What is industrial hemp?
Industrial hemp is a plant member of the cannabis family specifically the Cannabis Sativa family. For a plant to be classified as Hemp, it has to have a minimum of 0.3% THC though this number may vary depending on the country.
What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Hemp is different from marijuana in four main ways; physically, chemically, cultivation-wise and utility-wise.
- Physically, marijuana is a short bush-like plant with broad leaves while hemp is a tall, thin plant with few slender leaves at the top of the plant.
- Chemically, the main difference between hemp and marijuana is the composition of THC. Hemp constitutes less than 0.3% THC while marijuana has 5% to 40% THC. For this reason, you can get high from marijuana as THC is the psychoactive element, but it is difficult to get high from hemp.
- Hemp is cultivated outdoors in temperate climates and very close together while marijuana is cultivated in controlled environments like in greenhouses several feet apart from each other.
- Hemp is grown for many industrial purposes while Marijuana is mainly grown for its psychoactive qualities.
They, however, both have medicinal value because they have CBD and other cannabinoids that stimulate the human body.
Why did hemp production drop in the past?
There are two main reasons why hemp cultivation stopped production. When countries began banning hemp when they classified it together with marijuana as cannabis, they set regulations that discourage its farming- for example, introducing hefty fines and penalties. The second reason is that the demand for hemp products reduced further discouraging farmers.
What are the potential uses of Hemp?
Hemp cultivation leads to the production of hemp seeds, leaves, and hemp stalk. The hemp stalk can be further processed into hemp fiber, hemp hurds, CBD is applicable in the fuel, food, beauty and pharmaceutical industry. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil are full of nutrients useful in a variety of industries. Hemp fiber is applicable in the textile, paper and construction industry and hemp hurds are being used as animal litter and tree mulch.
What do I need to start farming?
The first thing to do is to check the legislative requirements of your country. Generally, hemp farming is much regulated, and you may be required to pay some fees, get some licenses and file some paperwork. The next thing is to have a significant amount of land and to consult a specialist for the best type of hemp to plant and the best ways to plant and harvest your crop. Finally, decide on potential clients so that you have a ready market for your harvest.
What can I do with industrial hemp stalk?
The hemp stalk is processed to produce hemp fiber and hemp hurds. Hemp fiber is being used in the paper and textile industry. Hemp hurds are sometimes broken down into hemp shives and used in construction and animal beddings. The hemp stalk can also be used to make biofuels like methane and ethane or in making CBD oil.
Where is hemp grown?
There are many countries growing hemp, but China is the leading cultivator and exporter of the plant. Other countries include Canada, Australia, Russia, and France.
Is it legal to grow Hemp in the USA?
In December 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Farm bill legalizing the growth of industrial hemp in the USA. There are, however, many restrictions such as chemical composition limits and the need for farming permits from federal governments.
What are the advantages of hemp compared to other cash and food crops?
Hemp plants are very pest resistant and therefore do not need pesticides. The plant is also grown very densely, therefore, it does not require herbicides. For the above reasons a farmer can gain organic certification by intercropping hemp with their other crops. Hemp also has a higher yield per square foot than most crops. When planted, it can suck toxins from the soil, make it more aerated because of its deep roots, fertilize it because it restores 70% of its nutrients to the soil and reduces soil erosion.
How are hemp clothes made?
Hemp stalks have a lot of fiber. After the harvest, they are retted to soften them then they are removed, separated and interwoven to make threads that can be used to make fabrics.
Why is it better than cotton?
Hemp is much better than cotton because it produces a higher yield at a shorter time. Furthermore, it uses less water, fewer chemicals and is less intensive than cotton cultivation.