Cannabis and Texas

5 Things Texans Should Know

Outside of the larger cities where possession of small amounts of cannabis has been decriminalized, Texas remains one of the most strict states for the enforcement of drug laws against marijuana. However, there are several new statewide laws recently passed under the Hemp Farm Act of 2018 that bring legal forms of cannabis, and all of the plant’s benefits to Texas citizens.

The new law allows for hemp production and the manufacture and sale of cannabidiol (CDB) and low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products. This new legislation opens up a world of possibilities for Texans to enjoy cannabis, but as consumers, we need to know what’s legal and what might get us in trouble with law enforcement.

1. All about hemp

Both hemp and marijuana are classified as cannabis. Hemp and marijuana plants are visually  similar, with hemp having a lower concentration of THC than the traditional marijuana plant. A tall, flowering plant, hemp contains over 100 cannabinoids, including low quantities of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high concentrations of cannabidiol (CDB). CBD and THC are famous for their calming properties and often come in dried flower or concentrated edibles you can find in gummies, cookies or vapes.

Hemp is legal for Texans to grow, but only by licensed growers. Those growers are regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services and Texas Department of Agriculture, and the products produced are tested to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

Hemp can be legally produced in the state of Texas if it contains less than 0.3% of active, Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This chemical produces a strong high when it’s consumed in any form and Texas regulates THC products to ensure levels comply with regulatory standards.

2. Delta-8 vs. Delta-9

There are dozens of classifications of cannabinoids when you shop for hemp products. Most refer to THC chemical molecules or other novel cannabinoids that are legal in Texas, under the Hemp Farm Act of 2018. The two most common are Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 molecules are less psychoactive and have more physical benefits requiring a higher concentration, while the Delta-9 lean higher in the psychoactive and lower on the body. The larger Delta-9 molecules (traditional cannabinoid found in marijuana) only require a small amount to help produce the same sensation and can be grown and manufactured more easily as a result. Delta-9 THC is restricted and regulated to 0.3% on a dry weight basis per product. This means that a 5 gram edible gummy can contain up to 15 milligrams of Delta-9 THC, a considerable dosage for most adults.

3. Why hemp is awesome

Hemp is an amazing crop with a long history in the United States. Hemp takes up less space than crops like cotton and corn, it matures quickly, and uses little nutrients from the ground. Every fiber of the plant can be used to make a variety of products, including;

  • Flowers – Hemp flowers have high amounts of CBD and low levels of THC and can be pressed for oil to produce all kinds of tinctures, medications, and skin care products.
  • Seeds – Full of zinc, magnesium, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, these seeds are awesome for snacks, mixed into breads or bars, and blended up into a creamy hemp milk.
  • Hemp seed oil – Perfect for treating skin conditions, arthritis, inflammation, easing menopause, and easing any aches and pains from PMS.
  • Hemp hearts – A softer core found in a shelled seed, this softer, brighter seed are full of proteins and help you maintain better heart health.
  • Plant Fiber – The strongest, yet most pliable, rope made from all natural material.
4. What can be purchased in the State of Texas

The main thing to look for when shopping hemp products is the percentage of THC listed on the packaging. In the state of Texas, we can only buy and sell products with a maximum concentration of 0.3% of THC in anything made from hemp.

Only people with chronic conditions like epilepsy can get a higher concentration via prescription, and even then, 1% is the maximum concentration allowed by law and requires a medical card.

Legally, you can buy THC and CBD oil, gummy bears, food and drinks infused with CBD or THC, over-the-counter drugs, skin products and cosmetics. You can smoke hemp and hemp flowers in Texas but only if they are produced within regulated legal limits.

Smoking hemp and driving is not technically illegal, but it will be difficult to convince any police officer that your cigarette is full of legal hemp and not marijuana. Please note that the effects of legal hemp can create a relaxed state, making reaction times slower. Play it safe and do not drive while under the influence!

5. More about hemp

This ancient, grassy plant is pretty incredible. The plant can do more than lighten the physiological effects of stress. Hemp can help Texans as an alternative for materials used everyday;

  • Hemp and lime combine to make hempcrete, an alternative building material that stands up to heat, heavy weights, and high amounts of moisture.
  • Soft, stretchable fabric can be produced from the fibrous stalks. The same part makes wonderful rope.
  • Those same stems make lovely bioplastic, automobile parts stronger than carbon fiber and much more.
  • Before we made paper with wood pulp, lots of producers reached for hemp. Unlike tree paper, it doesn’t yellow, age, and crack at the same rate and it’s ready to harvest in ninety days.
Take advantage of this new Texas crop

Every time you go out for a hemp product you have the opportunity to support a small business in your hometown and around the state. If you have not experienced hemp products and are interested in understanding more about the legality of the plant before trying, click on the links below;

86(R) HB 1325 – Texas Legislature Online
A Bill To Be Entitled

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