Since the legalization of industrial hemp, farmers across the country have eagerly planted the crop.
Industrial hemp has many uses. The seeds can be pressed for oil or just eaten; the stalks can be made into textiles or rope; it even has some potential as a biofuel. Perhaps the most lucrative use is in producing cannabidiol, or CBD, a newly trendy extract from industrial hemp.
But a rash of hemp crop thefts across the country, believe police, have nothing to do with any of that. After all, it takes specialized equipment to turn industrial hemp into fabric or CBD oil. Industrial hemp is a valuable crop, but it’s a lousy target for theft. As a result, many police forces believe their local thieves have been stealing the hemp because they think it’ll get them high. It…won’t. At least, it shouldn’t.
Cannabis thefts have been reported in York, Pennsylvania; Clarksville, Tennessee; Georgia, Vermont; Edgecombe County, North Carolina; and many more.
The cannabis crop, like most other crops, comes in many different strains, or varietals. Many of those are bred to have high levels of THC, the psychoactive compound that gets you high. Industrial hemp is not one of these; legally, industrial hemp is only permitted to have 0.3 percent THC at most. Many industrial hemp crops have no THC, or barely detectable levels.
That’s such a low concentration of THC that it’s effectively useless for finding a high. Smoking legal, approved industrial hemp will absolutely not get you stoned; it will, probably, hurt your throat. And it could be much worse. Though industrial hemp is so new that legislation regarding pesticides has yet to be decided, illegal or semi-illegal pesticide use is common. And smoking or otherwise ingesting a crop that’s been doused with a pesticide could be very dangerous indeed.
Most of the police forces involved have issued announcements that industrial hemp grown in their districts will not get you high, so please stop stealing it (paraphrasing). We’d like to echo that. Also, it’s rude to steal crops.