What is Hemp? Meet the Cousin of Cannabis in 18 Questions – Greencamp

Quite similar to the extremely beneficial cannabinoid-rich varieties of cannabis, hemp can also be considered a versatile plant, to say the least.

Before it got banned in various countries across the world, hemp was used throughout human history, and was considered a very important crop in many different cultures.

We are currently witnessing a worldwide resurgence of this plant which is truly a wonderful thing, when we consider its wide range of us.

Before we dive in, here are some quick facts about hemp:

  • It has very low levels of THC (below 0.3%)
  • It is commonly used for medical purposes through hemp-based CBD oil
  • It’s practically impossible to get high from it (due to its miniscule THC levels)
  • It has an insanely diverse application in numerous industries
  • It has a very rapid rate of growth
  • It absorbs far more carbon dioxide than trees
  • Hemp seeds are extremely rich in both essential amino and fatty acids, protein and fiber

Hemp and cannabis can be viewed as two sides of the same coin, and both sides are incredibly useful for us.

If you’re interested to learn more about the history of these plants, check out our in-depth articles about the history of pot, and more importantly how it became illegal in the first place.

What is hemp good for?

Hemp plant has can be used for a bunch of stuff, including:

  • Food, primarily hemp seeds, and oil derived from hemp seeds
  • Paper
  • Bioplastic
  • Biofuel (Biodiesel)
  • Clothing and similar fabrics
  • Reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • Building and construction materials
  • Making CBD oil supplements

What is hemp used for today?

Hemp is used for making bioplastic, paper and clothing. Hemp seeds are used as a food supplement, but the volume of production isn’t particularly large. Hemp is also used for making CBD oil.

Countries including Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and China are all growing industrial hemp, and the US is currently its biggest importer.

It is a little-known fact that biodegradable hemp-plastic is currently used in some models for different types of paneling by car manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lotus.

Clothing companies like H&M, Adidas and Puma have also been incorporating industrial hemp in their lines.

puma hemp sneakers
Puma sneakers made from hemp

Is hemp legal to grow?

The Canadian government allowed hemp production back in 1998, and since 2018, hemp is once more legal to grow in the US.

Other countries where industrial hemp can be grown are Australia and New Zealand, Austria, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Egypt, Portugal, Thailand and the Ukraine.

Is hemp a drug?

In my opinion, regular cannabis shouldn’t be considered a “drug” because it’s completely natural, and has an astonishing amount of medicinal properties for a colossal number of diseases, conditions and disorders.

Unlike regular cannabis, which has a high concentration of THC in it (5-25%), industrial hemp is a subspecies of cannabis that has very low levels of THC, around 0.3 %.

THC is one of the chemical compounds responsible for the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but it’s also the only one that causes the psychoactive cerebral sensation known as “the high”.

Long story short, hemp has very low levels of THC, and because of that we can’t get high from it.

Can you smoke hemp?

Industrial hemp is safe for smoking and all other forms of consumption, but because of its low cannabinoid profile, hemp doesn’t have the medicinal properties of regular cannabis and hence it’s not usually smoked.

it’s theoretically possible to get slightly high off hemp, you’d require a mammoth amount. Also, because THC is present only in trace amounts, hemp can’t be used for recreational purposes—even though.

For medicinal and recreational needs, stick to regular cannabis.

FYI, cannabis and marijuana (a slang term) are the same thing, while (industrial) hemp is the low-THC relative of cannabis.

Is hemp good for pain?

Unlike cannabis, hemp can’t be used for treating any type of pain, whether it’s chronic, neuropathic, or a pain caused by an injury.

Consuming hemp seeds has a lot of benefits, but alleviating pain definitely isn’t one of them.

What’s the difference between hemp and CBD?

First of all, CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the cannabinoids compounds present in all cannabis varieties.

One of the uses of hemp plants is for making CBD oil, which is achieved by different extraction techniques.

CBD oil is also made by extracting CBD from regular cannabis plants that have large concentrations of this cannabinoid.

Is hemp good for anxiety?

Even though hemp contains CBD, which is the most important cannabinoid for battling anxiety, consuming hemp for anxiety isn’t a good idea, because it just doesn’t have the desirable qualities.

Instead, stick to high-CBD strains, or concentrated CBD oils (which are sometimes made by extracting cannabidiol from hemp).

How many uses are there for hemp?

We’ve already covered some of the most prominent contemporary uses of hemp including the automotive (hemp bioplastic), and clothing industries, but there’s still a lot more to go through.

