What Is Hemp? | Benzinga

This article by Dante Jordan was originally published on The Bluntness and appears here with permission.

When it comes to industrial hemp, one of the first questions cannabis users ask themselves is, can you smoke it?

Since hemp is a strain of cannabis plant that contains almost no THC, inexperienced consumers wonder whether it is even worth loading a bowl or rolling a piece of hemp.

Short answer: yes, you can safely smoke hemp.

Long Answer: Yes, sure you can, but the experience of smoking hemp is very different from the traditional cannabis you are used to buying from your local pharmacy.

Additionally, thinking of hemp as something to smoke is very short-sighted because the plant offers so many other benefits.

Pull up a chair my friend, it’s time to get down to the core of the cannabis sativa strain known as hemp.

What is hemp?

Is hemp our most underrated resource? | Photo by NickyPe from Pexels

Hemp is a strain of Cannabis Sativa L. that contains significantly less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than the cannabis we are all associated with.

Most believe that hemp is defined by less than 0.3% THC, however 0.3% THC is simply the arbitrary limit of legality set by the US government.

Depending on the genetics and cultivation of the plants, some strains of hemp can produce more than the legal limit of THC, becoming what is known as “hot hemp”. Legally speaking, hot hemp must be destroyed, an issue that is much debated considering that THC can be extracted from the plants.

Hemp is insensitive to Central Asia and grows tall with thin leaves, a characterization of most cannabis sativa plants in general.

The plant consists of four main components (stems, seeds, roots and leaves / flowers) that humans have used for tens of thousands of years to make a wide variety of products, which is why it is also known as industrial hemp.

Hemp stalks consist of two parts: the fibers, also called bast, and the core, also called shives or hurds. In the past, hemp fiber was used to make rope, paper, and textiles, while the hurdles were used to make building materials such as hemp concrete.

Hemp seeds, which are high in healthy proteins and fats, have been used to make various types of foods, animal feeds, oils, health products, and even paints and fuels. Hemp roots are used to make certain medicines and composts, while hemp flowers and leaves produce medicines and the smoke stains that led you to this article.

A graphic from the Hemp Foundation shows a detailed list of how people use each part of this plant.

Although the plant has a wide variety of industrial uses, hemp production was restricted by the US government’s enactment of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 and banned outright, along with all forms of cannabis, by the Controlled Substance Act of 1970.

In December 2018, however, the government finally overturned this bad decision with the passage of the Farm Bill. Initially, the recent legality of hemp and consumer interest in cannabidiol (CBD) led to a booming CBD industry. However, according to a story by Politico, the bubble is poised to burst due to the oversaturation and gold rush mentality of the industry.

Much more research is needed before any real concrete statements about hemp, CBD and their human health benefits can be made. However, there is a growing interest in them for help in alleviating many common physical and mental illnesses.

Some of the conditions hemp CBD can help with include:

  • Pain
  • inflammation
  • fear
  • depression
  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • Cancer symptoms
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Seizures

For more information on hemp and health, check out peep sources like WebMD, Healthline, and Harvard Health.

In 1985 legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer (yup, like the strain) published the Emperor Wears No Clothes about hemp, its history, its ban and all the ways he believed the plant could save the world. He also suggested a $ 100,000 reward for anyone who disapproved of his claims.

In 2020 the bet is still standing. Herer died in 2010.

How is hemp different from marijuana?

Hemp and cannabis are technically the same, but ...

Hemp and cannabis are technically the same, but… | Image by DimStock from Pixabay

Hemp and marijuana come from the same species of plant, but differ in the amount of chemical compounds they contain and the psychoactive effects of those compounds.

In one sentence, marijuana is the type of cannabis that gets you high from the consumption of THC. Hemp is a type of cannabis that won’t get you high, but still offers some of the therapeutic health benefits attributed to certain cannabinoids and terpenes. Just as the chemical profiles and experiences of THC-dominant cannabis differ based on genetics, so does hemp. The key to relief is figuring out which of these will work best with your endocannabinoid system.

Although both are cannabis plants, the name marijuana was invented by the government to discourage people from using hemp and to provide a reason to be racist against Mexicans.
Smoking hemp won’t get you “high”, but you might still feel some altered state of body and mind after consuming it. It just won’t be the super vivacious feeling you feel when smoking joints, taking blobs, and vaping THC-including hash oils.

Instead, you will likely feel a certain clear calm over you, something that opens your mind and makes your body feel relaxed. The only surefire way to know how hemp affects your body is to consume and see it.

Can you smoke hemp?

In terms of safety, you can definitely smoke hemp leaves and flowers. It’s the same as any other traditional cannabis product: throw it in a grinder, disassemble, roll, or charge.

And just like the weed you buy from pharmacies, only buy your hemp products from reputable sources who can demonstrate through certificates of analysis from reputable cannabis testing laboratories that their products are clean and safe for human consumption.

Many companies sell hemp flowers and hemp pre-rolls for people who prefer to actually smoke their medication. Additionally, some companies have started making hemp cigarettes to help people transition from tobacco cigarettes.

Even so, hemp smokeables have a mild, unattractive, earthy terpene profile followed by a slightly harsh smoking experience. For this reason, the most popular way to take advantage of hemp’s benefits is to vape CBD distillates with added terpenes, foods (gums), topical creams, and sublingual tinctures. Or eating hemp seeds and foods for super protein sources.

The future of hemp

According to Markets and Markets, the global industrial hemp market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34% from $ 4.6 billion in 2019 to $ 26.6 billion by 2025.

The market is driven by people who consume hemp products for health reasons. This explains why so many of these people are not interested in smoking hemp flowers (unfortunately, smoking is not the best for your lungs / body).

However, the future of the hemp market in the US depends largely on education. Most people are still unaware of the many beneficial uses of hemp, be it as a superfood, textile, or biofuel product.

Once these hemp uses are considered, the demand for hemp crops will grow exponentially.

Read the original article on dullness.

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