HEMP is a versatile plant that has been used for centuries to make a variety of commercial and industrial products, including ropes, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. Hemp, (Cannabis sativa), also called industrial hemp, is a plant of the Cannabaceae family cultivated for its bast fiber or its edible seeds. Hemp is sometimes confused with cannabis plants that serve as sources of the drug, marijuana and the drug preparation hashish. Although all three hemp, marijuana and hashish products contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that produces psychoactive effects on humans, the cannabis strain grown for hemp has only small amounts of THC compared to that grown for marijuana or hashish production. The hemp plant is an aromatic and upright annual herb with thin rod-shaped stems that are hollow except at the tip and base.
The leaves are compound with a palmeate shape, and the flowers are small and greenish-yellow in color. Seed-producing flowers form elongated spike-shaped clusters that grow on pistillate or female plants while pollen-producing flowers form branched clusters in staminate or male plants. The cultivation of hemp for fiber was recorded in China as early as 2800 BC. C. and it was practiced in the Mediterranean countries of Europe at the beginning of the Christian era, spreading throughout the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages.
It was planted in Chile in the 16th century and a century later in North America. Hemp is grown in temperate zones as an annual crop from seed and can reach a height of up to 5 meters (16 feet).Crops grow best in well-draining sandy loam and require average monthly rainfall of at least 65 mm (2.5 in) during the growing season. Crops grown for fiber are densely seeded and produce plants averaging 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 feet) tall with almost no branching. Plants grown for oilseeds are planted further apart and are shorter and with many branches.
In fiber production, maximum yield and quality is achieved by harvesting soon after plants reach maturity, indicated by full blooms and free pollen discharge from male plants. Although sometimes plucked by hand, plants are most often cut about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the ground. The fibers are obtained by subjecting the stems to a series of operations including annealing, drying and grinding and a stirring process that completes the separation of the woody portion, releasing the long and fairly straight fiber or line. Fiber strands, generally greater than 1.8 meters (5.8 feet), are made of individual cylindrical cells with an irregular surface. The fiber, longer and less flexible than linen, is usually yellowish, greenish or dark brown or gray and, because it does not fade easily to sufficiently light tones, it is rarely dyed. It is strong and durable and is used for twine, for example.
Some specially processed hemp has an off-white color and an attractive sheen and is used to make linen-like fabrics for garments. Can hemp textiles be used to make shoes? Hemp fiber is used to make bioplastics that are recyclable and biodegradable depending on the formulation. The novel “hempcrete”, a composite material made of hemp and a lime binder, can be used similarly to traditional concrete in no-load applications. Hemp can also be used as an alternative to wood pulp in some cases; it is often used in paper making and is a sustainable alternative to fiberglass insulation in buildings. Although only the hemp plant produces real hemp, other plant fibers are called “hemp” such as Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), Mauritian hemp (Furcraea foetida) and sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea).The vitamins, minerals and nutrients in hemp seeds can provide some important health benefits.
For example, hemp oil is rich in vitamin E which is useful to help maintain the functioning of the immune system; it also acts as an antioxidant and helps reduce free radicals that can cause cell damage in the body. Over time, the use of hemp has evolved and cultivation is now used to make many other products including health food, clothing, body care products, biofuels, plastic composites and more. And we can't forget to mention that hemp is also used to create CBD products such as those sold here at Premium Jane. CBD is obtained from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant while hemp used to make other items is obtained from different parts of the crop; for example hemp fiber is used for paper textiles construction materials etc. A considerable proportion of hemp products fall into the food category; you'll often find hemp seeds in healthy recipes. Hemp seeds are known to be an incredible source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids proteins dietary fiber and several minerals; you can buy them with shell or without shell; they are often called hemp hearts. Other hemp food products include hemp milk (more on this later) and protein which contains more protein and healthy fats than almond milk but fewer calories than cow's milk; it's also considered a “complete protein” because it contains nine essential amino acids that humans need from food making it one of the best sources of plant-based protein. There's currently a fairly large discussion going on regarding the use of hemp to produce biofuel known as bioethanol and biodiesel; biofuel is the term given to fuels manufactured from plants while hemp fuel is a form of cellulosic ethanol which means that biofuel is made from fibrous stems of the hemp plant; biofuels are much more sustainable than traditional fuels because they can be grown harvested continuously at a sustainable rate. And hemp is believed to be one of the greenest most profitable fuel crops on the market. The debate between hemp vs cotton has been going on for decades; before cotton industry took off hemp was used to make clothes because of its fibrous stems making it ideal for knitting on fabric; it's quite versatile but its use in textiles has been overshadowed by cotton. Hemp fiber is also used for paper textiles construction materials health food clothing body care products biofuels plastic composites CBD products healthy recipes omega-3 fatty acids omega-6 fatty acids proteins dietary fiber minerals bioethanol biodiesel fuel crops etc. In conclusion we can say that there's no doubt that hemp has many uses both commercially industrially as well as nutritionally; its versatility makes it one of nature's most valuable resources.