Hemp is one of the most advantageous plants on the planet. It is popularly known as industrial hemp and is a significant source of fiber and oilseed. You might be surprised to know that people have been growing hemp for centuries for making paper, fabrics, biofuel, rope, and so much more. And that’s not all; hemp is used worldwide for developing many other consumer and industrial products.

But what are hemp’s constituents? What are its uses, and is it legal? Let’s dive into the details.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is a variant of the Cannabis sativa plant species, which is often confused with marijuana. However, they are not the same. Both Hemp and Marijuana belong to the cannabis plant family, but they are different in terms of their cultivation methods, use, and chemical structure.

Appearance and structure

Hemp is a stout, aromatic plant, has lean stalks, and is hollow, except at the top and bottom. The leaves are skinny, concentrated at the top. Furthermore, the flowers are small and are greenish-yellow in color.

Different parts of the plant are used for various purposes –

  • Seeds – They give you Hemp seed oil and protein powder.
  • Flowers & leaves – These produce therapeutic goods such as CBD tinctures and CBD oil.
  • Stem – This is used to develop plastic, eco-friendly leather, and fabric.

Cultivation

The hemp plant grows from seeds. But for these seeds to grow properly, the soil needs to be suitable for yielding corn. And not only that, this soil has to be nitrogen-rich, well-drained, and non-acidic. Furthermore, the temperatures of the soil must be around 42 to 46°F to plant the seed.

Moreover, hemp is also derived from marijuana seeds by industrial processes such as the Carbon Dioxide extraction method and Solvent extraction method.  Thus, industries are looking to buy marijuana seeds after the US government has reduced processing and harvesting hemp restrictions. 

A brief history of Hemp

Hemp is one of the oldest plants ever harvested by the human race. Once, Archaeologists found remains of a hemp cloth fiber in ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to 8000 BC. Early uses of Hemp also date back to China during the 10,000 BCE. Back then, people used the compound to make clothes, paper, and rope.

Then slowly, hemp made its way to other countries. From crafting the iconic Gutenberg bible to making the sails of the British ships that conquered the Spanish Armada – hemp was a key component. It became so popular that King Henry VII made harvesting Hemp a top priority for farmers and threatened to fine them if they didn’t grow it. 

By the 1700s, the US farmers started growing hemp as a staple crop, as per the government’s instructions. Later on, even American presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington encouraged people to grow Hemp. Finding top cannabis seeds in US is easy, you just have to ensure you are buying from a trusted source. 

Does Hemp make you “high”?

No, it doesn’t. Hemp is a non-intoxicating cannabis variety. As it contains only 0.3 % THC (a compound causing psychoactive effects), it won’t get you “high”, though a vape or a weed pen may contain some THC.  The primary chemical compound in Hemp is CBD, which has therapeutic properties. 

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However, if you are thinking about smoking Hemp to enjoy its therapeutic benefits, it’s not a very good idea. Instead, you can opt for Hemp-derived CBD tinctures or oils.

Is Hemp Legal?

Movies might have given you the idea that buying/selling anything related to cannabis is illegal. In reality, that is not the case. The laws of sale, transportation, or cultivation of cannabis varieties like hemp depend upon their THC content. Therefore, due to low THC content, Hemp is legalized in most parts of the world.

In the US, the legal THC content for hemp is 0.3 %. So, if you buy hemp with such a low THC content, it is perfectly safe and legal. 

Uses of Hemp

Let us look at the popular uses of Hemp.

Food

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Source: Pixabay

Hemp seeds can be a healthy addition to your daily diet as they are packed with vital nutrients. They offer you a healthy dose of B vitamins, dietary fiber, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. So, you can include them right away in your breakfast or lunch. Moreover, you can have hemp seeds either in raw or powdered form. Besides, also consume milk made out of hemp seeds, which is gluten-free and protein-rich.

Oil

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Source: Pixabay

The hemp seed oil has a variety of medicinal properties:

  • Can treat skin infections
  • Can be useful in reducing inflammation
  • May help in enhancing digestion
  • Improves heart and brain health
  • Can boost your immune system
  • Helpful in preventing varicose veins
  • Enhances hair & scalp health
  • May treat menstrual issues

Hemp plastic

The plastic made from Hemp is entirely biodegradable and more sustainable than ordinary plastic. Furthermore, you can recycle hemp plastic an unlimited number of times. It can be made into car parts, furniture, toys, water bottles, and so much more.

Biofuel

Oil extracted from Hemp seeds can be used as biofuel. Fascinatingly, its history dates back to 1941 when Henry Ford developed a plastic car that ran on hemp fuel.

These days many companies obtain alcohol fuel by fermenting the whole hemp plant. Furthermore, diesel engines also run on filtered hemp oil. 

Conclusion

The hemp industry is again reemerging slowly. Nowadays, more companies and industries are looking to invest in hemp, as it is environment-friendly and sustainable. As hemp is the primary source of CBD, and with CBD gaining popularity with every passing day, the hemp industry’s future looks bright.  

References

http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v13/2/history.html