National Hemp Month
July is national hemp month. As the hottest crop of the decade, there are still many misconceptions and questions regarding its uses and benefits. Let’s clear the smoke and dive into why you should care.
History of Hemp
Did you know that throughout early American history and up until the early 1900’s, American farmers were required to cultivate hemp?
This versatile crop has been a staple in our country for both its soil remediation and textile uses, even grown by our founding fathers before it was ultimately made illegal in the 1930’s. While the ultimate reason it was made illegal is still under debate, there is no mistaking it’s rampant return in the last decade.
The Farm Bill of 2014 made growing industrial hemp legal in the U.S. to encourage farmers and processors to begin cultivating this crop for its many uses. This was further defined in 2018 farm bill with many states, including Wisconsin, creating pilot programs to help drive momentum to the research.
While the intended purpose was to begin lessening our foreign dependency for hemp fiber, it has blossomed into a multi-faceted industry for both large and small businesses alike. From hemp clothes to hempcrete to CBD products, you would be hard pressed to not find a hemp-based product in your neighborhood grocery store.
Hemp Vs Marijuana
When most people think of Hemp, they think of a fibrous substance used to make clothing, ropes and even building materials. While these are accurate & common uses, many fail to realize that “Hemp” and “Marijuana” are actually part of the same plant species; Cannabis Sativa L.
The main legal differentiating factor between “Hemp” and “Marijuana”, commonly referred to as weed, dope, ganja, green, kush, maryjane, pot, etc, is the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the active compound in Cannabis that gives users a “High.” To be classified as hemp the cannabis plant must contain <.3% THC on a dry weight basis.
However, in certain phytocannabinoid rich varieties of hemp, it does still produce other non-intoxicating cannabinoids, most commonly Cannabidiol or CBD. These are then extracted and formulated into the vast array of Full Spectrum CBD products available from manufacturers such as Carbon Cannabis.
This dynamic crop has historically been bred and genetically modified for two common uses. fiber and cannabinoid production.
When growing hemp for fiber or textiles, the plant is farmed using traditional agricultural techniques. The hemp plants are tall and strong, with minimal leaves or flower. Upon harvest, the whole plant is used. The hurd and stalks are turned into fibrous material similar to raw cotton, and the seeds are usually pressed into oil as a nutritional supplement.
This fibrous material has countless uses, including;
- paper products,
- building materials
More importantly, one acre of hemp can produce as much as 10 acres of trees over the same 20-year period. So as this side of the industry scales, hemp-based products will become much more commonplace as the nation strives towards sustainability.
The more popular and well-known use of industrial hemp is for Cannabinoid production, specifically CBD. These cultivars have been bred over many generations to minimize the THC content and maximize CBD production.
While it can be consumed or smoked raw, manufactures such as Carbon Cannabis can extract and concentrate the valuable CBD and other plant material from 10-15% in its raw flower form to 80-90% in an oil form. This Full Spectrum oil is then formulated into tinctures, topicals, pet extracts, and many more products intended for consumption.
CBD helps everyone differently, common uses include;
- Pain Management
Because of its growing popularity, there has been a flood of CBD products to the market and not all are created equal. Some are highly effective and formulated with precision while others are carelessly mixed and brought to market.
Whenever choosing a CBD product, verify it has been 3rd party tested to ensure its safety and potency. Examples of these tests or Certificates of Analysis (COA) can be found HERE.
Join the Celebration
Whether for fiber or CBD, this amazing plant deserves to be celebrated. The political climate has kept much of the nation’s exposure to a minimum, so every opportunity to educate or discuss its many uses is invaluable to preserving its upward trajectory.
So how can you join the celebration? Wear hemp clothing, speak with your local politicians, support hemp farmers and CBD businesses, substitute hemp based products for paper based whenever possible. Also, leave a comment below and tell us what you love about hemp!
Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!