What is Hemp?
Hemp is usually used to refer to the cannabis plant. This is not entirely accurate. Hemp refers to cannabis strains that have low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. But it’s a relatively newer name for the cannabis plant as a whole. In order to be more accurate, hemp refers to the soft fiber that’s taken from cannabis.
It has a lot of legal uses especially in the industrial field. It’s currently being used in the production of mass-produced products like textile and paper. Outside of industrial uses, it’s also being used for health food. The commercial and industrial uses of hemp is currently growing, with the spike starting in 2007.
There are credible proofs that show the presence of hemp in as early as the Stone Age. Shards of pottery from Taiwan and China that are more than 7,000 years old were discovered to have imprints of hemp. After that, its usage became widespread when it was later on used to make shoes, clothes and even rope. In addition, there’s reason to believe that Cai Lun wasn’t the one who invented paper 105 AD. Hemp paper as old as 200 years before that were discovered in the Great Wall of China.
Herodotus, a classical Greek historian, mentioned that people from Scythia would inhale smoke from burnt hemp seeds in 480 BC. They did this for ritual and recreational purposes, giving birth to the usage of hemp for recreational purposes.
In the late medieval times, particularly in Italy and Germany, hemp was added to dishes and soups. Later on, its usage became widespread in Europe as a material for rope. In fact, the ships of Christopher Columbus were known to employ these ropes.
Its usage in the United States became widespread in World War II when it was used in making textiles for uniforms. The US even produced a short film back in 1942 – “Hemp for Victory”. In the short film, they promoted hemp as an important factor in winning the war. Majority of the hemp used were grown in Kentucky and majority of the Midwest. In fact, it played a huge part in improving Kentucky’s economy.
The first known law when it comes to hemp was the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act. However, it did not make illegal to grow and sell the crop. The act just levied a tax to people who are involved in growing and selling hemp. With the act, you can be imprisoned for not paying the tax. But this law was overriden in 1970.
Right now, growing hemp is illegal in the US mainly because of its relation to marijuana. It’s still a controlled substance by virtue of the Controlled Substances Act. However, more and more states are recognizing the benefits of growing hemp. According to the North American Industrial Hemp Council, around 27 states have already passed or are in the process of passing a law legalizing the cultivation of hemp.
What Slang Names Is Hemp Known As?
It’s important to note that hemp is usually confused with marijuana. This is why slang terms for marijuana are often used to refer to hemp.
In addition, hemp is also sometimes used as a slang term for marijuana. But as far as hemp is concerned, these are the two most popular slang terms for it:
- Gunney sack
- Indiana ditchweed
What Effects Does Hemp Have?
There’s a common misconception that hemp produces the same effects as marijuana. This isn’t accurate because hemp has a low level of THC which is mainly responsible for the high that marijuana produces. Generally speaking, hemp has no more than 0.3% THC. Compare that to marijuana that has at least 6%. However, it still contains THC and no matter how low the levels are, there’s a possibility that you’ll feel effects like euphoria and hallucinations.
Hemp is usually used to produce hemp oil. This oil is used to treat several minor ailments. In addition, it’s considered as a good supplement for overall great health. The oil gives our body a boost in essential fatty acids that our body can’t produce. However, experts warn of side-effects like diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
Who Grows Hemp?
Farmers grow it. There are a lot of farms all over the world that are being tended to by farmers. However, a lot of these farms are managed by huge corporations that grow hemp for export to countries like the US.
Where is Hemp Grown?
China dominates this field and they are the world’s largest producer of hemp. All in all, there are about 30 countries that grow hemp. This includes Canada, Australia, France, Russia and Great Britain.
What is Hemp Grown From?
Hemp grows from seeds of the Cannabis family of plant that has low levels of THC.
How To Grow Hemp
You actually have two general options – to grow it indoors or outdoors. Growing it outdoors is your best choice if it’s not illegal in your area. After all, the outdoors present the things that hemp needs in order to grow properly. However, small-time cultivators have found out that it’s easier to grow them indoors since it’s easier to manage it. In addition, that’s the logical option that’s available for people who plan on growing it illegally.
The first thing that you need to do is to find a farmer or gardener that sells hemp seeds. It’s best to find one in your area since it means that his seeds are used to the climate and conditions in your area.
Germination follows by planting the seeds in sterile soil. This is actually very easy. Just ensure proper light and ventilation and it will grow on its own. After all, it’s known as one of the most resilient crops.
If you want to learn how to grow hemp, it’s a good idea to study hydroponics. A lot of growers have reported that it’s actually easier and faster to grow hemp through hydroponics. This is because of better control and conditions. You would need to fill pots with mixtures of four part of lava to one part of vermiculite.
Can you extract THC from hemp in order to make a drug? Yes, it’s possible. But this is not usually logical and the North American Industrial Hemp Council agrees:
“Extracting THC from industrial hemp and further refining it to eliminate the preponderance of CBD would require such an expensive, hazardous, and time-consuming process that it is extremely unlikely anyone would ever attempt it, rather than simply obtaining high-THC marijuana instead.” Source: http://www.gametec.com/hemp/hempandmj.html
What Does Hemp Look Like?
Hemp is very much alike marijuana since they both came from the same family of the Cannabis plant. The main difference is the fact that hemp can grow to as high as 25 feet when planted outdoors. On the other hand, marijuana tends to be short.