Hemp is a commonly used term for the tall-growing variant of the plant Cannabis sativa, and products made from it such as fiber, oil, and seeds. Hemp is used to make several products such as hemp seeds, hemp oil, wax, rope, clothing, paper and fuel. Other variants of the plant are widely used to change consciousness, known mainly as marijuana. These variants are typically low in growth and have higher tetrahydrocannabiniol (THC) content.
The legality of Cannabis variants varies greatly from country to country, but even between U.S. member states. In many countries, regulation is based on the psychoactive substance content of the plant, especially the THC content. It is mainly grown in varieties in which the THC content is negligible.
Hemp is sown in the northern hemisphere between March and May, while in the southern hemisphere between September and November. The plant needs about three to four months to mature. Thanks to millennial selective breeding, each variant of hemp looks different. Since 1930, the goal of breeding has been to create varieties that are not suitable for the production of drugs. Hemp stems are planted close together to form a tall and slender plant with long fibers.
Today, the general perception of industrial hemp is positive. Hemp is rated an environmentally friendly plant that reduces farmland use and environmental impact, thereby reducing the U.S. ecological footprint, based on a 1998 study published in Enviromental Economics.
Why grow hemp? Because hemp:
- environmentally friendly
- can be used in its entirety (root, leaf, stem, flower)
- 100% degradable
- its cultivation does not require the use of weed and insecticides
- kills weeds and loosens the soil
- used in the food, textile, construction and beauty industries as well as in the energy sector and pharmaceuticals
Need more reason to grow it? Many articles deal with the fact that 25,000 types of hemp can be produced. However, if only a tenth of that number were true, even that is a very high number!
Varieties of hemp
A total of 46 varieties of hemp with a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content are recognized by the European Union. These varieties (unlike the others) have a very high fiber content of 30-40%. Unlike cannabis, these varieties are grown because of their fiber content and seeds, which have a THC content of less than 0.2%, unsuitable for the production of hashish or marijuana.
The most important cannabinoid in industrial hemp is cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in the plant in a content of 1-5%. Only Cannabis Sativa is suitable for use as industrial hemp, there are also medicinal variants. A Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. the variant grown for industrial use, while C. sativa subsp. indica contains less fiber and is used primarily in recreation and medicine.
The biggest difference between the two plants is in their appearance and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, although they are also genetically distinct. THC is found in a resin mixture of glandular trichomes on the plant.
Oil-seeded and high-fiber variants of industrial cannabis contain only a negligible amount of THC, not enough to exert any physical or mental effects. Hemp typically contains 0.3% THC, while the THC content of recreational variants ranges from 2 to 20%.
History of hemp
Hemp is one of the first domesticated plants used by various civilizations for more than 10,000 years.
The archeological history of hemp dates back to Neolithic China, and researchers have found traces of hemp fibers in BC. From Yangshao-era clay pots from 5000. The Chinese later used hemp to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper.
The classical Greek historian Herodotus (480 BC) noted that Scythian natives often inhaled the smoke of hemp seed, both for ritual and pleasant relaxation. Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber summarized evidence that Cannabis Sativa was grown as early as the Neolithic period from northern Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Ukraine) to East Asia (Tibet and China), but its use as a textile was relatively late. it began only in the Iron Age in the western territories. By the second century, Palestinian Jewish communities already knew how to grow hemp. Mishna (Kil’ayim 2: 5) also mentions hemp – along with the bun flower – as a plant that takes up to three years from sowing to develop. In late medieval Germany and Italy, hemp was also used as an ingredient in cooked dishes as a filling for pies and pies, possibly boiled in soup.