Everyone’s got a vice, although some are more obvious (and unhealthy) than others. One of the most popular has always been tobacco.
There are countless reasons why tobacco has been a staple in cultures spanning the globe for thousands of years. It’s not intoxicating, but it can provide a very mild tingle of pleasure to take away the strain of a long, rough day at work. It can compliment a meal or a beverage. For some people, tobacco even makes going for a drive more enjoyable.
While tobacco is probably still the most popular substance to smoke worldwide, another dried herb has become increasingly common to roll up an smoke: hemp.
What Exactly Is It?
A lot of people don’t understand the differences and similarities between hemp and its infamous cousin, marijuana. These aspects are both scientific and legal.
Both hemp and marijuana are names for the same dried herbal matter from cannabis indica/cannabis sativa. The main difference is the concentration of the intoxicating depressant THC.
In the 70’s, then-President Nixon presided over the induction of the Controlled Substance Act. This law more clearly identified and categorized illicit substances. Marijuana became classified as dried cannabis with a concentration of THC in excess of 0.3%.
This figure was quite arbitrary, as marijuana is not understood to induce the high for which it is so popular upon consumption of a reasonable amount of the substance until the herb’s THC concentration reaches at least 10% to 20%.
It has been postulated for decades that the main reason for this approach to the illegalization of marijuana was, in part, to hamstring the ability for hemp to cause upheaval in a number of longstanding industries. Hemp is understood to be able to function as a textile, as fuel, as an anti-microbial product, and much more.
With its reputation for being easy to farm to fruition due to its limited requirements for successful growth and its limited impact on farmland, this jack-of-all-trades crop would have thrown multiple industries into disarray if allowed to burgeon. Nowadays, things have changed, and hemp is functionally legal on a federal level.
But Why Smoke It?
As we’ve discussed, smoking hemp will not get you high. But that’s not what every smoker is looking for. If you’re looking for a quick fix to relax you, unload your stress for the day, and fill your lungs with a much more pleasing and less harsh smoke, hemp cigarettes might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Some of the chemicals responsible for important aspects of the experience of smoking marijuana other than THC are still there to be found. Take CBD, for instance. This compound is linked to suppression of anxiety and improvement of mood, even though it doesn’t intoxicate you.
Users describe themselves as successfully relieving their stress without becoming addicted to the substance.
How Is The Government Responding To This?
States have become increasingly empowered to industrialize hemp as multiple federal government entities have backed off of controlling the hemp plant. Even in conservative states where anti-drug fervor has always been strong, hemp has gained a considerable foothold.
States like Georgia openly sell products such as hemp cigarettes – they come in packs just like traditional tobacco cigarettes. The price point for such products can still vary wildly, but this will become less of a problem in the next few years as the concept of consuming hemp becomes more commonplace.
The fact of the matter is that, while it is never completely safe to burn a substance and consume the smoke which ensues, the consumption of hemp will likely never be associated with cancer, heart disease, and other catastrophically damaging ailments to the extent that tobacco has.
Hemp cigarettes are proving themselves to be a healthier, more economically viable alternative for smokers.
Make sure to consult your state and local laws before obtaining hemp cigarettes, even from licensed vendors; conflicts between state and federal law might still result in consequences for some citizens. That being said, if you are already smoking tobacco and feel as if a change needs to be made, your solution might be waiting for you to spark it up.