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Hemp is not a recreational drug. Although it is the same class (cannabaceae ) and species (cannabis sativa) of plant as marijuana, there are differences. Figure 1 shows the basic shape differences of each plant. Hemp looks like a tall grass (Figure 2), whereas marijuana resembles a flowering bush (Figure 3). More importantly, the legal dissimilarity between hemp and marijuana is characterized by the amount of the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that each plant contains. 1 For example, in marijuana, the average THC content ranges from 13 to 18 percent. 2 Conversely, the proposed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 defines hemp as a Cannabis Sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC. 3 The proposed law would remove hemp from Schedule I controlled substances, making it an ordinary agricultural commodity. 4
Some varieties of hemp plants produce significant amounts of Cannabidiol (CBD), the second significant cannabinoid found in the resin of the cannabis plant. 5 Although marijuana is grown primarily for its flowers (Figure 4), hemp is used for its seed, inner stalk (hurd), and foliage. The plant is grown in tight clusters so that it grows tall and tapered, with very little chance to spread its leaves and to flower.
Industrial hemp does not necessarily imply high CBD levels. Despite the fact that there are special varieties of hemp that produce substantial levels of CBD, this does not imply that all industrial hemp provides sufficient amounts CBD for medicinal use. 6
Figure 4: Marijuana Flower
Industrial hemp is often touted as a “miracle plant” due its many potential uses (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Hemp's Uses and Benefits
An Internet search of the term “hemp” will yield thousands of results, from America’s founding fathers growing hemp for utilitarian purposes to Henry Ford making a plastic-hemp composite car (Figure 6). 7
Figure 6: Henry Ford's Plastic-Hemp Composite Car.
Although industrial hem is not a panacea for the world’s social, economic, and environmental issues (no single plant can achieve that goal), industrial hemp can help lead the way to a future that embraces more sustainable agriculture practices. 8
- Every part of the hemp plant can be used, fiber, hurd, leaves, seed.
- Hemp uses less water than cotton.
- Hemp requires little to no pesticides or herbicides.
- Hemp extracts more than one ton of carbon per acre.
- Hemp takes only 100 days to reach harvest.
- Hemp-based products are biodegradable and sustainable.
Figure 7 illustrates the many uses that industrial hemp has for the modern world.
Figure 7: Modern Uses for Industrial Hemp
Please follow Earth 2.0 and Dr.Hemp on social media to learn more about how industrial hemp can be used to improve the world. In addition, please read Why the world needs hemp.