Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hemp Farmacy offers a closer look on North Carolina’s newest cash crop

There are over 30,000 products manufactured from the hemp plant(Port City Daily Photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
There are over 30,000 products manufactured from the hemp plant (Port City Daily Photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)

WILMINGTON — School might be out for the summer but class is still in session at the Hemp Farmacy, but don’t worry, this isn’t summer school.

The store in downtown Wilmington offers free educational classes to the public every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. for those interested in learning about hemp and its many uses.

The Hemp Farmacy is one of the first dispensaries in North Carolina selling hemp and cannabidiol (CDB) products and it recently opened a second location in Wilmington.

CBD is one of 113 compounds found in the cannabis plant, but unlike the better-known compound found in cannabis, THC, CBD has no psychological effects. Although there are trace amounts of THC found in CBD products, psychological activity does not begin until at least 5 percent THC levels; the maximum amount of THC found in any of the products at the Hemp Farmacy is .03 percent.

One of the main goals for the Hemp Farmacy is to provide education to the public about the benefits of hemp and CBD – while attempting to remove some of the stigma attached to the products.

Jordyn Appel, a hemp tender for the Hemp Farmacy taught one such class Thursday night. It was aimed at helping attendees get an understanding of the long-standing history of hemp in the United States, how it became an outlawed plant, and how the hemp scene in North Carolina was finally legalized and a currently growing business in the state.

The hour long class offers attendees a look at the history of Hemp in America. (Port City Daily/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The hour long class offers attendees a look at the history of Hemp in America. (Port City Daily/MICHAEL PRAATS)

The history of hemp in America

In the 1600s through the early 1900s, hemp was grown in abundance throughout the country where it was mainly used for its fibers, Appel said. In fact, there is over 60 tons of Hemp on the U.S.S. Constitution – from the ropes to the sails, she said.

Drafts of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence were printed on hemp, Appel said, noting that a hemp farm was depicted on the backside of on the 1914 $10 bill.

The founding fathers including George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson all grew hemp, Appel said, but it has since been labeled a schedule one drug, making the growth and use of hemp illegal – until now.

In 1937 hemp was outlawed in the United States but returned in 1942 to help out the war effort. By 1970, the controlled substance act made the possession and cultivation of hemp illegal.

There has been a recent change of pace in the United States with regards to hemp cultivation and manufacturing. In 2014, congress passed the Agricultural Act of 2014, which allowed states more freedom to grow crops with less federal interference, Appel said.

The State of North Carolina then legalized the manufacturing of hemp under a pilot program which began in 2016.

“This is the first year in almost 80 years that hemp is being grown in our state legally,” she said.

What can hemp be used for?

There are over 30,000 products that can be made from the hemp plant, from industrial fibers to hemp milk, Appel said.

CBD oil products sold at the Hemp Farmacy are marketed as alternatives to medicine and can be used for a number of different ailments including anxiety, anorexia, and even cancer.

Hemp seed is also used as a health food because it is rich in fiber, protein and other nutrients; in fact, three tablespoons of hemp contain 11 grams of protein, Appel said.

As hemp production continues to increase in the state as well as the entire country and the decriminalization of a plant that has been used for centuries in America, Appel expects more farmers to turn to the crop, especially since the hemp plant helps return nutrients like nitrogen to the soil, she said.

For those interested in CBD or hemp in general, the class is free to attend but registration, which is found on the Hemp Farmacy’s website, is required.

Learn more …

This Wilmington virtual reality company wants to change the way you see cannabis culture

Seeing green: what Wilmington can learn from Denver about growing the cannabis industry

———————————————————————————————–Michael Praats can be contacted by email at michael.p@localvoicemedia.com or on twitter @Michael_Praats

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