What does it mean for something to be “real?” This question has been popping up more and more from my customers over the last 6 months than in the last 3.5 years of business combined. The hemp market has saturated consumers with a wide variety of choices – known as “alternative cannabinoids.” Prior to the wide spread production and sale of hemp derived products the vast majority of people simply knew that cannabis contained THC – and that is what produces the “high” we all know and love. However, with new research opportunities and consumer markets opened up by the 2018 Farm Bill – we now see Delta 8 THC, HHC, CBD, CBN, and on and on.
This has been a double edged sword. On the one hand, customers can now tailor their experience to what they want. People not wanting to get high can use CBD, those who want a more mellow high can use Delta 8 THC, and those who want the most from their cannabis products can use Delta 9 THC. Delta 9 THC is what we commonly refer to as just plain old THC – and yes, we can absolutely sell this legally in the state of Nebraska. Shocking, I know! On the other hand, the wide variety of acronyms leaves many people confused as to what all these novel cannabinoids are - and what they can do. Our knowledge of this plant has grown, and so has our vocabulary. But the question I am asked very often is – are all these cannabinoids “real?” Emphatically yes, they are real. They are derived from hemp. They are legal – and yes, they do produce a high. If by “real” you mean “is this all the same stuff that I used to consume from black market cannabis 10 years ago” – then I would encourage those folks to expand their idea of what cannabis can offer and do their own research.
New markets are always faced with challenges, ups and downs, and doubters. The only way to combat this is with wider acceptance from the public, and this can only occur with proper education of what is being sold. Yes, it is true that the hemp market is largely as of yet unregulated. There are good and bad products out there. Regulation can come and will help sort this out – but in the interim we are on the ground ensuring products we sell are top quality. The farmers and manufacturers I work with are interested in furthering their business – and in the age of google and basic research – they are held accountable by consumers who demand quality lab tested products. If they fail to produce good quality, they go out of business. I have seen many Hemp companies come and go – this is not an easy cash grab. Time, effort and responsibility all move good companies forward.
Is the state of cannabis law in Nebraska totally ideal? Maybe not – but I would ask: compared to what? Compared to 4 years ago when even CBD would land you in jail? We can now sell legal Delta 9 THC in Nebraska for goodness sake – I feel like that is something to celebrate. I would rather have no laws governing what we do now vs. restrictive laws that would come out of our backwards legislature and Governors office. I trust discerning customers to do their own research and decide what they do with their own bodies. If new cannabinoids such as Delta 8 THC help a cancer patient get some sleep at night – then frankly anyone fighting this sort of progress is no better than the naysayers of Marijuana from years gone by. The times are changing, science is unlocking the cannabis plant – and Nebraska is benefiting. So – what is real? Certainly not a threat from new cannabinoids, of that I am sure.