SmokeEASY: What are hemp-derived products?

SmokeEASY: What are hemp-derived products?

By Clare Sausen

SmokeEASY is a series from Garden Party exploring how we navigate the many convoluted and confusing laws and loopholes of the Prohibition era. This week, we’re talking about THCA: the hottest new cannabinoid on the market. 

Initially discovered in China around 8000 BC, hemp has been an essential and surprisingly diverse crop. Woven into clothing, braided as rope, and eaten for an impressive vegan protein source, hemp is a key vertebra in the world economy’s spine. Did you know the original Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper? 

Thanks to the global war on drugs, hemp was criminalized in the 20th century – along with all Cannabis sativa plants in America. In 2018, the U.S. reversed this decision with the Farm Bill, legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp, defined as cannabis with a THC content of 0.3% or less. 

 Lush, green hemp plants growing on a farm.

Today, hemp is still widely consumed commercially, but it’s also used as a loophole for our deeply misinformed cannabis laws. Hemp-derived THC is the same ol’ THC you know and love, just derived from Cannabis sativa plants composed of 0.3% THC or less. For this silly reason, that means hemp-derived THC products are fully legal in most jurisdictions, including Asheville’s. 

Since these hemp plants are selectively bred for low THC levels, they make a great source for low-dosed edibles, like those from Rose Los Angeles (we hope to be able to restock soon). Ranging from 1mg to 2.5, they’re the perfect treat whether you have a low tolerance. Hemp can also be used for CBD, CBG, and Delta-9-rich extractions, as is present in Nice Hemp Co.’s offering of hemp-derived candies and tinctures. Who said legal states have all the fun?

Don’t forget: hemp-derived cannabinoids should hit you about the same as those from cannabis, so always partake with caution. 


Clare Sausen is a freelance writer focused on cannabis, culture, and design — mostly. She created and writes the cannabis smokeware newsletter High Design and the cannabis events column “High Functioning” for Byline, but you can read her work in High Times Magazine, Where’s Weed, or Broccoli Magazine, too. She’s also a content manager, publicist, copywriter, and brand representative for some of your favorite names in plant medicine (and plant recreation).


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