Having been enveloped in the tight embrace of confusion for years, hemp remains the subject of serious perplexity. Of course, tons of research exists to help clear the smoke. But widespread misinformation makes it a challenge for people to discern fact from fiction.
For instance, for decades, lawmakers believed that hemp could make you high. And now even close to five years since hemp was legalized, people still think that hemp causes psychoactive effects. Among the most common questions people ask is whether hemp tea can make you high. And in this guide, we’re spitting all the facts.
What is Hemp?
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Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s define a few terms. The most important of course would have to be the term ‘hemp.’ According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant containing 0.3% THC or less.
By that definition, any part of the same plant containing more than 0.3% THC won’t qualify as hemp. And that’s because anything over the 0.3% THC threshold falls under the marijuana category.
Yes, hemp and marijuana come from the exact same plant. But what sets them apart is their THC content. According to well-established, confirmed research, THC — or tetrahydrocannabinol — is the main and only psychoactive ingredient present in the Cannabis sativa L. plant.
That means THC causes the mind-altering high that marijuana is known for and was deemed illegal for. And just to put things in perspective, marijuana contains up to 40% THC — a far cry from hemp’s meager 0.3%.
Can 0.3% THC Make You High?
The very reason why lawmakers legalized hemp is that they found that at trace amounts, THC has no effect on human cognition and behavior. The established threshold of 0.3% THC can’t cause any psychoactive effects.
Thus, if you’re using legitimate, authentic hemp that meets regulation standards, then you can bet that you won’t experience any mind-altering effects no matter how much you take in a single dose.
Can Hemp Tea Make You High?
Some people tend to think that the unique preparation performed for hemp tea somehow increases the THC content and causes psychoactive effects. But this can’t be any further from the truth.
When hemp follows legal standards, no method of preparation or use can ‘increase’ the THC content of the plant matter and cause a high. So you can enjoy as much hemp tea as you want, and you won’t get any effects that alter your cognition.
Of course, that’s given that you’re using actual hemp. Lots of vendors that fail to test their products end up selling hemp that exceeds the 0.3% THC threshold. These high THC samples slip through the industry’s cracks and fall into the hands of unsuspecting buyers.
So although in a perfect world, hemp tea shouldn’t get you high, unregulated, irresponsible vendors that get their hemp product from shady resources put the general public at risk of poor quality hemp.
Is Hemp Tea Legal?
Lots of vendors these days offer hemp-infused energy drinks, teas, and other beverages that incorporate a single dose of CBD and other well-known cannabinoids. And while these seem to make their way into the market with no fuss, there’s actually quite a lot of red tape guarding their presence.
That’s because according to the FDA, CBD has not been assessed for its safety as a food or drink product or additive. So technically, hemp-infused drinks and edibles shouldn’t technically be legal.
But vendors find their loopholes. For instance, since the FDA requires premarket approval for advertising CBD-infused food and drink as edible, vendors avoid making any statements that would suggest that. So if you took the time to scout your options, you would notice that no one makes mention of ‘eating or drinking their products.
So how does that apply to humble hemp users making tea in the comfort of their homes? Well, it technically doesn’t. What you do in the privacy of your own space is none of the FDA’s concern. They’re more interested in vendors that advertise and market their CBD or hemp-infused products as food, drink, or supplements.
How to Tell if Your Hemp Exceeds THC Standards
No one wants to wrongly consume marijuana thinking that they were using hemp the whole time. So if you were wondering what you can do to make sure your latest haul is nothing but the real deal, you might want to consider these pointers:
Check for Certificates of Analysis
You can’t go wrong with a CoA-certified product. These lab reports tell you exactly how much THC is in a specific hemp sample. Reliable, reputable vendors that practice maximum transparency provide CoA reports with all purchases, or even pots copies of the reports online.
Be careful though — some vendors will publish old, dated, and irrelevant reports just to make it seem like their products underwent testing. Make sure you check the lot number of your purchase to verify that it matches the number indicated on the report.
Always Perform a Test
Don’t just take a new sample without performing a test first. You can identify the THC levels of your selected hemp sample by taking small doses to start. If you feel any heady, mind-altering effects similar to a high, stop your intake at once and check back with your vendor.
Most vendors will gladly refund or exchange a product that doesn’t meet your expectations. That’s also why it helps to buy your product from a hemp brand that offers some form of a satisfaction guarantee.
Send It to a Lab for Testing
If you want to make doubly sure that you’re using hemp that’s within legal THC limits, you can actually send a sample to an accredited lab for testing. Some clever cats avail free sample offers and send those to their chosen lab so they don’t even have to pay anything to get the initial sampler.
Tests for hemp samples range in cost from $50 or more. Of course, it might seem like a pretty steep price to pay. But by testing a sample of your chosen product, you can guarantee that your vendor stands by their quality assurance claims and that their products won’t get in you into any unwarranted trouble.
Time for a Hot Cuppa
There’s way too much confusion enveloping hemp, but that’s not something a little reading won’t fix. If you’re worried your tea habit might get you in trouble, just remember that real, verified, lab-tested hemp won’t contain enough THC to cause the effects you’re worried about.
All in all, hemp tea won’t and can’t get you high. But that still depends on how well you’re able to find hemp that doesn’t exceed THC limits set by the federal government.