What's Hemp? Exploring the Plant's Origins and Benefits
The psychoactive content of hemp is approximately 0.3% THC, whereas other cannabis species might contain much more. Although there’s a major lack of knowledge in regard to hemp, including its cultivation and uses, the demand for the crop has exploded in the last decade. In this article, we will give you the rundown on important details about hemp you may never have known -- where it comes from, what it's used for, and its plentiful health benefits.
That said, instead of providing a “high” sensation, hemp is able to work in a myriad of ways. If you were curious about why hemp products have been selling like hotcakes at your local grocery store, you are not alone in your pondering.
So, what exactly is hemp?
Ah yes, hemp -- the non-psychoactive plant species that derives from cannabis. The plant comes from the cannabis sativa family and is perhaps one of the greatest crops man has ever known.
At first glance, hemp might look quite similar to the iconic cannabis leaf commonly displayed in pop culture to the untrained eye, which may be the reason why it's often used interchangeably with the term ‘cannabis’, especially by those who are new to the world of cannabis. But, honestly, cannabis and hemp are pretty much the same thing. As mentioned above, hemp is a species of the cannabis plant and contains a unique chemical composition that many have found therapeutically beneficial. As it contains little to no THC, hemp plants aren’t typically used in the same way as other cannabis species that provide a high and are grown primarily for industrial purposes but have also been shown to provide profound benefits to the human body.
In appearance, hemp plants tend to have thinner leaves gathered closer to the top. As far as cultivation goes, the hemp plant has been considered a low maintenance plant, as it is able to adapt to most climates and requires a lot less water to grow than other crops. Furthermore, because you can use both the seeds and the flowers of hemp for a range of applications, the crop is considered a bountiful renewable resource, as it can be used abundantly without the potential of adverse environmental impacts or health effects. This makes hemp one eco-friendly and cost-effective crop.
In terms of the legality of hemp, the one defining factor in how each plant is used is the amount of THC found in a hemp-based product. Hemp naturally contains very little THC and although the usage, sales, transportation, and cultivation of the plant varies from state to state, in most of the U.S., the legal THC content allowed in hemp should exceed no more than 0.3%.
Hemp as a renewable resource?
At one point in time, hemp was among the most important crops of the 19th century. However, many have forgotten how it was a piece of fabric in the framework of both environmental and economic success.
Used in food, clothing, industrial products and more, hemp is a strong, fibrous, renewable resource that has been used for centuries. However, it posed a threat to certain industries, which led to its prohibition and the cease of its production. Thankfully, the resurgence of hemp — the non-psychoactive member of the cannabis sativa family – is another benefit of cannabis’ impact on society. As we continue searching for greener solutions to support industrial needs, hemp-derived from cannabis reveals itself as one of the top solutions to the environmental and economic problems faced today in the 21st century.
The digital age that we live today, where information is easily available and accessible, has put an end to fabrications, myths and outright lies about hemp. The plant is not only inexpensive to grow, compared to other plants such as trees, but it can be replaced in a month’s time instead of years and causes zero harm to our fragile ecosystems in the process. The best part? CBD is found in hemp in large concentrations and is one of the most abundant and well-researched cannabinoids found in nature to date.
The cannabinoid is mainly used as a health supplement and has become increasingly popular as more people are looking to this non-psychoactive compound as a potential replacement for certain prescription medications — and for good reason too.
CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp that acts on the same bodily system as THC without producing the “high” associated with marijuana. Both CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your brain, a system responsible for the regulation of bodily functions and processes such as sleep, mood, appetite, and much more. Cannabinoids such as CBD found in hemp are similar to endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body, and when consumed — without directly activating them — can bind to the same receptors and work to stimulate our ECS all thanks to its supportive and therapeutic properties.
If you’re interested in trying CBD, perhaps one of the best things to note is that it’s self-titrating, meaning you can adjust the dosage yourself as needed without any danger of side effects. Furthermore, CBD has not been shown to have any negative side effects. People who consume CBD are not at risk of overdose, withdrawal, or addiction, making it an attractive cannabinoid to consume to alleviate various symptoms without the fear of addiction and all the perils that come with it. If you're not sure whether hemp or CBD oil is better for you, check out this article about hemp oil vs. CBD oil to learn the differences.
Well, that does it! We hope that you learned a thing or two about hemp that you never knew before. If you are thinking about giving hemp a try, there is an abundance of hemp-infused products as well as organically produced clothing and, of course, those hemp seeds on the shelves of your local grocery store that you can choose from.
Not only will you be showing your own body some love and nourishment, but the planet will feel the love, too. While there's much more research to be conducted on the safety and efficacy of hemp and its constituents, we're hopeful that the medical sector for the plant as a whole will grow!