On June 9, Cynthiana will host the inaugural Kentucky Hemp Days festival to highlight industrial hemp and a number of its derivatives. One exciting hemp byproduct that has been receiving much attention these days is CBD.
Hemp and its byproducts are often conflated with marijuana, but CBD is not marijuana. CBD is a molecule, and it is one of more than 120 identified compounds, known as cannabinoids found in both hemp and hemp’s sister plant, marijuana. The most known cannabinoid, THC, is the psychoactive agent prevalent in marijuana. By contrast, THC is virtually non-existent in the industrial hemp grown in Kentucky. In fact, federal law mandates that a crop of industrial hemp contains less than .3 percent THC or it is subject to being destroyed. But while lacking THC that will get a user high, industrial hemp is rich in CBD, the medicinally powerful cannabinoid that has been most identified with the healing attributes of cannabis.
CBD users claim, almost religiously, that it helps with chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety, sleep disorders, diabetes, eczema, Parkinson’s disease and more. A growing body of research suggests that there is substance to these claims. But because it has been so closely associated with marijuana, for many there is a stigma that is difficult to overcome. I know, I was one of them.
I joined the military in 1980, at a time when drug use, and in particular the use of marijuana, was widespread. It clearly was a detriment to good order and discipline and posed serious safety risks. In May of 1981, a tragic mishap aboard the USS Nimitz destroyed 16 aircraft and killed 14 sailors. The ensuing investigation cited marijuana as the causal factor and became the catalyst that led the Department of Defense to institute an all-ranks urinalysis screening program.
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In my professional military opinion, the urinalysis screening program was the single most important policy that led to the professionalization of a then nascent all- volunteer force. By the time I finished college and returned to the military in 1988, the force was radically transformed and capable of performing superbly on the battlefield, as it did a few years later during Desert Storm.
These same veterans have found a safe, effective alternative to the “zombie cocktail” of opioids forced on them by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the medical professionals. They want the VA to study CBD, and they want your support. Please come out to Kentucky Hemp Days and stop by the Warfighter Hemp booth and ask them how.