Smoking hemp is just like smoking weed, but without the high. Likewise, smoking hemp cigarettes is just like smoking a cigarette without nicotine. The substance is different but the process is the same. There are key differences despite the similarities of how hemp is smoked. But why are people smoking hemp in the first place?
There are many good reasons to smoke hemp instead of marijuana or tobacco:
- Hemp does not have apparent addictive qualities
- Smoking hemp will not get you high like marijuana
- Hemp can deliver natural plant compounds with potential benefits
- The taste of hemp is appealing to some people
Hemp from the Harm Reduction Perspective
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From the harm-reduction standpoint, smoking hemp could be perceived as a better option. The term “healthy” cannot truly be applied to any sort of smoking. Smoking any substance creates combustion. As a result, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released from the material and inhaled into the body.
This can cause inflammation and even damage to airways and mucous membranes of the mouth and lungs. The simple fact is the body was not designed to breathe in excess CO2. Even breathing in CO2 from air pollution can have dangerous health impacts.
From the harm-reduction standpoint, smoking hemp may support cigarette cessation, curb heavy marijuana use, and deliver beneficial plant compounds like CBD.
These hopes are observational though. While there is some data to support the rationale, there is no evidence on whether the harms outweigh the benefits. These may be good ideas, but no form of smoking is ever medically advisable.
Hemp Won’t Get You High
Hemp and marijuana are cousins in a sense. They both belong to the Cannabis family of plants and can be inter-bred. However, the government has set standards when it comes to the classification of hemp:
“Hemp. The plant species Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”Interim final rule with request for comments. (2019 Oct 31). Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. Federal Registrar.
Likewise, they also set a different definition for marijuana (marihuana):
“Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill, Cannabis sativa L. with delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels greater than 0.3% fell within the definition of “marihuana” under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., and was therefore a Schedule I controlled substance unless it fell under a narrow range of exceptions (e.g., the “mature stalks” of the plant).”Interim final rule with request for comments. (2019 Oct 31). Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. Federal Registrar.
Hemp does not contain enough THC to get a person high. Hemp flower does have flavors, aromas, and appearances that are just like marijuana.
Legal Confusion With Smoking Hemp
Since hemp looks, tastes, and smells like marijuana confusion is bound to occur. Hemp can be easily mistaken for marijuana. There is no way to prove that it isn’t without sending it away for laboratory testing. This could be a major problem if you are pulled over while smoking hemp.
CBD Extracts and Concentrates vs Hemp
A CBD extract, or CBD concentrate, is extracted from hemp flower and leaves. CBD concentrates like THC Free Distillate can be smoked with a dab bong or wax pen. CBD extracts can also be prepared as a CBD vape juice.
Vaping is thought to be less adverse for your health than smoking. This is because vapes operate at a temperature that is lower than the combustion temperature. Vapes can still cause inflammation and irritation to the throat, lungs, and mouth. However, some regard it as reduced harm.
Final Thoughts on Smoking Hemp
Hemp can be used for numerous industrial and horticultural purposes. These include fabric, paper, construction materials, food products, cosmetics, production of cannabinoids, and other products. It is an amazingly versatile plant that can improve life for many. Smoking hemp is not without dangers. However, it may be a less harmful alternative to existing bad habits.