What Is Hemp? A Quick Guide About Uses/Products, Growing & More

What Is Hemp? A Quick Guide About Uses/Products, Growing & More

Hemp has been used widely in some countries for centuries, but it only starting to grow and establish itself in others.

If you’re not familiar with it, we’ve put together a quick guide about what Hemp is, and some information about growing Hemp, and the different Hemp uses/products.

 

Summary – What Is Hemp

  • Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, and it is grown for it’s industrial uses
  • Both the primary fibers and the wood like core of the hemp plant can be used for a range of commercial and industrial uses
  • Hemp seeds can also be used for various products, as well as the flower, shivs and leaves
  • Hemp is different to Marijuana – Marijuana has as much as 20% THC to industrial hemp’s 1%. There’s also differences is a hollow vs solid stalk with different fiber contents
  • Different countries have different restrictions, allowances and regulations on the growing of hemp
  • Even the different States within the US have different licenses for what hemp can be used for – industrial use, commercial use, and research purposes
  • As of 2016/17/18 – the US is beginning to relax it’s restrictions on growing Hemp within the US for different purposes. China on the other hand has never restricted hemp production like the US.
  • There’s different ways hemp can be harvested, and growing conditions can differ
  • The two main parts of the hemp plant that are processed once harvested are the gain/seed, and the fibre
  • The world-leading producer of hemp is China, which produces more than 70% of the world output. France ranks second with about a quarter of the world production
  • Thirty-six countries throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and North America permit hemp production.
  • Note though that there is a big difference between being able to produce/grow hemp, and being able to commercially sell it – different countries have different regulations and restrictions on this
  • In the US in 2017, Colorado accounted for nearly a third of the legal hemp acreage in the country
  • The global industrial hemp market size is expected to grow in the future – rising demand for oil in food and beverages owing to growing awareness regarding dietary advantages of hempseed and oil is expected to propel demand.

 

What Is Hemp?

  • Hemp, or industrial hemp typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products.

– wikipedia.org

 

  • Hemp grows to a height anywhere from 4-15 ft (1.2-4.5 m) and up to 0.75 in (2 cm) in diameter.
  • The plant consists of an inner layer called the pith surrounded by woody core fiber, which is often referred as hurds.
  • Bast fibers form the outer layer. 

– madehow.com

 

What Can Hemp Be Used For? – Products etc.

  • It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.

– wikipedia.org

 

  • The primary bast fiber [of Hemp] is attached to the core fiber by pectin—a glue-like substance. The primary fibers are used for textiles, cordage, and fine paper products. The wood-like core fiber is used for animal bedding, garden mulch, fuel, and an assortment of building materials.
  • Other products made from hemp fiber include: insulation, particleboard, fiberboard, rope, twine, yarn, newsprint, cardboard, paper, horse stable bedding, and compost. Hemp bedding has been found superior to straw and other materials for horse stalls in reducing the smell of ammonia. Hemp seed is used to make methanol and heating oil, salad oil, pharmaceuticals, soaps, paint, and ink.

– madehow.com

 

  • The flower, seeds, fibre, shivs, leaves of the hemp plant can all be used, and the roots are important for soil health

– hempedification.wordpress.com

 

Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana 

  • Marijuana is another cannabis plant.
  • The major difference [between Hemp & Marijuana] is their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, the ingredient that produces the high when smoked. Marijuana can contain as much as 20% THC, compared to less than 1% for industrial hemp. 
  • Most hemp varieties also have a hollow stalk that have a very high fiber content (35%), in contrast to marijuana varieties that usually have a solid stalk having low fiber content (15%).

– madehow.com

 

Restrictions On Growing Hemp

  • Some countries are reluctant to legalize growing of hemp (especially the United States), since there is a fear this will make it more difficult to control the use of the drug.
  • Canada is one country that has legalized hemp, though with certain restrictions. The maximum allowable THC concentration is 0.3% and all hemp farmers are required to undergo a criminal-records check, as well as obtain a license from Health Canada. 

– madehow.com

 

  • The legal problem for hemp is that it’s visually and taxonomically identical to marijuana. Both are classified as Cannabis sativa L, and the only difference between them is the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in pot. Marijuana contains at least 3 percent THC by weight, whereas hemp falls below that threshold.
  • The only way to distinguish marijuana from hemp is by taking it to the lab, or rolling it up and smoking it.
  • A government helicopter that flies over a farmer’s field can’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana.

