Surely no member of the vegetable kingdom has ever been more misunderstood than hemp. Misidentified as an illegal drug by overzealous federal authorities, hemp was made illegal to grow under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. For decades hemp has mistakenly been feared by government officials because of its relation to marijuana. Hemp, like marijuana, is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant.
Hemp Legalization In PA
Hemp is a versatile plant with a variety of different uses. Hemp is used worldwide to produce products ranging from clothing to biodegradable plastic, and even building materials.
For too many years emotion, not reason, has guided policy toward the plant. Luckily, lawmakers are beginning to realize the many undeniable benefits hemp has to offer. In fact, government officials in Pennsylvania passed Act 92, which allows for the legal cultivation of industrial hemp alongside states such as Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon to name a few.
Under the new bill, individuals with proper registration will be able to grow, cultivate, and market industrial hemp. The recently passed law established the Hemp Research Board, which will be developing regulations, establishing guidelines for labeling and testing, performing inspections, and maintaining a database of registered individuals. Those wishing to register to grow, cultivate, or market hemp can apply for registration through the Hemp Research Board.
This new legislation marks an exciting turn for the state’s economy. Hemp production is a multi-million dollar industry that Pennsylvania hasn’t been able to participate in until now. The legalization of hemp farming is not only good for the economy, but also good for the medical industry much in part to the plant’s high concentration of CBD.
The Benefits of Cannabinoid Therapy
Cannabis contains over 85 compounds that belong to a class of molecules labeled cannabinoids. Of these 85 plus compounds, THC and CBD are found in the highest concentrations. There are a number of different cannabinoids that have medical benefits but more research is necessary.
CBD has been linked to many of the medical benefits of cannabis. CBD does not impair memory or cause paranoia and counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC, leaving users more alert. CBD contains a wide range of medical properties including anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antioxidant.
The chemical compound reduces nausea and suppresses seizure activity. CBD also combats psychosis, inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, tumor and cancer cell formation, and anxiety and depression disorders. CBD has additionally been known to aid in digestion.
Certain illnesses decrease appetite to the point of preventing the body from healing itself. Both THC and CBD can be used to stimulate appetite.
Despite CBD having numerous medical benefits, it is best utilized with other cannabinoids to increase efficacy. This is known as the “entourage effect.” Utilizing a host of flavor compounds and cannabinoids together to produce a benefit is more effective than using CBD or THC by itself. The plant’s natural compounds work better together than by themselves.
As states begin to loosen their regulations on hemp production and use, many companies across the country are beginning to capitalize on the benefits of CBD extraction. QC Infusion is one such Cincinnati-based company utilizing CBD extraction.
QC Infusion (Cincinnati, OH) is a product manufacturer of therapeutic hemp with a focus on high sourcing standards and unmatched quality control. The company released their first product, a full spectrum high CBD tincture “Queen City Hemp “ in May of 2016.
Soon to release a vape and topical line, QC Infusion’s specialty in delivery systems allows users to enjoy the various benefits that CBD and other cannabinoids bring the body in various forms. Queen City Hemp has already made a huge impact on the lives of patients suffering from severe pain, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, dementia, tendonitis, insomnia, migraines, and multiple sclerosis.
Company founders Nic Balzer and Robert Ryan continue to push for better cannabis legislation and hemp reform. “We wish to continue our research with cannabinoid therapy and hope to draw the medical community out in support. We encourage medical professionals to approach us so we can assist in educating on cannabinoid therapy and the availability of products like ours,” said Ryan. With new legislation in place, Pennsylvania may begin to see companies like QC Infusion start up in state. “Ohio has not adopted a hemp pilot program and we want to source as local as possible” said Balzer. “Pennsylvania has a long history with hemp, we’re excited for what’s to come”.
What’s Next For Hemp In Pennsylvania?
The bill legalizing the industrial hemp industry was signed into act late July, but there are still many unknowns as the legislation unfolds. Still, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture feels they should be ready to start accepting applications for registration by the end of the year with seeds planted in the ground by next planting season!