COMMENTARY: Why hemp? Three reasons why hemp is our future

by Jun 8, 2018OPINIONS




What is hemp?

Hemp, although not marijuana, is often associated with it. Hemp derives from Cannabis Sativa, which also associates with marijuana. However, hemp does not contain the levels of THC (the ingredient that gives you the high) that marijuana possesses. Hemp on the contrary possesses an ingredient called CBD (Cannabidiol). CBD is legal in all 50 states, and can be purchased in various stores. CBD, like THC, has medicinal benefits, but without the high. A person who takes CBD cannot possibly become addicted or high, but rather, can receive relief for many illnesses/issues.


MEETING: Wolftown Rep. Jeremy Wilson speaks at the beginning of a Hemp Public Forum he organized at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds on the night of Tuesday, May 29. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather)


  • CBD and THC both interact with the body through the endocannabinoid system. A vital signaling system responsible for regulating a wide array of functions. Which include: Pain, Appetite, Mood, Memory, Immune Response, Sleep, and Cycles of cellular life and death.
  • THC is psychoactive, and CBD is non-psychoactive. Psychoactive means that you can get high, and non-psychoactive means that you cannot get high.
  • THC dominates marijuana, and CBD dominates hemp.
  • Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent of THC.


CBD and Opioids

CBD is actually useful for helping individuals combat addictive behaviors, specifically those associated with opioids, cocaine, and other psychostimulants. According to “Addictive Behaviors” in a study, CBD is found to be helpful to those who were trying to quit smoking, and that’s one of the Top 10 addictions, its dependence similar to heroin even though it is statistically far more deadly. Since opioid addiction is a very big problem here, CBD and hemp oil is part of a safe and effective solution. Not only does it help ease chronic pain, but it does so without putting someone at risk of addiction or overdose.


What makes hemp beneficial for the Tribe?

Our Tribe has relied solely on the casino since the inception of it. Our casino has carried our Tribe in nearly everything it provides in tribal programs, per capita, non-profits, and funding. While although our casino is continuously growing and producing, it will at some point be met with competition in means of progressive revenue. We have to expand our opportunities to ensure we keep the Tribe in the forefront economically, as well as providing solutions towards our addiction treatments, opioids/narcotic epidemics, and chronic illnesses.

Hemp is not only beneficial medicinally and economically, but it is also very beneficial in the environment, and helps promote clean air and soil. Hemp can be used to build homes, produce textile products, paper, rope, and other various materials. Imagine our Tribe making its own brand in hemp, and being able to establish itself with other companies through its newly formed LLC board, and being able to produce opportunities in various areas.

The issue we face primarily with hemp, is the stigma that is attached to it in terms of cannabis. The more we can educate about what hemp is, and what cannabis is, the better we can understand why it can be beneficial for our Tribe. Our Tribe can diversify greatly in so many areas with hemp. Hemp can play a huge role in helping us move forward in Indian Country, and with our people.