The domestic and industrial use of the hemp plant dates back as far as 8000 BCE when hemp cord was used to create pottery. Even today more than 30 countries throughout the world cultivate the plant in order to process its beneficial fiber and seeds.
But can the same stuff that’s used to make everything from backpacks to bong-cozies get you high in the same manner as its psychoactive, THC-rich cousin?
Even though the plant genus Cannabis is generally considered as a single species (CannabisSativa L.), hemp that has been bred for industrial and commercial dedications doesn’t possess the high levels of the major psychoactive constituent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol that recreational pot puffers are pursuing.
In fact, major Western hemp producing countries such as the European Union and Canada have limited the public’s possibility of exposure to THC by mandating that their country’s farmers only use certified low-THC varieties of the plant which once fully matured would only end up possessing 0.2 to 0.3% THC.
For practical purposes, when scientifically studied the large number of Cannabis varieties is often assigned to one of three chemotypes. The most popular among puffers being the drug type which possesses THC levels ranging from 1 to 30% and even higher in certain varieties.
The second plant variety is the intermediate type which is most commonly cultivated for its seeds, fiber and potential low-grade drug usage which retains THC levels of 0.3 to 1%, but frankly there is little potential of experiencing that psychotropic effect frequent cannabis consumers are seeking.
The third species is the industrial hemp category which has been bred specifically for industrial and commercial dedications and is the most sought after among farmers due to the fact that it produces an optimal amount of seeds and fiber.
But don’t turn to this variety if you’re looking to impress your buddies at the next Phish concert, because one puff of this low-THC stuff and they’ll be crowd surfing your ditch-weed rolling ass all the way to the parking lot.
Industrial hemp carries the absolute lowest THC content of all the common chemotypes at an underwhelming 0.2 to 0.3% overall.
Most scientific studies that were conducted agree that to experience some type of “high” or even minuscule psychotropic effects, an individual weighing an average of 155 pounds must take anywhere from 20 to 100 tokes of the nastiest, chokiest smoke they have ever smoked.
You would have to be on the “jones” pretty hard to volunteer for those particular non-kind bud studies. Maybe volunteers were offered a free bottle of aspirin for the monster headache and the option for a future lung transplant if deemed necessary.
Those same aforementioned studies have concluded that the effects of smoking cannabis with a THC content ranging from 0.5 to 0.9% become indistinguishable from those of smoking a placebo.
One of the major contributing factors as to why we can’t get high from huffing on hemp is the extraordinarily elevated levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) that exist in industrially bred varieties of the plant.
In fact, the antagonistic action of Cannabidiol actually further reduces the levels of total THC which means you stand an even lesser chance of making friends at a 420 rally with that sack of stank.
Maybe orally ingesting industrial hemp can get our psychotropic boats floating? What do you say we bake-up a batch of hemp brownies, head out to the next hemp festival and share our treats with some likeminded reefer revelers?
Don’t rush off to the supermarket for the necessary confectionary components just yet my fellow mellows. When attempting to achieve a mild psychotropic effect with drug type cannabis it is necessary to ingest 10 to 20 milligrams of THC.
But when compared to industrial hemp one must intake an equivalent of 3.5 to 7 grams of the dried flowers to even start to feel its effects, and again the extremely high levels of CBD found in this variety will diminish the desired psychoactive experience, if an effect is experienced at all.
Something tells me attempting to share a batch of hemp brownies would lead to the first hippie-mob in the history hippie-dom.
Studies have shown that cultivating industrial hemp in lower latitudes and stressful conditions can actually increase the levels of THC in the plant, but I can’t see a true chronic connoisseur attempting to cultivate an industrial variety of hemp anytime soon.
For the most part, anecdotal reports from individuals who have tried to smoke industrial hemp for recreational purposes support the fact that these specific varieties are unsuitable for that determination which essentially gives the substance an “anti-marijuana” persona.
Overall, there appears to be no realistic scenario under which industrial hemp could be used even as a weak recreational form of cannabis. So hopefully that answers one of the most troubling types of questions I’ve seen across the world-wide web, “Can I smoke my hemp T-shirt to get high if I’m out of bud?”
Um, I thinking the answer would have to be a resounding “no”, and the same goes for backpacks, hacky-sacks, winter caps, hippie-smocks and hempen socks. If you’re looking to get high there is only one way to fly and it’s not on hemp. So in order to expand your mind, stick with da’ kind!