Arkansas’s forests could cover the entire country of Switzerland 1.5 times, farmland is abundant, and rice production is a $6 billion industry, according to Only in Your State. As for hemp-derived CBD, here are some recent developments.
Hemp-Derived Cannabidiol (CBD)
In February 2019, Representative Justin Boyd (R-Fort Smith) introduced House Bill 1518 (HB1518). HB 1518 removes hemp-derived CBD contains no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis, and that is not approved as a drug by the FDA from its list of controlled substances. House Bill 1518 defines “hemp-derived cannabidiol” in part as that which
“Contains not more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis as verified by a nationally accredited laboratory for quality, purity, and accuracy standards.”
The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program
In 2018, the Congressional Research Service issued a report titled Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity. According to the report, industrial hemp can be used in a wide range of products, including but not limited to fabrics and textiles, yarns and spun fibers, paper, construction and insulation material, and other manufactured goods.
Arkansas passed the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act in 2017. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture features a webpage on the state’s Hemp Program and Rules & the Law. Per the webpage,
“Even though the 2018 Farm Bill removes hemp from the controlled substances list, no person can grow, handle (possess), or process hemp plants, viable seed, leaf or floral materials without a hemp license issued by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department).”
A news report by the Arkansas Times reports that licensed farmers in the state were permitted to start planting in 2019, as part of the state’s Industrial Hemp Research Program. Even though a total of 1,818 acres of hemp were planted across the state, “13 were either destroyed voluntarily, some were planting failures, or others were grown solely for research and left unprocessed. Others were destroyed because they were too “hot” in the intoxicant chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), exceeding the federal 0.3 percent limit on hemp.”
According to a news report by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state’s Plant Board approved a fee schedule in March 2020 for the state’s industrial hemp program. Also, it appears that Arkansas will continue its industrial hemp research program or another year. The industrial hemp research pilot program is for licensed growers and processors/handlers to research the agricultural and economic potential of industrial hemp in the state, according to a FAQ page by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
Concerning the industrial hemp program’s progress, the news report indicates that “Caleb Allen, manager of Arkansas' hemp program, told board members that the state Agriculture Department last year approved hemp planting of just under 4,000 acres. Farmers wound up planting 1,818 acres and harvested half of those.” Further, “The department issued 125 licenses to growers and 33 licenses to processors, who together invested $12.8 million last year, according to Allen's statistics. The nascent industry created 140 full-time jobs, he said.”
At this point, it appears that the Arkansas Department of Agriculture is working to develop its program continually. “The Arkansas Department of Agriculture continues to develop its program with an emphasis on public education regarding hemp's potential economic benefits,” explains a news report by ABC 7.
Research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Mississippi
Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Mississippi conducted a study on hemp-derived CBD and its effect on the gut microbiome.
The study, titled Potential Probiotic of Trigger of Gut Inflammation, was conducted to “investigate the effects” of hemp-derived CBD on the gut microbiome.
Researchers conducted the study on mice, which were administered hemp-derived CBD extract. Throughout the study, the researchers observed that when taken orally, the hemp-derived CBD disrupted their gut microbiome and their digestive tract lining.
The study’s author, UAMS’s Igor Koturbash, M.D., Ph.D., discussed the study with NBC KARK, stating, “Cannabidiol significantly affects the gut microbiome, which in turn may affect the mucosa.” He added, “In low doses, it may potentially improve gut health as a probiotic, but in high doses, it can cause leaky gut syndrome.”
The research is not conclusive, though. Koturbash also shared with the news outlet the study’s findings indicate that more clinical trials are needed to determine the safest and most effective hemp-derived CBD dosages for people.
Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only. This article is not legal advice. This article was created to entertain readers and should not be used for any other purpose. For your safety and wellbeing, seek licensed legal counsel in your state for laws and regulations concerning CBD.