What is Hemp?
Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known.
In recent times, Hemp may be one of the most controversial plants in the world due to its relationship to marijuana. In effect, they are cousins. Hemp and Marijuana are the same genus and species (Cannabis sativa). Hemp is the fibre (and fruit) producing strain while marijuana is the narcotic strain of Cannabis. Both are annuals belonging to the hops family.
In all cultivars of Marijuana and most cultivators of Hemp there is a drug known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that the plant produces. A THC level of 0.3% is adopted in Canada as the concentration that separates non-narcotic strains from narcotic strains and is known as Industrial Hemp from which we get our Hulled Hemp Seeds, our cold pressed and filtered Hemp Seed Oil, and from which we make all of our products.
Hemp is commonly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fibre and/or oil-seed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with great and growing commercial success. Since 2007, commercial success of hemp food products has grown considerably.
Hemp is one of the faster growing bio-masses known, producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year. A normal average yield in large scale modern agriculture is about 2.5–3.5 t/ac (air dry stem yields of dry, retted stalks per acre at 12% moisture). Approximately, one tonne of bast fiber and 2–3 tonnes of core material can be decorticated from 3–4 tonnes of good quality, dry retted straw.
As a crop, hemp is very environmentally friendly as it requires few pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. It is easy to grow, and can claim such on every Contenient on Mother Earth. Hemp that is grown in Western Canada is primarily used for hemp foods.
Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa is the variety grown for industrial use, while C. sativa subsp. indica generally has poor fibre quality and is primarily used for production of recreational and medicinal drugs. The major difference between the two types of plants is the appearance and the amount of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) secreted in a resinous mixture by epidermal hairs called glandular trichomes, although they can also be distinguished genetically.
Oil-seed and fibre varieties of Cannabis approved for industrial hemp production produce only minute amounts of this psychoactive drug, not enough for any physical or psychological effects. Typically, hemp contains below 0.3% THC, while cultivars of Cannabis grown for marijuana can contain anywhere from 2% to over 20%.