What is industrial Hemp?

Industrial hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, grown specifically for industrial use. Unlike marijuana, which also comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, industrial hemp contains very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a substance that makes you feel high.

Thanks to its numerous applications, hemp has been an important crop all over the world for centuries. It is widely cultivated in Asia, Europe, Africa and America, for example.

How is industrial hemp different from marijuana?

Industrial hemp and marijuana come both from Cannabis sativa plant, but they are different species.
At the genetic level, industrial hemp contains lower levels of THC, the psychoactive compound present in marijuana.

According to the legal definition, industrial hemp may not contain more than 0.2% THC. Marijuana, on the other hand, contains between 5 and 35% THC.

At these low concentrations it is physically impossible to get high from the consumption of industrial hemp. It would be like drinking non-alcoholic beer.

Industrial hemp and marijuana look very different. Hemp plants are thin and tall, while marijuana plants are generally short and bushy.

This makes hemp an incredible versatile crop without the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

How is industrial hemp grown and processed?

Industrial hemp can be grown both outdoors and indoors. However, it grows best in warmer climates with moderate weather conditions. The ideal growing areas are China, (southern) Europe and Canada.
Hemp can be grown in just 3 to 4 months harvested, making it a rapidly renewable alternative compared to trees, which take decades to mature. The plants grow to a height of 2 to 4 meters and have long, fibrous stems.

After harvest, hemp stems undergo a process called ‘decorticating’, where the hard outer fibres are separated from the soft inner core.

The two main components are:

  • Bast Fibers: The long, tough outer fibres along the hemp stem. They are used to make textiles and ropes.
  • Hemp stems: The soft inner fibres in the core of the hemp stem. They are used to make paper, absorbents and building materials.

In addition, hemp seeds and flowers are harvested from the plants. They are processed into foods, oils and extracts, including the popular supplements-cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

Cannabis sativa plant has more than 480 different compounds and around 66 are termed as cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids, broadly speaking, are a class of biological compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors in humans.

They are most frequently sourced from the plants of the Cannabis genus, including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis

The most well-known cannabinoid among these compounds is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another important component, which makes up about 40% of the plant resin extract

The cannabinoids are separated into the following subclasses:

  • Cannabigerols (CBG)
  • Cannabichromenes (CBC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)O
  • Other cannabinoids including cannabicyclol (CBL), cannabielsoin (CBE) and cannabitriol (CBT)

There are 3 important benefits of industrial Hemp.

There are 3 important benefits of industrial Hemp.
There are plenty of reasons why hemp is one of the most versatile crops in the world. world, the most important three are mentioned here:

1. Sustainability;
Hemp has a very positive ecological footprint. It enriches the soil, requires less water than, for example, cotton and makes pesticides and herbicides usage unnecessary. Hemp lays large quantities carbon trapped in the atmosphere. One hectare of hemp can absorb four times more CO2 than one hectare of trees. Due to its rapid growth cycle, hemp is considered a carbon negative product. This means it reduces CO2 emissions. Industrial hemp fibres are incredibly strong and durable.
Hemp fibres are used, for example, to strengthen concrete. The mixture of hemp and limestone forms a natural composite material called hemp concrete, which is highly resistant to cracking. Hemp textiles also last a long time. The first Levi’s jeans were even made of hemp canvas!

2. Renewability
As mentioned above, hemp grows quickly in just 3-4 months. This makes the use of hemp for paper, clothing and building materials, for example, much more sustainable than slow-growing trees. Hemp stems continuously regenerate new shoots after harvest, so they can grow densely as a renewable crop year after year.

3. Adaptability
Because the entire hemp plant can be used, every part adds value.
Hemp provides food, clothing, living matter, paper, cosmetics and even energy.
It’s no wonder that hemp is called a ‘cash crop’ because of its versatility and profit potential for farmers. Hemp offers significant opportunities in many sectors and industries. Now that you know some of the biggest benefits of hemp, let’s Let’s look at the different ways hemp can be used.

The Various Use of Industrial Hemp.
With over 25,000 known ways of use, hemp is truly a wonder crop.
The main way in which hemp fibres are used today include for textiles, ropes, clothing, paper, building materials, biofuels, plastics and food.

Hemp-based food.
Hemp seeds are an extremely nutritious superfood. They are rich in protein, fibre, essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron and zinc. Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, ground into hemp flour or pressed into hemp oil, which has culinary and local applications.
Hemp extracts are also rich in phytochemicals, terpenes and cannabinoids that have therapeutic benefits. Cannabinoids from industrial hemp are widely used for health and wellness. As you can see, industrial hemp has many valuable uses that benefit people, animals and the planet. But there is still a challenge that prevents hemp from reaching its full potential.

In our next blog post we will delve deeper into the use of Industrial hemp and the different extraction methods.


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