Industrial hemp crop is not toxic to wildlife as some people might believe. Wildlife can benefit immensely from feeding on industrial hemp that is rich in fiber and other beneficial elements.
The 2018 US Farm Bill that was enacted on December 20, 2018, legalized hemp (with less than 0.3% THC) by reclassifying it as an ordinary agricultural commodity.
Where Can You Find Industrial Hemp Crop In The US?
To grow industrial hemp crop in the US, you will need a permit from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA oversees cultivation at a federal level while the states have primary regulatory authority over the cultivation in their respective jurisdictions.
So far, 47 states in the US have passed laws to allow for the cultivation of hemp for industrial and research purposes in their respective states. The states that have banned industrial hemp cultivation are Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire and South Dakota.
You can easily find industrial hemp in Oregon, Colorado, and New York City.
Does Industrial Hemp Grow In The Wild?
Industrial hemp may grow in the wild. In this case, it will be referred to as feral cannabis which is an offshoot of industrial hemp that was left to grow in the wild. Unfortunately, feral cannabis may have high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is intoxicating.
No studies have been done to investigate the long-term effects of THC on wildlife. However, some sources claim that THC could be toxic to wildlife. Animals may have more cannabinoid receptors in their brain thus may easily get overwhelmed by THC.
As much as industrial hemp crop is not toxic to wildlife, feral cannabis may be toxic and hence should be avoided.
What Is Industrial Hemp Crop Rich In?
Industrial hemp crop is rich in fiber, seeds oils, and nutrients such as plant proteins and omega oils. It also contains small amounts of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids which are abundant in cannabis.
Does Industrial Hemp Have Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Yes, the industrial hemp crop contains CBD. However, it has minimal amounts of this therapeutic cannabinoid because of how it is cultivated. The plants grow thin and tall as they are cultivated to produce more fiber and fewer cannabinoids.
The minimal CBD that is found in industrial hemp may offer therapeutic relief to wildlife. That is if the livestock feed on the colas that are phytonutrient-rich.
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system that supports physiological balance in the body. CBD interacts with this system through receptors that are located in almost every part of the body. Through this interaction, CBD may promote sleep, mood regulation, appetite, pain control, and provide anxiety relief.
Fortunately, CBD is safe for livestock and will rarely cause adverse negative effects.
Is Industrial Hemp Beneficial For Wildlife?
Industrial hemp crop that has been cultivated legally in the US (less than 0.3% THC) is safe for wildlife. Apart from being safe, wildlife can derive nutrients from this herb.
Hemp fiber is good for digestion and control of obesity. It is also a rich source of minerals such as zinc, iron, manganese, nitrogen, and copper.
Hemp seeds are a rich source of omega 3, omega 6, omega 9, and GLA. Hemp seeds are also a rich source of amino acids.
Due to these benefits, hemp is now being considered as a hot ingredient for animal feed in states such as Colorado.
Will Industrial Hemp Crop Intoxicate Wildlife?
Industrial hemp crops will not intoxicate wildlife unless it is feral weed. Industrial hemp crop in the US contains very little amounts of THC which is responsible for the intoxicating effects of marijuana.
Industrial hemp and marijuana are from the same family of cannabis Sativa. They share a lot of similarities including physical appearance. However, they have one key difference; the amount of THC that they contain. While industrial hemp crop contains less than 0.3% THC, marijuana strains contain between 5%- 35% of THC.
The small amount of THC in industrial hemp crop is not sufficient enough to cause a psychoactive effect on wildlife.