Hemp can also be used:

  • as a nutrient-packed dietary source (through hemp-seeds)
  • for creating biofuel, or more precisely biodiesel
  • as an efficient and cost-effective source of paper
  • as a tool for reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere
  • as a “conscious” construction material

What does hemp do to the body?

As a dietary supplement, the most important part of the hemp plant are the seeds.

They are truly a powerhouse of nutrients:

  • Hemp seeds are 30% fat (very rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, in a very balanced ratio, 1:3)
  • Over 25% of hemp seeds is high quality protein, and they are considered as a complete source of protein, as they have all essential amino acids (which cannot be synthesised by our bodies, and have to be obtained through diet)
  • Rich in vitamin E, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sulfur, zinc and iron

Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted, grounded up, sprouted, made into oil, milk or a powder.

Is hemp safe to eat?

Even though other parts of the hemp plant can be consumed, the biggest nutritional value of this plant lies in its seeds.

As mentioned in the passage above, hemp seeds are packed with protein, essential amino and fatty acids, and various minerals and vitamins.

Does hemp oil have any health benefits?

Hemp oil refers to cold-pressed oil made from hemp seeds, and just like raw seeds, it’s it extremely beneficial.

All hemp-seed derived foods are great for:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving immune function
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Improving circulation
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Weight loss
  • Recovery from disease and injury

Can hemp seeds make you fail a drug test?

Hemp seeds have a very miniscule amount of THC in them, and since THC is stored in the fat cells of our body, it’s somewhat possible that a very sensitive test will find traces of THC in your system.

This can happen only if you regularly consume amounts that are several times larger than the recommended daily dosage (which is around 40-50 grams per day).

THC levels in hemp seeds are so low that there’s absolutely no psychoactivity.

Does hemp oil have side-effects?

Hemp oil made from hemp seeds (not to be confused with CBD oil, or RSO) is a natural and safe dietary supplement, so there shouldn’t be any adverse effects.

The only downside is the potential THC build-up (that is if you live in a place where cannabis is still illegal), but this can be avoided by following the guidelines on how to properly dose this oil.

What are the side effects of hemp?

Hemp seeds or oil made from seeds of hemp is the only part of the this plant that should be consumed by humans.

The storing of THC in the fat tissues of our body over extended periods of time is the only adverse effect of consuming these seeds, and this is only an issue in case you get tested for THC.

Is hemp good for the environment?

hemp benefits

Here’s how hemp benefits the environment:

  1. It remediates the soil it grows in, which basically means that it cleans the soil by extracting numerous pollutants and heavy metals from contaminated soil. It was even used in Chernobyl to reduce radioactivity.
  2. It can be used for creating ethanol, and thus biofuel, or more precisely biodiesel. Compared to corn, hemp has almost double-yields, which means that using hemp produces twice as much ethanol. It also uses ⅓ of water compared to corn, and requires no pesticides and herbicides (a naturally disease-free crop), unlike corn which has high pesticide/herbicide requirements.
  3. Hemp is a far better solution for the production of paper compared to trees, because it has a fantastic photosynthesis rate, which means it grows more rapidly, and also that it uses more carbon dioxide in the process. Hemp requires only 3 to 4 months to fully develop, unlike trees which of course need years to fully mature.
  4. It is the most efficient carbon-negative crop, which means it absorbs larger quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) per acre, compared to all other commercial crops or forests.

Is hemp better than trees?

This is a somewhat silly comparison, but for the production of paper and lowering CO2 levels in the atmosphere hemp seems to be a far superior option.

Increased levels of carbon dioxide are caused by our use of fossil fuels, and this negative trend shows no signs of stopping. Using hemp for these purposes would replace wood pulp and put an end to deforestation.

What is hempcrete?

This biocomposite material is made from hemp hurd (the inner woody part of the stalk), lime and water.

Hempcrete is used in construction, and it regulates both the temperature and the humidity of a building, greatly lowering energy spending and the need for heating/cooling.

hempcrete house
House with hempcrete walls in California

Hempcrete is a carbon negative material, which means the production of hempcrete doesn’t pollute the atmosphere of our planet with additional carbon dioxide.

Buildings made with this biocomposite are also able to absorb and emit moisture, allowing the structure to “breathe”, which is much healthier and energy-effective option than regular concrete/brick housing. This material is also mold-resistant, and fireproof.

Summary

Just as the high-cannabinoid varieties of cannabis are immensely beneficial for human health, hemp offers a multitude of uses, surpassing other crops with its astonishing efficiency.

In the years to come we will hopefully see a global increase in hemp production, which will bring only good to our planet and all of its inhabitants.

Source: https://greencamp.com/hemp/