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The 2018 Farm Bill, passed in mid-December and signed into law by President Trump, has been hailed as a bipartisan success for its expansion of farm subsidies, changes to the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and funding for local food programs and farmer’s markets. It expanded the legal definition of “hemp” and legalization of hemp crops grown in the United States. Senator Mitch McConnell, as unlikely as it may seem for the Republican Majority Leader, was instrumental in his response to pressure from farmers and advocacy groups.
Farming revenues are in a five-year slump, but according to analysts cited in the Washington Post, hemp production could be a $20 billion industry by 2022. Now that hemp has been officially removed from the Senate’s Agricultural Committee’s list of illegal drugs, and its definition expanded to include seeds, extracts, and cannabinoids including CBD oil, it means the product can be sold throughout all 50 states. It also means there are expanded options to choose from, including hemp water and CBD-infused water, that have heretofore been unavailable in most of the US.
While hemp-based products, containing no cannabinoids, have been around for decades in the form of lotions, smoothies, and even tanning oil, CBD water and other CBD-based foods, beverages, and topicals are a boon to cannabis advocates and patients as they can be used effectively in pain management and as an anti-inflammatory alternative to liver-damaging NSAID pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Although it does not contain any of the psychoactive or pain-relieving effects of CBD, hemp oil is still considered a superfood high in antioxidants as well as Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, great for use in skin care and nutrition.