History shows that hemp has been used and grown in China, Europe, and Asia as far back as 5,000–6,000 years ago. People have produced hemp plants for thousands of years for different purposes like food, medicine, and fabric.
Hemp flower was used in spiritual ceremonies. Some records even say that hemp fibers were used to make the first copy of the Bible and that Christopher Columbus’ sails and ropes were made of the same material.
This article will teach you more about the hemp plant and its uses. We’ll discuss the hemp plant’s differences from other cannabis and its uses and legality to see why it is such a valuable commodity.
What Makes Hemp Different From Other Types of Cannabis?
The difference between “hemp” and “cannabis” didn’t become apparent until the 20th century. These are, however, the same plant. What they are made of, how they look and are used, and how much Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they have, are all different.
Cannabis Sativa has more than 480 plant components, and 100 of these are called cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the two cannabinoids that have been studied the most so far, and both may be useful as medicines. However, THC is intoxicating and can make you feel “high.”
Most cannabis plants have between 5% and 30% THC. For a cannabis plant to be legally considered hemp, it can’t have more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Even though hemp doesn’t make much THC to get you high, it can make a lot of the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD).
Cannabis plants can all look the same when grown in the wild. But cannabis and hemp cultivation may be different when produced by hemp farmers for various purposes. For instance, cannabis plants grown for hemp production tend to:
- Have thin leaves that are mainly at the top of the plant
- Does not have many branches or leaves below the top of the plant, so long stalks full of hemp fibers can grow
- Be up to 20 feet tall
- Grow close to each other
- Cultivated in many different conditions
- Require minimal care
On the other hand, cannabis plants that are grown mostly for their THC tend to:
- Have broad leaves with tight buds that look like nuggets
- Covered with tiny crystals or hairs
- Have a lot of branches to encourage flowering and THC production
- Need a controlled, humid, and warm environment to grow.
Hemp is a valuable plant mainly because its seeds can be eaten, its fibers can be made into other products, and its flower can be used to alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. Here are some things that can be made from hemp:
- Clothing and different kinds of fabrics
- Building materials
- Feed and beds for livestock
Since the 2018 farm bill legalized hemp in the US, the number of hemp-derived CBD products and other new cannabinoids has gone through the roof. Cannabis plant components like Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC can make you feel high but not as high as regular Delta 9 THC.
In the past few years, a lot of the country’s hemp harvest has gone into making products from the mentioned cannabinoids, which can help people who live in states where marijuana is illegal to get high with less legal risk.
CBD is often taken from hemp plants as crude oil, refined into a product that can be sold or chemically changed into something else, like delta-8 or THC-O. It is important to note that these new cannabinoids made from hemp are not tested or regulated by the state.
Are Hemp Plants Legal?
The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, also called the 2018 Farm Bill, made industrial hemp crops legal and took hemp off the list of drugs that are illegal to sell or buy.
Under the new regulation, farmers who have licenses from the USDA can produce hemp varieties like hemp seed milk, whole hemp seed, and more under strict rules. People can also grow hemp with permission from the state or for specific research projects.
In early 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) passed a final regulation outlining national hemp production rules. Hemp can be grown and sold legally, but the plants should contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Popular Hemp Products That Are Available on the Market
Due to the new federal law that legalizes the use of hemp plants, there is now a plethora of hemp products available on the market. Listed below are just three of the many legal hemp products that you can buy online. Check them out below:
HHC Distillate: Contains 99.8% Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) that can be used for dabbing, mixed with terpenes, and added to concentrates and tinctures. It stimulates appetite, relieves anxiety, induces sleep, and alleviates pain. This product is available in volumes 10ml, 28ml, and 100ml.
HHC BDT Cartridge: Contains hemp-derived terpenes with flavors like Slurricane, Cereal Milk, Granddaddy Purple, Green Crack, and Strawberry Cough.
Delta 8 + Live Oil CDT Cartridge (CO₂ Extracted Terpenes): This contains potent naturally-balanced cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the maximum entourage effect. This cartridge is available in flavors like Ice Cream Cookies and Kush Mints.
Potential Health Benefits of Hemp Plants
Hemp oil, made from crushed hemp seeds, is considered healthy. The hemp seed oil has a lot of magnesium, fiber, and protein. Hemp oils also have a relatively high amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants which may help:
- Decrease the signs of osteoporosis
- Improve heart health
- Reduce the signs and symptoms of skin problems like eczema and dermatitis
- Keep cells from getting damaged, lowering the risk of cancer.
Aside from hemp’s nutritive compounds, there may also be health benefits from its other cannabinoids, like CBD and THC. However, more research is needed to determine if they are safe and suitable for your health. There are currently some early signs that CBD may be able to help treat or manage, such as:
- Epilepsy and other disorders that cause seizures
- Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Digestive disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s and dementia
- High blood pressure
You can put whole hemp seeds on salads or granola or bake them into muffins and other baked goods. Hemp flour may also be used in protein supplements. Hemp milk is an alternative to almond milk and other foods that are not as good for the environment.
Environmental Factors of Hemp Plants
Hemp plants are considered not harmful to the environment. Growing hemp is better, more productive, and more practical than cultivating a lot of other crops. For instance, hemp produces about 600% more fiber than flax and 250% more than cotton. The hemp plant can also grow quickly and in various conditions.
As hemp plants grow, they make a dense canopy that blocks the sun from reaching weeds trying to grow there. Industrial hemp can grow without the large amounts of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that other crops need.
Hemp is excellent at reclaiming, strengthening, and “cleaning” soil because it can pull nutrients, including harmful heavy metals, then turn them into harmless plant matter. It also has thick, deep roots that can help stop soil erosion.
Furthermore, hemp is very good at absorbing carbon dioxide (C02) because it grows quickly. About 15 tons of carbon dioxide can be taken in by one hectare of hemp. Because it can be used in so many ways, it is sometimes called “industrial hemp.”
Hemp Frequently Asked Questions
Is hemp a drug?
Hemp is a type of plant, but it can be used to make CBD. Technically, CBD, which is found in hemp plants, is still considered a Schedule I drug under federal law even if hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act. All states have their own Controlled Substances Acts (CSA), so CBD may not still be legal in all 50 states. Thus, if your hemp product still contains CBD, then it is considered a drug.
Are hemp and CBD the same?
CBD is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp. If you do not want to get high, smoking organic hemp can be a pleasant and effective way to get other cannabinoids like CBD. CBD edibles and CBD oil made from hemp are also available in the market.
What can the hemp plant do to the human body?
Hemp flower alone won’t get you high because it only has a maximum of 0.3% THC, which isn’t enough to make you feel the same way smoking cannabis does. You can only get high from hemp when a naturally occurring compound like CBD is extracted or chemically changed into another compound like Delta 8 THC or THC-O.
Are hemp and marijuana the same plant?
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the farm bill, made hemp legal in the United States. The farm bill defined hemp as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. This made hemp different from marijuana. Hemp has less THC than “marijuana,” a common word for cannabis with high amounts of THC.
Hemp and marijuana are also very different in how they are grown and harvested. Male hemp plants bloom much quicker than females and do not make nearly as much fiber.
Hemp is different from other cannabis plants in many ways, from the way it is grown up to its commercial and industrial applications. It is helpful in many ways and is better for the environment than many other crops.
Some parts of hemp, like the seed, are very nutritious. Hemp also contains cannabinoids like CBD, which might be good for your health in a number of ways. However, we need more research to verify such claims regarding its health benefits.
Regarding its legality, hemp can be used and grown legally in the US by those with USDA licenses or approved plans and projects.
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