Angela Post wasn’t supposed to study hemp. The North Carolina State agriculture researcher focuses on small grains like wheat and barley. But after the 2014 Farm Bill allowed states to investigate hemp, it became clear the seeds were lucrative. Post had the right equipment to study them, so the job was hers.
At first, Post thought hemp would get as much attention as the other alternative crops she and her colleagues dabble in. “We didn’t know how fast it would grow,” she says. Once the work garnered the attention of hundreds of would-be hemp farmers, “that’s when we got a sense it was something bigger than anticipated.”
Since then, Post’s work has expanded beyond hemp seeds—and her expertise—to fiber and flowers, which contain cannabidiol, or CBD, which is extracted for use in seizure medications and over-the-counter tinctures. But there’s no turning down hemp studies if you’re an agricultural researcher in