John Nix: Hemp and CBD; there's more to the story

John Nix: Hemp and CBD; there's more to the story

In my last column, we discussed the medicinal value hemp extracts offer. We were going to discuss the laws surrounding hemp production in this column but the good Lord led me down a different path.

I attended a "lunch and learn" event with N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler at Carolina Greenhouses, owned and operated by local businessman Dwight Howard. I eagerly accepted and joined about a dozen others in a presentation and tour of the operation. Howard also owns Carolina Soil Company, founded in 1990, and just recently, Carolina Hemp Products, Inc.

Carolina Hemp Products, Inc., is researching methods and cultivating hearty hemp plants. Howard told me his real interest, though, lies in what he knows best, greenhouses and soil. They are experimenting with cloning their own strains, and with proper hydration, temperature and fertilization methodology to produce the desired hemp product for extracting and isolating the CBD; that magical elixir so many are finding beneficial.

Even with all the years of knowledge, Howard said, “It’s not an easy plant to grow." A huge concern of his is producing quality plants that meet the required 0.3 percent THC limit, yet with a high Cannabinol content. An interesting fact; it is impossible to overdose on CBD.

Hemp farming is an emerging industry in North Carolina. The N.C. Pilot Program offered through the N.C. Department of Agriculture allows farmers to apply for a license to grow hemp. Currently, the only regulatory authority over these growers is with this department. Plants are regularly tested for heavy metals, terpenes and, of course, THC levels. If a crop is found out of compliance the entire crop is usually destroyed, a devastation of the farmer’s investment.

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Holly H. Parker, M.D., who acts as the Medical Adviser for Carolina Hemp Products, Inc., gave an account of her experience with CBD oils in her medical practice in Wilson.

Dr. Parker is also the daughter of Dwight Howard. She and her husband have used CDB products with more than 60 patients in their medical practice with great documented success. She has seen patient prescription medication use decrease as a result of CBD products.  Her most common treatments are for high blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, anxiety, brain fog, headaches, ADHD and concussion treatment.

The treatment possibilities are astounding with literally hundreds of documented success stories. Dr. Parker recommends visiting www.projectcbd.com for more information of treatment successes for different conditions.

Dr. Parker started treating patients with CBD because:

• Some could not find relief with their current medications

• It’s been found to reduce the intake of narcotics and psychotropic medications

• It aids in pain management

• CBD is a natural alternative to a number of pharmaceuticals

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There are still mysteries surrounding hemp regulations and laws. Federal law allows anyone to grow hemp, while the state of N.C. has imposed a licensing system. The positive take on the Pilot Program is N.C. State University has partnered with the N.C. Department of Agriculture in hemp research and growing methodology.

If farmers want a profitable crop, they can get some help. However, the biggest mystery is why N.C. hemp farmers can grow and sell components of the plant, but only out of state?

By North Carolina statute, farmers can’t even sell to their neighbors or friends. Additionally, any retail sales or commercial sales of product within the state of N.C. cannot originate from within the state.

Another mystery is why N.C. farmers may buy their seeds from anywhere in the world but cannot buy seeds from Colorado or Kentucky, two states leading the way in hemp production and technology. 

Troxler said this makes no sense at all. He stated the N.C. hemp industry will ultimately get some FDA regulation and the N.C. Hemp Commission has no regulatory authority past the point of first sale off the farm.

For those wanting less government regulation please remember this. Hemp will always need to be tested for THC, terpenes and heavy metals. Hemp has a cleansing effect on the soil so if heavy metals are in the soil they could wind in the consumer’s blood stream.

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Meanwhile, Howard is on a mission to learn as much as he can about every facet of growing the hemp plant. His desire to lead the state in private research is impressive and his facility is professionally managed. Quality is Howard's ultimate goal, to the extent that none of the plants grown at his facility are being sold for extracts or to other farmers, but are only used for research and development, all at his cost.

One can clearly see from the photos, the technology that goes into a quality product. Again, Lenoir County is leading the way! The fast-moving story of industrial hemp is newsworthy, to say the least, with a new twist daily.

Could hemp be the next cash crop for ENC? Well, we don't know enough yet to make a sound prediction. Radio commentator Paul Harvey was famous for his closing line, “Now you know the REST of the story!” A portion of the rest of the story will be presented in my next column when we discuss the laws, regulations and politics surrounding this potential cash crop. See you then!

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