A lot of researchers are now showing interest in hemp. For instance, one researcher from North Carolina who is supposed to focus on small grains such as barley and wheat, has turned to hemp after the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Bill has allowed the states to conduct research on hemp as it became clear that the seeds of the crop are truly lucrative.
Expanding Beyond Hemp Seeds
What used to be a study that focused on hemp seeds has expanded to other aspects of hemp, such as the flowers and fiber which both contain CBD or cannabidiol. This component is said to come with amazing health benefits that can even be used as a treatment for seizures. The CBD can also be made into over the counter tinctures that can be used for a wide range of treatments.
If you’re an agricultural researcher, regardless of what field you are in and what you’re focusing on, you cannot avoid studying hemp in this day and age. This is especially true if you belong to those states where residents are showing a huge interest in growing crops, such as the states of Vermont, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
Hemp’s Close Ties to Marijuana
Several years ago, it used to be legal to farm hemp across the United States. However, thanks to their association with marijuana, the psychoactive component of cannabis, the government banned the crop from university and commercial fields in the 20th century.
This time, however, hemp is once again becoming an American staple. In order for this to happen, researchers have to be relearning hemp farming. This is especially applicable to those who are employees of land grant universities that are located in those states that are mandated federally to help farmers succeed. But these researchers have to fill in the knowledge gaps that seem to have been forgotten over the past decades. According to some researchers, they are getting tons of questions every week, yet they don’t have the answer.
There are still a lot of things that researchers need in order to study hemp. These include the best practices in growing hemp, the best varieties to grow, and how to kill the weeds and insects that are likely to cause problems. Above all, they should discover how farmers can make a good profit out of it.
These are major questions that deserve significant answers. There may have already been answers but these have been prevented by the DEA, who, until recently, considered hemp to be a dangerous substance that attracted jail time and hefty fines for anyone caught possessing the substance. These regulations have made experimenting with hemp and researching it even more challenging.
Although there are a few research studies that exist, most especially from Canada and Europe, where hemp has long been legal since the nineties, the results are only limited to certain aspects. Hopefully, the recent approval of the 2018 Farm Bill will be able to change this and that researchers will be given more access to resources.