hemp for Montana based Big Sky Scientific.
The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office said Palamarchuk is pleading guilty to a lesser offense of improperly permitted load, including a faulty bill of lading, which is a misdemeanor.
There must be inconsistencies with the news report. Hemp and Marijuana, though they have different qualities, they are often used interchangeably. But do you know what the difference between the two is? Would there be a change in the truck driver’s penalties if it’s proven hemp than marijuana?
What is hemp?
Hemp is a variety of the plant Cannabis sativa. Cannabis is believed to be one of the oldest domesticated crops first cultivated about 10 000 years ago in a place that is now Taiwan. Those who cultivated the plants have found out that there are differences between the Cannabis that they planted. One grew tall, strong, and durable, while the other has flowers with a medicinal effect when smoked. The former was then referred to as hemp.
These plants had various purposes. They serve as fiber (from the plant’s stems), protein (from seeds), and oils and smokable portions (from the leaves and flowers). Paper, clothing, furnishing fabric, rope, and building materials can be made of hemp fibers. The whole plant can be used to make feedstock and fuel.
Does Hemp Have THC?
Yes. It produces a broad range of cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana. But the amount of THC it produces is not enough to create intoxicating effects when consumed.
Although the plant doesn’t produce a significant amount of THC, it can produce the non-intoxicating and medicinally rich cannabidiol (CBD) in high concentrations. In fact, CBD from hemp is rapidly becoming a popular form of therapeutic cannabinoid on the market today.
The amount of THC produced per weight of a dry plant is the basis of many countries in differentiating hemp from marijuana. In the U.S. However, industrial hemp is defined as a Cannabis sativa L. plant containing not more than 0.3% THC. The European Union, on the other hand, has set the limit at 0.2%, while in Great Britain the limit is zero, and growers should have cultivation license to grow industrial hemp with no more than 0.2% THC.
Can You Smoke Hemp?
Hemp is not a hundred percent free of the intoxicating compounds, but that doesn’t mean it will get you high as the plant does not produce enough THC to have an intoxicating effect. CBD, though psychoactive, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid and won’t create any form of euphoria.
Hemp can be smoked if you want to, but you cannot expect it to give you that high feeling. Yet, if you’re going to tap into the therapeutic potential of the cannabinoids that hemp is rich in, most notably CBD, smoking is not the best way.
You’ll be better served by consuming a hemp-derived CBD product such as CBD oil or tincture.
What is Marijuana?
In 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill, which clarified the legal difference between hemp and marijuana to pave the way for farmers to continue growing hemp as it was a considerable source of textile production, paper, plastic substitutes, fiberboards, and more.
Marijuana with common names includes pot, weed, Granja, bud, and Mary Jane is a variety of Cannabis sativa that contains about 5-20 percent THC on average.
Marijuana is generally used for medicinal purposes while consumed in the form of tea, mixed into foods, cookies, and candies. Marijuana is a shorter and bushier Cannabis sativa, and it has flowers. The flowers have the most amount of THC and other healthful compounds. This means the more flower, the higher the health benefits. Marijuana plants are shorter and bushier than hemp plants.
Marijuana variety of the Cannabis sativa is where cannabis oil extracted. These oils usually have some percentage of THC, CBD, and other healthful plant compounds but vary in composition.
Marijuana is also like any other drug. Its effects on a person whether it can be addictive or not depends on several factors, including the person’s previous experience with the drug or other drugs, biology (e.g., genes), gender, how the drug is taken (abused or used in moderation), and how strong it is.