Humans have been using hemp for millennia. Thanks to its versatility and easy cultivation, hemp has become one of the most widely used plants in today’s society.
Hemp Uses: Key Takeaways
- Hemp can be used to create various products, from medicine to construction materials and plastic.
- Even though it’s part of the cannabis family, hemp does not contain enough THC to produce hallucinogenic effects.
- The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to cultivate hemp across the United States.
- Hemp is currently used predominantly in the food, textile, and skin care industries.
- CBD is extracted from hemp and produces all the beneficial effects of marijuana without the associated high.
What is Hemp?
Hemp has been for millennia the most common variety of Cannabis to be found across the globe, its proliferance being owed to the multiple ways in which, virtually, all parts of this plant could improve day-to-day life and the well-being of the household.
Hemp has been used for food, clothes, shelter, medicine, and it’s also been connected to spirituality through rituals.
This species is, in fact, one of the oldest cultivated plants accompanying man through history.
Humanity has had such a tremendous influence on Cannabis by choosing and grooming its evolution into the two main species we are familiar with nowadays, Hemp and Marijuana.
One of the main consequences of the legal incertitude concerning this plant is the general confusion between its different species. More often than not people referring to the plant as Marijuana, when in fact there are glaring distinctions, stemming from their particular chemical constituents, their biological evolution and most of all their utility.
Are Hemp, Marijuana, and Cannabis The Same Thing?
Cannabis is the grand family, one of its species being Cannabis Sativa, whereof the Sativa subspecies as in Hemp and the Indica subspecies as in Marijuana are its prime prodigies. Marijuana is the species with the high concentration of THC, the psychoactive compound, while Hemp is richer in CBD, with both cannabinoids having high therapeutic value.
Hemp is considered by law as a Cannabis plant with under 0.3 percent THC concentration.
Marijuana is a much more leafy plant with big buds, containers of the hallucinogenic substance, and in contrast, hemp is taller and skinnier but with thicker stronger stalks, which is the prime matter for textiles and construction materials.
The Origins Of Hemp
A concise timeline of the discovery of hemp in different archeological sites dates its origins in human culture as far back as 8000 BCE. Its oldest relics being found in far east Asia, most of the regions that are now part of today’s China. Ancient fibers attest that the clothes of the early human populations were made of hemp.
Further on, the Chinese civilization is the oldest repository of studies classifying hemp’s medicinal properties, and it’s the same geographical area where discoveries revealed the first pieces of paper, also made out of hemp.
It is suspected that migrant populations carried the knowledge along with Hemp seeds across the globe, spreading the Cannabis plant in the rest of Asia, India, Europe and Africa.
The oldest ritualic application of hemp is registered in the Hindu text Atharvaveda which mentions Cannabis as one of the five sacred plants of India, with benefits well acknowledged in its official pharmacopoeia.
Hemp hashish was probably first fabricated in Persia and Arabia, and in Egypt body tissues of mummies containing this compound are evidence of the religious use of the cannabis extract.
The hemp industry went through great progress between the XVIth and XVIIIth centuries when it was extensively cultivated for making ropes and all sorts of fabrics, from clothes to sailcloth. Afterward, the production decreased considerably due to the emergence of the cotton industry and with the XXth century, the synthetic fibers.
Hemp Throughout History
Around 1700 and up until late 1800, growing hemp was a nation-wide economical direction, taken on by most farmers in America. It was implemented at such an extent that for nearly two hundred years all citizen were encouraged to pay their taxes in cannabis.
It all took a brutal shift in 1937 with the Marijuana Tax Act, which imposed harsh legislation that virtually no farmer was allowed to grow hemp anymore.
The end of the ’60s saw a more balanced approach on the whole issue as the government agreed that Hemp and Marijuana were two different species of the same plant.
But then came the seventies and a dark period started for this precious plant as the Controlled Substances Act included it in the list of Schedule I ‘drugs’ side-by-side with Marijuana, but also with LSD, amphetamines and so on.
