Where is Hemp Grown?
Industrial hemp is a strain of the Cannabis plant grown for medical, scientific, or academic purposes all over the world. As substances derived from hemp, such as CBD, have become household names, the plant has become an increasingly popular health substitute for many medications.
Unlike other crops, hemp is unnaturally hardy and can grow well in almost any climate. Ten thousand years ago, hemp was one of the first usable plants that could be developed into nutritious food products, breathable fabrics, and strong fibers. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive and potentially addictive compound dubbed THC. In the modern world, where does hemp production dominate? What hemp sources most consumer CBD treatments all over the globe?
The United States
According to data from the Department of Agriculture, farmers have more than quadrupled their hemp planted within the time frame between 2017 and 2018. Now over, 200,000 acres of the substance are grown legally within the United States. Much of the success of the hemp plant is the direct result of the 2018 Farm Bill, which redefined hemp as a controlled substance and dubbed it an agricultural commodity.
Some farmers are switching from growing soybeans and corn to hemp, since one acre of the substance can net over $30,000, whereas one acre of soybeans is worth merely $500. The American market is one of the biggest consumers of hemp on the planet and most of the crop is sourced domestically rather than internationally imported.
Hemp has been grown continuously in France for hundreds of years and continues to be a mainstay crop in the country. In fact, France is the only country in Western Europe that never legalized or phased hemp production out after World War II.
Between the years 1933 to 2015, more than half of the hemp in Europe was provided in France. The country’s dominant position in the market was only challenged after the European Union rolled back restrictive import and export regulations in Western Europe, allowing many more countries to jump into the quickly expanding hemp market.
Canada just about tops the list of the world’s most major hemp producers. Canadian farmers witnessed an 80 percent increase in hemp production between 2016 to 2017, the acreage jumping from a mere 75,000 to acres to over 140,000.
However, the country may start scaling back on licenses for hemp farmers as market trends point to decreasing demand. The government is working actively to scale the industry with the country’s relatively small hemp market, especially as new challenges concerning international export law have arisen suddenly over the past year.
Like France, China has been growing hemp for hundreds of years for use in textiles, food products, wartime products, fibers, and composites. Hemp saved many Chinese residents from starving after World War II and during the food shortages of the Cultural Revolution. Now, there are over 250,000 estimated acres of hemp growing in the Chinese mainland.