With the capability to produce vital resources such as rope, clothing, and paper, the hemp plant has played a crucial role throughout our history. Archeological evidence suggests that we’ve been using hemp since as early as 8,000 B.C., making it the first plant ever cultivated.
Over the years, the hemp industry has experienced a lot of ups and downs, but with the recent explosion in the popularity of CBD and a shift in demand for natural products, the industry is experiencing a renaissance.
Due to this new demand for hemp and hemp-based products, farmers and green-fingered entrepreneurs all over the world are turning to hemp cultivation as the next big thing.
But what is hemp, Is it legal and safe to use, and how exactly can hemp be used? Dive in to find answers to these questions and more.
Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana: The Complicated Difference
While hemp and marijuana are regularly referred to as “species” or “strains” of Cannabis, they actually do not qualify as either one. In fact, they couldn’t technically be considered as plants at all…
Hemp and marijuana are simply broad classifications of Cannabis that were adopted into our culture; however, they are not legitimate nomenclature for the Cannabis plant.
The Usage of Hemp Throughout History
The cultivation of hemp dates back thousands of years. In fact, hemp was probably the earliest plant cultivated for textile fiber. Archaeologists have even found the remains of hemp cloth in ancient Mesopotamia which dates back to around 8,000 BC.
Thanks to this find and similar others, it is widely thought that hemp cultivation represents the oldest example of mankind’s industrial efforts.
Over the years, hemp has played an important role in the development of human societies. It was used to make the 600-year-old Gutenberg Bible, as well as the sails of the English fleet of ships that defeated the Spanish Armada. In fact, at one point, it was illegal for farmers in England not to grow hemp.
In America, hemp had been held in high esteem by those in power. Founding Father and former President Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, “hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.”
Later, George Washington encouraged the cultivation of hemp when he said, “make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
The Many Uses for Hemp in the Modern World
We can see how important hemp has been in the history of the human race. But what makes this plant so special? Let’s take a look at the many uses of hemp, as well as why it is so valuable to our future.
Fiber and Building Material
As previously mentioned, hemp fiber has been used for millennia. It can be used to make fabrics and textiles, rope and paper. The word ‘canvas’ actually derives from the word cannabis.
In addition to being used as a fiber, hemp has the unique capability to be used as a powerful building material as well!
In fact, hemp can be made into a variety of building materials. These include concrete-like blocks called ‘hempcrete’, biodegradable plastics, and wood replacements.
These materials have been used in the manufacture of many things, including electronics, cars and houses. In fact, the first American home made of hemp-based materials was completed in August 2010 in Asheville, North Carolina
Source of Food and Nutrients
The seeds of hemp are extremely nutritious and were first thought to be eaten by the Ancient Chinese and Indians. They have a nutty taste and can be eaten raw, ground up, sprouted, or made into dried sprout powder. Hemp seeds also contain a very beneficial oil that is high in unsaturated fatty acids, including an optimal 1:4 ratio of omega-3 to 6.
Additionally, hemp milk can be made from hemp seeds, while the raw leaves of the hemp plant make a nice addition to salads.
Source of Cannabinoids like CBD
Hemp is a rich source of cannabinoids, specifically CBD, which can be found throughout the plant and can then be extracted and use in a variety of different CBD products.
Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Fuel Source
Not only can hemp help preserve our planet and improve our manufacturing, it can help fuel us forward and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.
According to the National Hemp Association, hemp can be used to produce both ethanol-based fuel and biodiesel.