– slate.com

 

There is a difference between what Hemp is allowed to be grown for in different countries. It may be purely for industrial or research purposes, or it may also be for commercial purposes (plus other reasons).

 

How Hemp Is Regulated In The United States

  • 33 states have enacted some form of hemp-specific legislation; nineteen of those have created licenses to grow hemp for industrial or research purposes. 
  • Hemp’s legality had been somewhat murky, thanks to the federal government’s prohibition of cannabis. Since the passage of the Fertilizer Access and Responsible Management (FARM) Act in 2016, however, the commercial hemp business has boomed. The act includes a section called “Legitimacy of industrial hemp research,” which legalized hemp growing for research purposes under agricultural pilot programs and academic research; it also allows states with legalized hemp-growing programs to operate without federal interference.

– westword.com

 

As of 2016/17/18 – the US is beginning to relax it’s restrictions on growing Hemp within the US for different purposes. China on the other hand has never restricted hemp production like the US.

 

How Is Hemp Harvested/Cultivated?

You can read more about how hemp is harvested in this resource by madehow.com 

But, some farms and countries may harvest Hemp in a slightly different way depending on technology

 

You can also read more about growing conditions for hemp in this resource from hempbasics.com

 

How Are Hemp Products Processed & Made?

The two main parts of the hemp plant that are processed once harvested are the grain/seed, and the fibre.

You can read more about how each part of the hemp plant is processed at madehow.com

Once again, depending on the product and processing facility, the hemp seeds or fibres may be processed differently

 

Countries That Make/Produce The Most Hemp 

  • The world-leading producer of hemp is China, which produces more than 70% of the world output. France ranks second with about a quarter of the world production. Smaller production occurs in the rest of Europe, Chile, and North Korea. Over 30 countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

– wikipedia.org

 

  • Thirty-six countries throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Africa and North America permit hemp production.
  • China is the world’s largest producer of hemp
  • Note though that there is a big difference between being able to produce/grow hemp, and being able to commercially sell it – different countries have different regulations and restrictions on this

– hempedification.wordpress.com

 

In America:

  • Colorado accounts for nearly a third of the legal hemp acreage in the country in 2017, at 7,500 acres. Oregon(3,469), North Dakota (3,020), Kentucky (3,000) and New York (2,000) rounded out the top five.

– westword.com

 

There’s more information on how Hemp is produced and regulated in different countries at hempedification.wordpress.com

 

Value & Size Of The Hemp Industry 

  • The Hemp Business Journal calculated United States (US) sales of hemp products in 2015 to be 25% greater than their 2014 total of $400 million (the Hemp Industry Association [HIA] estimated US hemp product sales in 2014 at $620 million).

– hempedification.wordpress.com

 

  • The total sales for the U.S. Hemp Industry in 2017 were $820mm – but only 13% was textiles

– hempbizjournal.com

 

  • According the Hemp Business Journal, the U.S. Hemp industry produced at least $820 million in revenues during 2017, with growth to over $1 billion for 2018, and an expected 14% compound annual growth rate through 2022. 

– marketwatch.com

 

  • The global industrial hemp market size is expected to reach USD 10.6 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 14.0% during the forecast period. Rising demand for oil in food and beverages owing to growing awareness regarding dietary advantages of hempseed and oil is expected to propel demand.

– grandviewresearch.com

 

Sources

1. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-industrial-hemp-market

2. https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/bright-future-for-cbd-and-hemp-industry-as-demand-continues-to-grow-2018-08-21 

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp 

4. http://www.madehow.com/Volume-6/Industrial-Hemp.html 

5. https://hempedification.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/hemp-production-around-the-world/ 

6. https://slate.com/technology/2011/04/hemp-versus-cotton-which-is-better-for-the-environment.html

7. https://www.westword.com/marijuana/colorado-leads-country-in-hemp-production-hemp-vote-says-9648009

8. https://www.hempbizjournal.com/size-of-us-hemp-industry-2017/ 

9. https://www.hempbasics.com/hhusb/hh2cul.htm#HH22

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