What Is Hemp?

What Is Hemp?

The hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa) is one of the oldest crops known to man having over 25,000 useful applications . It has been used for food, paper, textiles, and rope for over 12,000 years.  

Presidents Washington and Jefferson even grew hemp! Cultivation of industrial hemp was a must for early Americans because it had such a great range of uses. It was grown all the way until 1937 the Marihuana Tax Act was passed by congress which started hemp prohibition. The insanely high taxes and regulation for licenses were so overly complicated most farmers gave up and stopped farming hemp. (If you follow the medical marijuana industry you will find many similarities) Many believe it was due to the logging industry and other large monopolies at the time to getting the government to shut dow the cultivation of all cannabis including marijuana. Which then allowed these industries to flourish and become the giants we know today.

Around 1932 The government made a movie called “Hemp For Victory” to persuade American farmers to grow hemp plants for World War II. This was after the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor that cut off the imported industrial hemp we got from the Philippines. This spurred the drive and the movie the government made was done so that industrial hemp would become a staple again in the general agriculture landscape. The government  legalized it and also subsidized hemp cultivation to sway them further. During this time there were over a million acres growing hemp. Then after the war the government no longer needed the supplies they no longer needed farmers to grow it and shut it all down again.

Until just a few years ago it was illegal to grow industrial hemp and the government was still trying to group it together with marijuana (acting as if it had high amounts of THC), all while knowing the clear difference between the cannabis plants. Farmers finally got sick of it and legalized it after they got their farm bill passed in a few states around the US.

Difference between Hemp and Marijuana

Hemp is separate from marijuana which is known for it’s psychoactive effects from high amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). The two are from the Cannabis family. Hemp contains less than 1% THC and is known for it’s industrial uses. Hemp is the fiber and seed part of the Cannabis Sativa plant, opposed to the flower part of the plant which is “legally considered” marijuana. The fiber and seeds have an incredible range of uses and is why hemp is often called a “cash crop”.

Hemp is a very strong plant and grows very quickly in even some of the harshest conditions. Marijuana on the other hand takes a lot more hands on care and needs predictable weather conditions to thrive. Without the right conditions it can easily dry up, get moldy, and not yield the desired amount of buds. 

The hemp plant also looks slightly different from its cannabis counterpart marijuana. The hemp plant has skinnier leaves, fluffier flower buds, and grows taller and with less branches compared to marijuana. Marijuana plants generally have broader leaves, denser flower buds, and grow short and wide.

WHAT IS HEMP USED FOR

The hemp plant has many uses and not just the fibers from the plants stem. Hemp seeds are used in food like bread, granola, milk/dairy type products and protein powders for its nutrition packed containing all 9 essential amino acids, Hemp Seeds are one of nature’s only plant-based complete proteins. Hemp seeds are great source of essential fatty acids, which are key for optimal function. Hemp naturally boasts the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids for our bodies!

Hemp seeds are also great for producing oils; fuel, ink, lubricants, varnish, dressings, margarine, body care, and cosmetics. 

The stalk from the cannabis is used in multiple ways. You can break them down into three separate uses from the plant. First is the hurd where it is used for mulch, insulation, concrete and chemical absorption. Buildings using hempcrete which is a mix of lime and hemp is sturdier than many other mixes. Not to mention that it’s fire resistant (google Hempcrete burning) Hempcrete regulates the temperature and humidity of a building; in some cases completely eliminating the need for heating and cooling systems, resulting in huge energy savings. Hempcrete is carbon negative and the obvious choice for buildings aiming to achieve a low carbon footprint and the highest sustainable building code levels. With it being carbon negative it’s purifying the very air you breathe. 

Secondly is the fiber of the plant where you make rope, canvas, carpet, and clothes. Last but not least there is the stalk of the plant where extract the biofuel/ethanol, plastics, paper products, and cardboard.  These products are also all biodegradable. We can easily replace our current harmful plastics for hemp plastics and the waste will deteriorate if not recycled. It recycles itself now, imagine that.

Industrial Hemp is a great product for agriculture as it grows, hemp breathes in large amounts of CO2, detoxifies the soil, and prevents soil erosion. What’s left after harvest breaks down into the soil, providing valuable nutrients. Which makes this such a great plant to use even between crop rotations as it will help the rest of our agriculture efforts. Industrial hemp requires much less water to grow and no pesticides to protect the crop either. This plant deserves much better than to be compared to being as “dangerous” as marijuana. Cannabis has the power to help us turn our hurting farm industry back into a true cash crop.

Hemp is now getting more and more attention for the compounds instead of its industrial uses. CBD or (Cannabidiol) is the biggest compound that has caused a spike in cultivation for hemp. CBD has all the effects that people have heard about from marijuana, but does not have the psychoactive effect from THC. People need to be particularly careful when looking for CBD as they think that hemp oil is the same. It is not. You may see thousands of hemp oil products on Amazon saying hemp oil, but they do not have CBD in them. Amazon does not allow you to sell CBD products. To find the oil you most likely need we suggest trying Kalm Kanna. Our CBD is sourced from organic industrial hemp and has 0% THC. So be sure to buy CBD oil not hemp oil. 

Also Kalm Kanna’s CBD is an isolate that is 99% pure. It also tastes much better than the traditional full spectrum cbd oils out there as well.