The Farm Bill
Some brighter horizons are looming as in 2018 the farm bill was approved, making it completely legal again to cultivate hemp. This legal measure is lifting all impediments in regards to growing the plant, promotes its processing for the construction sector, permits the free use of hemp seeds and hemp seeds oil in foods.
What Does The Farm Bill Mean for the U.S.?
The farm bill is legally assisting the progress of the aforementioned industries by allowing access to credits, investors, insurances, which naturally means that all fields of activity related in a way or another with hemp will have the opportunity to expand.
It also represents a most compelling promise for all business centering their practice around the processing of CBD into a wide range of products.
From companies interested in producing beverages containing CBD to pharmaceutical corporations developing CBD drugs, there is a huge market being cultivated around this cannabinoid.
Today’s knowledge and employment of hemp have surpassed that of our ancestors, advancing on their footsteps and also finding solutions for current global problems.
Hemp offers a great alternative as biofuel. As well as for construction material, which is similar to wood. It can also feed, clothe and heal people, it’s even been researched to replace plastic. Today, Hemp appears as some sort of Holy Grail coming to answer almost all our needs.
What is Hemp Used For?
There are a number of essential life-sustaining sectors that use Hemp, and in which it seems to be the prime candidate as a most efficient natural resource, but we can also say that we are only starting to explore the true potential of this plant through the advanced instruments of today’s technology.
The seeds are the nutritive output of the Hemp plant, and there is a variety of ways to consume Hemp seeds and as well, by-products obtained from processing them. Simplest manner to integrate Hemp’s therapeutical properties is to simply eat the seeds as they are.
Otherwise, seeds can be mixed in recipes, baked, pressed into oil, or ground into flour. Moreover, the food industry is advancing hemp as a replacement for soy in all vegan products which uses soy as a base.
Pet Bedding and Food
Hemp is highly nutritional and healthy for animals as well as for humans which pertains that your pet will benefit from the therapeutic properties of the plant.
Anything that brings them closer to nature, is instantly appealing for animals. And Hemp is such a versatile material that it can be used in toys, bedding for your hamster, grounds for the cat litter, and many other products.
Skin Care Products
The oils to be found in the seeds of the hemp plant have an intense moisturizing effect for the skin, among other benefits. It’s the reason it has been introduced in body lotions and skin care products with regenerative powers.
The plant can also be processed to obtain a series of essential oils.
There is no wonder that this single compound is aggregating around it a whole network of interlaced industries researching, developing and thoroughly preparing itself for the wave to come.
At least looking at the long list of CBD’s therapeutic effects, as presented by latest medical researches, on pain, inflammation, mental disorders, even Alzheimer, it seems more than natural to try integrating this substance into our lifestyle as much as possible.
And CBD can be processed into oil, introduced in beverages, edibles, creams and lotions, and probably much more to come.
Fibers that are obtained from hemp through today’s technology differ so much from the texture that you can find on jeans as well as lingerie. The benefits of clothes made from hemp are that they’re more durable and much more skin-friendly than the synthetic ones.
Using hemp as raw material for paper is an environmentally friendly action, most welcomed in the fight against deforestation.
Using hemp plastic would be a huge step in terms of ecological sustainability, as it would mean using a biodegradable material.
Construction materials made from Hemp are more durable in time, they don’t seem to damage in bad weather, and they are also naturally water and fire resistant, such as the cement made from the Hemp plant.
Hemp: A Very Useful Plant with a Bad Reputation!
As we’ve seen so far the potential of the hemp plant is beyond what men across the history envisioned, as it opens an entire spectrum of possible remedies for serious conditions of the human being and of the planet.
The last century paved a road of doubt and public shame for hemp, in association with the bad publicity that surrounds marijuana. Nonetheless, it is the same century that granted innovative methods of studying and implementing hemp in a wider and wider diversity of products.
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