NIHC Responds to Study on THC Intake of Dairy Cows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Industrial Hemp Council of America (NIHC) released the following statement responding to a limited German study indicating that dairy cows fed hemp silage showed adverse effects:

“We strongly believe that decisions about the use of hemp animal feed should be soundly based on science that studies the effects of hemp feed in animal diets and on their well-being.

“It’s important to recognize that what is being reported on is not an animal feed trial conducted by animal scientists who assessed nutritional aspects of hemp-based animal feed. Rather, this trial was conducted by risk analysts assessing the impact of cannabinoids from both low and artificially high-THC hemp.

“Perhaps the most important point to make with regard to food safety and animal welfare is that the study says multiple times that no adverse effects in behavior were observed in animals fed low-THC hemp silage. The sensationalist headlines from this trial are misguided and wrong.

“We understand and share the concerns about cannabinoids entering the nation’s food supply. However, we believe it’s important to clarify that hemp animal feed is made from the plant’s seeds and stalks, which are biologically incapable of producing any cannabinoids, unlike the hemp biomass used in this study. The distinction should be made clear to policymakers and the public: hemp seeds and stalks comprise hemp-based animal feed, and they are specifically excepted from the Controlled Substances Act because they produce no cannabinoids.

Government authorities around the world, including the FDA, have accordingly acknowledged these parts of the plant to be safe for human consumption (GRAS).

“Hemp is an environmentally responsible and domestically grown feed alternative. Considering the higher costs associated with the worldwide grain shortage due to the war in Ukraine, a sustainable American hemp crop is a nutritious source of animal feed and can lower the cost of farming feed inputs. This would be good news for farmers and consumers who now struggle with the higher costs of milk, meat, and eggs, and we look forward to working with the FDA and the livestock industry on science-based solutions that protect animals and consumers.”

About NIHC 

The National Industrial Hemp Council of America provides high-quality networking and resources for its members, from farm to consumer. Its leadership is composed of leading international, federal, state, private industry, and government professionals throughout the sector. The organization is dedicated to furthering market development, assisting members in entering the industry, and educating consumers on industrial hemp and its applications. For more information, please go to

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