Does Smoking Hemp Cigarettes Get You High? 7 Common Misconceptions

Although hemp has been grown and used for over 10,000 years, the general understanding seems to be slightly confused, and filled with misconceptions.

Since cannabis sativa is known in the marijuana community for its physical and mental high, and hemp is a form of cannabis sativa, the question must be asked...

Are you going to get high from hemp? 

While hemp cigarettes have become a great tool to pull away from tobacco, smokers are often not looking for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. While hemp is a form of the cannabis plant, they couldn’t be further from the same. 

Misconception #1 - Hemp is the Same As Marijuana

When you first hear the term hemp, you may instantly think someone is referring to weed or marijuana. While weed and hemp both come from the cannabis plant, they couldn’t be further from the same. 

Cannabis is a species of cannabaceae, which houses a range of popular flowering plants such as hops, blue sandalwood, a range of evergreen trees known as trema, and much more. 

Over time, cannabis has become used as a psychoactive drug known as marijuana or weed, as well as for a wide range of uses with fabrics and other materials known as hemp. Hemp and marijuana come from the same general plant, but were grown and bred for specific uses over the last 10,000 years

Today, hemp is defined by the amount of THC found within the plant. While marijuana remains highly regulated across the U.S., hemp and other CBD products can be found in a wide range of stores and across the internet.

The primary difference between marijuana and hemp plants is that the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill stated hemp must have less than 0.3% THC. 

Why was this limit put in 2018? 

During the illegalization of weed within the U.S. in the 1930s and later the 1970s, cannabis as a whole would become criminalized and ultimately pull hemp off the US markets.

So what do we know? 

> Hemp and marijuana are both forms of cannabis. 

> Hemp and marijuana are similar, but used differently. 

Misconception #2 - Smoking CBD is an Excuse For Weed 

A popular option when looking at hemp cigarettes are CBD cigarettes, which are packed with cannabidiol, i.e. CBD. 

CBD is often researched and tested for its potential health benefits and ability to help you become calm, relaxed, balanced, and collective. 

CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana as a potent non-psychoactive cannabinoid. 

As you smoke CBD cigarettes, the cannabinoids are inhaled directly to your lungs. They absorb into the soft lung walls and quickly absorb into your body. 

Smoking is the quickest way for your body to receive CBD, and smoking hemp will absolutely not get you high like smoking weed.

Misconception #3 - CBD Will Get You High 

Since CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, this means it does not affect the brain's action or reaction to events. 

You will not become high from CBD alone. 

CBD, especially when used in the raw form through cannabis flower may be accompanied by trace levels of THC. While the trace amounts found in hemp are not enough to make you high, when using full spectrum CBD or CBD originating from marijuana plants, know that there is THC present at 0.3% or less.

Hemp products are highly regulated towards the grower. This means any CBD products originating from a hemp plant will be tested and labeled precisely, even if you find them on your local store shelves. 

Misconception #4 - Hemp Encourages Smoking

Smoking hemp remains a great resource to quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana. 

When used to quit smoking marijuana, the smoker is able to grind, roll, and pack hemp in the exact same manner, since they both originate from the cannabis plant. The smoker can expect to gain some of the associated experience and ritual when smoking hemp, especially when using hemp CBD products. 

Smoking tobacco, regardless if used in pipe, cigars, or cigarette form are known to become addictive. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that releases dopamine within the brain. 

Dopamine is known as the chemical in your brain for the feeling of happiness and reward. This is released naturally when you do things you enjoy -- that feeling when you get a great night's sleep, or when you turn on your favorite songs, or even when you accomplish something great. That’s dopamine. 

You may have heard the term that if you smile, you’d become happy. Is that true? Smiling, to your body, becomes a trigger of dopamine release. So, smiling even when you are upset will in fact make you happy. Your body also uses this as a form of defense for your emotions, which is why you may smile or laugh when stressed out or angry. 

Many drugs associated with serious addiction in fact release dopamine within your body, which is why your body wants to do it again and again regardless of the risks or health damage. 

Misconception #5 - Hemp Will Cause a Failed Drug Test 

By law, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC and sometimes less depending on your state. These levels of THC were chosen due to the inability to get you high.

These levels are unlikely to show on a standard drug test, but not impossible. 

Some more precise tests could show these trace amounts of THC. While hemp products and the use of CBD is highly accepted, you may want to consult with your employer or a medical professional about your use of CBD. 

These consultations will show that you are not using a potentially illegal substance. 

Misconception #6 - All Hemp is the Same 

With regulations being strict on hemp growers, some consumers have assumed that all hemp products are the same, so why should they pay more for a “quality” product?

Hemp is a plant, and like most growing plants, everything within the growing environment will have some effect. Soil fertility, amounts of water used, pesticide use, temperature, sunlight exposure, and much more will have effects on the plant. 

The curing process also creates the risk of damage to trichomes, or the crystalized hairs found around the cannabis flower. These trichomes are known for housing a majority of the plant's cannabinoids, and excess heat, oxygen, sunlights, and contaminants may destroy these trichomes during curing, or the drying of the plant. This can change the quality and flavor of your hemp. 

Purchasing from a quality distributor often ensures you’re receiving a quality product. 

Misconception #7 - Hemp Normalization Encourages Weed Use 

While confusion has been popular when discussing the differences between hemp and marijuana, the government has established and maintained a clear line between hemp and marijuana use and production. 

Hemp had remained highly popularized in the early years of the U.S., and throughout history, would be encouraged and even enforced while used as an essential plant for fabrics, rope, building materials, and even paper. 

In 2018 with the U.S. Farm Bill, the government would legalize the widespread growth and use of hemp, which is why it can now be found on store shelves and purchased online. When comparing this legalization with California, who had legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and recreational marijuana in 2016, it becomes clear that the marijuana legalization push was occurring prior to hemp normalization. 

Why So Confusing?

The confusion around hemp within the U.S. has been around for over a 100 years, since hemp and cotton production fought for the same markets. 

This confusion would gain traction in the 1930’s when the government would place a ban on all cannabis products being grown or sold within the U.S., and while a strict difference was stated between hemp and marijuana, the ban on all cannabis would cause hemp production to seize. 

During this time, a war on drugs would rise within the U.S. and both anti-drug parties and pro-drug parties would inflate the truths, creating misinformation. During the 1970’s hemp would be separated from marijuana, allowing the possession of CBD and hemp products to be legalized, although still illegal to grow. 

2018 has allowed select growers to begin planting once again, encouraging the research and production of hemp based products and the push to re-educate the public on the facts of cannabis

So, if you’re ready to try hemp smokes and not get high, check out our 20-pack here.


Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t - Harvard Health Blog 

HEMP: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews - WebMD 

USDA Farm Bill - USDA