What is Industrial Hemp?
Even though hemp has only recently become popular in the past few years, the truth is that hemp has been in use for well over 10,000 years. Hemp is one of the fastest maturing plants, growing well in many diverse climates and re-mineralizing fallow land, which had made it the perfect crop to grow in many early societies around the world.
After World War II, hemp slowly become more criminalized throughout the Western part of the world due to its association with illicit substances like marijuana. The United States’ war on drugs policy further hampered down on the global trade of hemp, forcing African and Central Asian economies that relied on hemp to switch to other industries.
The 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills changed it all. On the federal level, hemp is now legal to grow, sell, and distribute all throughout the US and in many other areas in the world. Now that hemp-derived CBD has gotten so popular, many wonder what exactly the term “industrial hemp” means. What is hemp’s relation to cannabis? What are its natural properties?
All About Industrial Hemp
Simply put, industrial hemp is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that are grown specifically to be used for industrial purposes. Industrial purpose just means that the hemp plant can be widely cultivated and sold in the form of food products, breathable fabrics, composites, and strong fibers.
Despite its association with marijuana, hemp contains only trace amounts of psychoactive and addictive compound THC. Technically, hemp is a legal category that defines a plant as being highly concentrated in cannabinoids and with strictly no more than 0.3 percent THC content. In contrast to popular myth, it is physiologically impossible to get high off of hemp, which was why the plant was nicknamed “hippie’s disappointment” in the sixties.
Though hemp is most well known for being the primary ingredient of most CBD products now, it actually has over 25,000 documented uses. Hemp can be used to craft a variety of commercial items, such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, housing material, and animal feed.
However, hemp was originally used as a nutrition source thousands of years ago. Hemp is one of the few plant sources that forms a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids to a consumer’s diet. Additionally, hemp is chock full of cannabinoids, healthy fats, and minerals that can act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and health bolstering supplement.
Is Hemp Legal?
In the majority of countries around the world, hemp is now legal for any consumer to buy and any vendor with the appropriate licenses to sell. However, some products formulated from hemp, such as CBD tinctures, oils, and treatments, may be variably legal in specific territories or areas in the world.
Before purchasing an edible item made with hemp, consult your area’s regional narcotics laws concerning CBD.