You might be wondering just what is hemp and how is it different from marijuana after hearing stories about it on the news or seeing products with it in your favorite store. While it is true that these plants are related, there is more to the story than first meets the eye.
As with most types of plants, there are several varieties of cannabis. The species used for medical and recreational smoking is the same, but the genetic makeup of hemp is void of the primary component of weed, THC. The minute amounts are insufficient to get anyone “high.”
Instead of being used for the euphoric, hunger-inducing sensations that pot is known for, the hemp plant is a remarkable raw material that can be utilized in many ways. Columbia History of the World believes that a small piece of hemp fabric dating back more than 10,000 years is the oldest piece of civilization on record today.
Today, fabric is one of the thousands of uses employed by manufacturers eager to take advantage of this amazing renewable resource. The stalks and seeds are being used in various products that are legal for sale in the US though challenges remain regarding legal manufacturer of goods utilizing this non-psychoactive form of cannabis.
For those who are allergic to dairy products, the alternative milks, cheeses and related items created with the nut of the hemp seed are an excellent choice. Likewise, companies use this part of hemp seeds to make protein powder, baking flour, breads and cereals.
Just as the oil from other seeds can be extracted for use, so can hemp seed oils. Not only is it an ideal ingredient in margarine and dressing alternatives, eco-friendly inks, lubricants and paints utilize this all-natural product.
The cosmetic industry uses the oil extracts for hair and skin care products. Many who have concerns about the use of petroleum-based products prefer this ingredient for their makeup and other personal care products.
Although hemp was originally grown in the US and used by the early settlers, concerns over the THC-containing plants saw the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. A few decades later, further legislation classified it as a Schedule I drug, which is the most severe rating that can be given to a drug.
Because of these laws, many US citizens and companies put thoughts of hemp to the side. Today, most folks have difficulty understanding what is hemp in relation to the “stoney” version of cannabis sold on the streets. However, that might be changing.
In recent years, there has been a move to decriminalize and even legalize marijuana in several states across the nation. At the same time, imports and demands for products containing industrial hemp are on the rise. The combination is likely to pressure the federal government to recognize and legalize cannabis.
By doing so, the government will have the opportunity to make tax money from the sale of recreational and medical marijuana and regulate the hemp products in the country. It will also allow for the growth of hemp and manufacture of related products, which will benefit everyone!