Known to have one of the strongest natural fibers in the world, hemp is an incredibly versatile plant. Today, it’s incorporated in different industries including medicinal, textiles, and construction industries.
From as early as 1200 BC, the plant has shown limitless potential and has been so diverse in its application. The plant’s parts can be refined into a wide range of products such as food, animal feeds, biofuel, bioplastics, and clothing.
Unfortunately, its use has been hindered by a lot of red tape in the system. For instance, an article published in 1938, titled “New Billion-Dollar Crop”, led thousands of people to line up to get acquainted with this miracle plant. After the publication of the article, it took less than a year for the American government to impose strict measures on the growth of any cannabis species. Hemp’s association with cannabis has made things even harder for the industry.
To help you eliminate the notion that hemp is bad for the community, this blog will look into how to identify a hemp plant, its anatomy, and the benefits of each part.
How Do You Identify a Hemp Plant?
After years of endless debates and misunderstandings, hemp is finally making its way into fame. Hemp is a cannabis variety that contains 0.3% or less THC in dry weight. This means that it can’t make you high and safe for people and animals. Comparatively, cannabis is shorter than the hemp plant, with the leaves growing close together on top of the plant.
The hemp plant is tall (about 6-8 feet) and looks like a skinny tree with few branches. On the other hand, cannabis is short and bushy.
Additionally, the hemp plant is adaptive to different weather conditions and doesn’t require specialized care to grow.
The Hemp Plant Anatomy
Hemp is the only plant that has no waste. From the flowers to the stalks, each part can be used to manufacture something. Now that hemp is quickly becoming part of our lives, it’s important to understand each part and what they bring to the table.
1. Hemp Seeds
The hemp seeds are probably the most nutritious part of the plant. They are packed with nutrients including proteins, essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some top nutritional benefits of hemp seeds:
- The Omega 3 and Omega 6 present in the seeds can help boost your immunity and maintain cholesterol levels for a healthier heart.
- The seeds are a reliable source of Vitamin B, E, A, and C and other minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and calcium.
- The gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) present in hemp seeds can reduce the risk of heart diseases and reduce PMS symptoms and menopause.
Hemp seeds are superfoods, meaning they can fulfill your dietary needs without other supplements. Often, the oil is extracted from the seeds to make hemp seed oil. You can eat the seeds raw as hemp hearts (dehulled hemp seeds). Apart from being used as food, the oil is an effective cosmetic product for your hair and skin.
The hemp seed oil can also be used to make hemp biofuel – an environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuel that doesn’t deplete natural resources.
2. Hemp Stalks
The fiber and hurd of the hemp stalks have endless benefits in commercial products. For many years, hemp fiber has been used to produce bags, ropes, shoes, belts, and clothes. The long and strong fiber strands ensure that these products are durable and reliable as compared to cotton fiber products. Hemp clothing maintains the shape and color even after months of washing.
Furthermore, with its antimicrobial and hypoallergenic properties, the fabrics can be used by everybody – young and old.
The hurd is the inner woody parts of the hemp stalk. They’re popularly used to make hempcrete. This is a carbon-negative construction material, meaning that it absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than what is emitted because of its production and application. Hempcrete can also help regulate indoor temperatures as well as resist mold, pest, and excess moisture.
On a more domestic level, the hemp hurd can be used to make soft, comfortable, and hypoallergenic animal bedding or litter.
3. Hemp Flowers and Leaves
Hemp flowers and leaves have significant medicinal values. The hemp leaves have at least 80 compounds, including CBD (cannabidiol). According to studies, CBD can help treat and manage a range of conditions anxiety, pain, insomnia, and stress.
Often, the leaves and the flowers of the hemp plant are steamed to obtain essential hemp oils rich in CBD and other cannabidiols. The essential oil comes with a highly concentrated therapeutic aroma and nutty taste, and this makes it suitable for a range of spiritual practices.
The leaves are also nutritious – they’re rich in antioxidants, digestible globular proteins, and fatty acids.
4. Hemp Roots
Hemp root’s medicinal value was discovered in ancient China. The roots were used to treat fever, pain, and stop bleeding.
According to modern research, hemp roots are rich in an organic molecule called glycoside that eliminates harmful toxins in the body. These molecules bind with the toxins, making them inactive and helping you alleviate any negative side effects they may have caused.
Get to Know the Many Benefits of Hemp Plant Parts
With its countless uses, the hemp plant has proven to be the ultimate renewable raw material that can replace most (if not all) harmful and synthetic materials.
Just imagine living a life with 100% environment-friendly, renewable, and durable products – this is what hemp plant means to the future. The plant will significantly improve our way of life while solving the climate crisis.
The plant’s cultivation is especially vital at this time when we’re seeing the negative effects of climate change. It may not be the dependent factor in climate change, but it’ll certainly play a significant role. Let’s go natural by buying hemp.
From textile to construction, the hemp plant is revolutionizing different industries like never before. Browse and sign up to our blog for more hemp content.
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