Hemp gets a bad rap from its relation to the cannabis plant, however, the two plants are actually very different.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp, a member of the Cannabis sativa plant species, is one of the world’s oldest domesticated crops, before crops like corn and soybeans became a part of everyday life. The oldest known relic to man, according to Columbia History of the World, is a small piece of hemp fabric that has been scientifically traced back to 8,000 B.C. Its durability, versatility and cost-efficiency make it an ideal source for a number of different products and textiles. Switching to hemp paper, for example, would help preserve precious forests. Trees can take decades to grow, while hemp plants average about four months from seed to maturity and harvest.
The History of Hemp
Hemp was used at the founding of America, and it’s rumored that drafts of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written on paper crafted from hemp, since hemp paper was widely used at that time. Boats used hemp sails, canvas wares were made from hemp fibers, and some of the first cars were even fueled by hemp. Clothes, fishnet, rope, sandals and more were created from the fibers and seeds of the hemp plant. Ancient China was among the first to record how they used hemp. As primary food sources for people in that area, hemp oil and hemp seeds provided essential amino acids that were often hard to come by in the traditional diet of the time.
Hemp vs. Cannabis: The Big Differences
Many people make the mistake of assuming that the hemp plant is the same as the cannabis plant because they both come from the Cannabis sativa family. However, names and appearances are where the similarities end. Hemp does not produce THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Hemp actually produces CBD and terpenes, which have been shown to be beneficial for a variety of health issues, such as anxiety, chronic pain and inflammation, and even pet anxiety. In short, hemp provides all the benefits of the plant without the high.
The Hemp Plant Explained
The hemp plant has two distinct parts: the seed and the stalk. Both have different components that can be used for different applications, making it a truly versatile plant.
The hemp seed has three parts: the nut, the cake and the oil.
- The nut is used in vegan milk products as an alternative to dairy, as well as in cereals, granolas and protein powders.
- The cake is used in hemp flour and pet foods.
- The oil is used for everything from fuel and industrial lubricants to cosmetics and food.
The hemp stalk also has three parts: the stalk, the hurd and the bast fiber.
- The stalk is used for paper products, cardboard and biofuel.
- The hurd is often used for mulch and animal bedding, but it can also be used for insulation, fiberboard and other industrial applications.
- The bast fiber is used to make clothing, rope, carpet, netting, shoes and more.
Hemp can be used for so many products, it’s a wonder that it’s been such a hidden gem for so long. The War on Drugs in America blacklisted hemp, so people began to use other sources for the same products—even though they often cost more and had a greater negative effect on the environment.
Hemp can be used for:
- Clothing, including jeans, athletic clothes and even lingerie.
- Paper, including cardstock, printer paper, notebook paper, sticky notes and more.
- Oil products, including lotion, body oils and lantern oil.
- Pet food and bedding.
- Consumable products, including hemp flour and raw hemp seeds.
- Plastic, including plastic grocery bags, packing materials and hard plastic items like CD cases.
The CBD-Hemp Connection
CBD, or cannabinol, is derived from hemp plants. It’s a compound that has been shown to improve the symptoms associated with certain health conditions, particularly those that cause anxiety and pain.
Can Hemp Get You High?
Hemp cannot be used to “get high” or for achieving psychoactive effects. No matter whether it is smoked, eaten or vaporized, it simply lacks the chemical components that produce psychotropic symptoms.
Learn More About Using High-Quality Hemp Products
Here at Curaleaf Hemp, we’re passionate about the versatility of the hemp plant and how CBD can be used to provide relief that even traditional medications and treatment cannot. To learn more about CBD oil, vapes and topicals, contact us today.
We can help you choose the hemp-derived CBD products that are right for you.