Hemp has a long and rich history across the entire world. It has become an especially popular topic of discussion in recent years as laws regarding hemp, cannabis, and CBD rapidly change. If you've heard people speak about their favorite hemp products, you may ask, "What is hemp and how are hemp products made?" If you're curious about using hemp products, you should understand what hemp is, how it differs from other cannabis plants, and how manufacturers process the plant.
What Is Hemp Used For
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is one of many varieties of the cannabis plant. Because cannabis is such a vast genus, different countries have different official definitions of hemp. The United States defines hemp as a cannabis sativa L. plant that contains 0.3 percent THC or less.
Because hemp contains so little THC, it does not have psychoactive or intoxicating properties. The plant has a number of other uses, though. Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops, and people have benefited from it for thousands of years.
Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
It's important to be aware of the difference between hemp and marijuana. These plants are both classifications of cannabis, but there are several big distinctions between the two.
The legality of hemp and marijuana is a source of confusion for many people, but you must know the laws before purchasing cannabis products. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal across the country, which includes hemp-derived CBD and all other hemp products. However, a few states still prohibit hemp on the state level.
Marijuana laws are more complex. Some states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, some have legalized the plant for recreational purposes, and some ban it altogether. Fortunately, if you're only interested in CBD or other hemp products, you're covered under the Farm Bill.
Hemp and marijuana use different cultivation systems. Marijuana fields are usually made up of entirely female plants, but hemp fields include some male plants. The male plants release pollen, which makes the female plants produce seeds. Also, hemp is typically cultivated outside, but marijuana is most commonly cultivated indoors or in greenhouses.
Most importantly, hemp and marijuana contain different compounds, so the experience of using or consuming hemp is nothing like the experience of consuming marijuana. While most strains of marijuana contain around 12 percent THC, hemp contains little to no THC. Hemp does not have the psychoactive properties of THC, so it does not make you feel high.
What Is Hemp Used For?
Civilizations around the world have used hemp for thousands of years. The oldest known hemp product is a scrap of hemp fabric that dates back to around 8000 BC.
Hemp is one of the most versatile plants and has hundreds of different uses. The seeds, roots, stalks, and leaves all have valuable properties.
Hemp seeds are most commonly used for nutritional purposes. They are very similar to flax and chia seeds in their uses and nutritional content.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein as well as vitamins B and E. They contain sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and several other vital nutrients. The seeds are a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids as well. These nutrients improve heart health, regulate blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system.
You can consume hemp seeds in a number of ways. Many people enjoy mixing ground hemp seeds into smoothies or adding whole seeds to salads. Hemp seed milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk, and hemp seed flour is a healthy and gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour. You can also mix hemp seeds in with coffee beans to get some of hemp's nutritional benefits in your coffee.
Some people prefer to add hemp oil to their meals. Hemp oil is made by pressing the hemp seeds. It's a highly-concentrated source of protein and contains many of the other nutrients found in hemp seeds.
Historically, hemp roots have been used for medicinal purposes. Today, the roots are not as popular or frequently used as the seeds, stem, or leaves of the hemp plant.
There are reports of hemp root helping with a number of ailments. More research is needed to confirm the benefits of hemp root for these conditions, though.
The traditional way to use hemp roots is to boil the plant material, which dissolves the chemical compounds. Then, this substance can be topically applied to the affected area of the body.
The stalk of the hemp plant has the widest range of uses. Hemp stalks contain two types of fibers: bast and hurd. When processing the plant, manufacturers separate the bast and the hurd with a technique called retting, which uses water or chemicals to dissolve the tough cellular tissue on the surface of the stalk. Then, the stalk goes through the decortication process, which removes the fibers from the rest of the plant.
The bast of the hemp plant includes the long fibers in the stalk. It has been used for hundreds of years to make textiles like clothing, belts, shoes, and bags. The fibers make high-quality and durable material that can withstand harsh weather and frequent washing. Fabric made with hemp fibers is warmer and better-insulated than most other fabrics.
There are three categories of fibers: primary, secondary, and tow. The hemp fibers are classified based on their cell strength, which determines the fiber's strength and durability. Different categories are used to make different types of products.
The hurd, also known as the shive, is the inner core of the hemp stalk. It can be used in agriculture to make mulch, litter, or animal bedding. The shive is also sometimes used in industrial products, ceiling panels, and particle board. Pellets made from hemp hurds can fuel pellet stoves, too. Although they aren't as popular as wood pellets, they burn well and produce very little ash.
Leaves and Flowers
Some people enjoy consuming hemp leaves for nutrition. The leaves have similar nutritional properties as the seeds. Hemp leaves and flowers are most commonly used to make CBD oil, though.
Hemp leaves and flowers contain over 80 recognized compounds, including cannabinoids like CBD. The body's endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors located all across the body. CBD and other cannabinoids bind to these receptors, which can lead to a variety of physical and mental effects.
Experts are still in the early stages of research on CBD oil, and more studies are needed to understand exactly how CBD affects the body. However, many CBD users report benefits like pain relief and decreased stress and anxiety.
CBD oil is created by distilling the hemp leaves and flowers, which results in a concentrated solution. Different CBD products can have different amounts of CBD and other compounds. For example, SabaiDee's Good Vibes oil contains 250 milligrams of CBD, and the Mega Good Vibes oil contains 2,500 milligrams. The effects and dosage recommendations vary depending on the strength of the oil and whether it contains other hemp compounds.
There are many ways to consume CBD oil. You only need a few drops to feel the effects of the solution. One of the most popular ways to consume CBD is the sublingual method, which involves placing drops of CBD oil under your tongue. This allows for very fast absorption.
You can also take CBD oil capsules or apply CBD-infused lotions or balms. Some CBD users prefer topical products because they contain a mixture of other beneficial oils and compounds. SabaiDee's Relief Rub balm contains hemp-derived CBD as well as camphor oil, blue tansy, and wintergreen leaf.
CBD edibles are another popular product. If you don't like the taste or smell of CBD oil, you can mix it with your food or drink, and you won't notice it's there.
The Future of Hemp
Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hemp products each year. Because hemp has only recently been federally legalized, much of the hemp that Americans purchase comes from other countries.
However, the hemp industry has grown significantly in the United States in recent years. According to Vote Hemp's 2019 report, over 500,000 acres of hemp fields were licensed in 2019, which is a 455 percent increase from 2018. Vote Hemp reports that 34 states have licensed hemp cultivation.
As laws and regulations regarding cannabis ease up, we can expect to see more growth in the hemp industry. CBD is one of the most popular hemp products today, and researchers are starting to take more of an interest in the compound. Over the next few years, we will likely see more studies that explore the potential benefits and uses of CBD and other hemp products.
Hemp is used to make hundreds of products, so the question, "What is hemp used for?" doesn't have a short and simple answer. Civilizations have benefited from hemp for most of recorded history. Today, we use hemp for food and textile materials, and many people use hemp-derived CBD oil to improve their overall well-being. If you're interested in CBD oil, SabaiDee has you covered. Our oils, tinctures, and topical creams use high-quality hemp extract and contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
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