Hemp 101 – A Brief History Of Hemp

You’ve probably heard of hemp because of the recent boom in CBD Oil products. Which you may not know is that the history of the crop known as hemp goes back many thousands of years – indeed, it goes back to well before 8000 BC. It was around that particular time that actual fabric made from hemp to form human apparel was recently found by excavators. This relic is furthermore the most ancient such relic that has been discovered as an indication of human industry.

It doesn’t stop there, of course; hemp has also been employed as a textile fabric, writing paper, and the strong rope called cordage that is used for ships rigging. It’s clear that man has domesticated the hemp crop stretching back millennia.

In this relatively short but comprehensive article, I will give you the skinny on hemp. You will learn the differences between the recreational and medical types of cannabis that are most commonly used, source to better navigate the various legal applications to hemp. Moreover, you’ll be better able to discern which one works for you – whether you’re looking for the medicinal properties, the intoxicating attributes, or both.

Hemp Comes In Several Forms

Although there is definitely a form of cannabis that is used exclusively in a recreational sense (essentially for its intoxication abilities), industrial hemp is the specifically non-intoxicating variant. The scientific name of the cannabis plant is Cannabis sativa L. Although we’ve mentioned just two, you should know that there are quite a few cannabis plant derivatives.

What are the differences, then, between hemp and marijuana? You have probably figured out by now that marijuana is generally considered to be the intoxicating variant of the cannabis plant; hemp, on the other hand, has about 0.3% of THC – which is the psychoactive compound is possible for producing marijuana is characteristic “high”. Because of the large differences in concentration of THC, there are differences in the cultivation techniques, the operational utility, and the chemical composition of hemp versus marijuana.

Hemp Functions

You might be surprised to learn of all the various uses for the hemp plant. In fact, there are many materials that you probably use which contain the stalks and fibers – such as plastic composites, certain types of paper, industrial biofuel, hemp apparel and materials used in and on construction sites.

As evidenced by the above, hemp is often cultivated and used for raw materials as well as a renewable source with which countless products are infused. You’ll find that many organic body care products, nutrition store health foods and the specific classic beauty products known as nutraceuticals consist of the stocks, leaves and fibers of the hemp form of the cannabis plant.

Research into various industries show that this trend is growing explosively. Recently, in the post-pandemic era, the Hemp Industries Association collated the retail numbers on hemp-infused products in North America: $620 million to date.

There is a great deal of benefit from growing cannabis in general; hemp functions in favor of the environment in a manner similar to Greenwood trees:

  • Hemp digests carbon dioxide and produces oxygen
  • Cannabis/hemp acts as a bulwark against erosion of the soil
  • It simultaneously detoxifies the soil while also enriching it with nutrients.

Furthermore, growing him significantly reduces wire costs since it does not require pesticides or as much H2O as the average crop.More specifically, hemp is also a virtually waste-free type of crop; after the harvest has been collected, the remaining “waste” is absorbed into the surrounding soil where it enriches the ground and makes it more conducive to the replanting of cannabis or other plants.

Hemp Limitations

Despite all of its many positive attributes, the only thing that hemp cannot really do is provide you with that intoxicating “hi” for which the cannabis plant is so well-known. As stated earlier, hemp itself only contains approximately 0.3% of the psychoactive ingredient known as THC. Frankly, you’d have to take so much of it to even begin to feel something that it would render you bed-prone with a significant headache. The physiological reason for this is that your body will chemically break down such a small amount too fast for you to smoke it and become high.

Hemp: Legality Issues

The explosion of uses found from hemp was prior to the year 1937; afterwards, the government passed the Marijuana Tax Act which severely dampened the sale or cultivation of any of the multiple variations of cannabis plant derivatives. It would be several decades later before cannabis/hemp was set back by yet another blow; in 1970 the Controlled Substances Act enshrined the multiple variations of cannabis as a Schedule I Drug – which effectively makes it illegal to grow by United States farmers or residents.

The Control Substances Act is the reason why marijuana and hemp can only be imported as long as the THC levels are lower than or equal to 0.3%. In fact, both Canada and the European Union followed suit by legislating this percentage requirement on the hemp grown within their borders. Therefore, although hemp is a rotation crop deemed attractive to many farmers, most of the raw hemp in the United States today was grown in other countries due to the restrictions on cultivation here.

An unfortunate but inevitable result of this legislature is that the prior industrial uses of hemp have been effectively lost to the vicissitudes of time – or at the very least, it has been placed squarely out of the public consciousness. This is particularly unfortunate due to the many benefits that hemp can confer, aside from its cousin marijuana.

Hemp On the Comeback Trail

As politics in general become more progressive (a trend that has happened in many civilizations throughout history), there’s a very good chance that hemp may be poised to break out into the mainstream once again. As evidence of this, the 2014 US Farm Bill has given more autonomy to individual states when it comes to cultivating hemp – as long as they currently already have industrial hemp legislation, and is mongers the use the cultivated hemp for development and research. In this vein, Oregon, Kentucky and Colorado have already begun the process. Quite a few other states have taken their lead in drafting legislation and attendant programs centered on hemp. It certainly looks like American farmers are ponying up for a big industrial hemp resurgence.

Just one year later in January 2015, the House and the Senate were introduced to The Industrial Hemp Farming Act; this proposed bill would eliminate the federal curtailment of hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance. The removal of this legal inhibition would also facilitate the cultivation of industrial hemp nationwide.

Many are looking forward to the release of the restrictions on one of the world’s most ancient domesticated crops. Hemp displayed almost unparalleled utility in the years preceding 1937 in the United States alone; not to mention the many millennia before hand in other countries. We look forward to hemp being able to once again serve humanity with all of its natural gifts.


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