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What is hemp-derived THC?

And how is it legal in Wisconsin?


Hemp-derived THC refers to the Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol compound extracted from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). THC is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and it is known for its psychoactive properties. However, hemp is a classification of specific varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant that contains low levels of THC.

The legal distinction between hemp and marijuana primarily revolves around the levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Both hemp and marijuana come from the Cannabis sativa plant, but they are legally defined based on their THC content. Here are the key differences:

  1. THC Content:

  • Hemp: Hemp is legally defined as cannabis plants containing 0.3% THC or less on a dry weight basis. The low THC content in hemp means it does not contain high enough amounts to produce the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana in normal usage.

  • Marijuana: Marijuana typically contains higher levels of THC, often exceeding 0.3%. The elevated THC concentration is responsible for the psychoactive effects sought by recreational users.

  1. Legal Status:

  • Hemp: Hemp is generally legal at the federal level in many countries, including the United States, as long as it adheres to the defined THC limits. The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the U.S. legalized the cultivation and sale of hemp-derived products.

  • Marijuana: Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S., classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. However, several states and countries have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, creating a complex legal landscape.

Hemp-derived THC is obtained through various extraction methods, such as CO2 extraction or solvent extraction, which isolate cannabinoids from the hemp plant. The extracted THC can then be used in the production of various products, including CBD oils, tinctures, edibles, and more.

That's all great, but how is it legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, and all hemp-derived products. Because the THC is sourced from legal hemp and not the illegal marijuana varieties, the THC retains its legal status. Farmers and manufacturers have to process larger amounts of hemp to obtain the THC, but so long as the source hemp is below .3% THC by dry weight, it's all fair game.


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