Hemp is getting a lot of attention of late because of its perceived health benefits. It seems like everyone wants to try their hands on various products derived from this plant. But if it is simply a plant with a range of benefits and uses, then why has it been under scrutiny for so many years? Let’s have a look at all you need to know about hemp.
Hemp’s complicated history may be discouraging for people who want to reap the beneficial aspects of this plant. So let’s look into some of the answers before we plan to use it.
What is Hemp?
Hemp, also known as ‘industrial hemp’, is a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis Sativa which is usually found in the northern hemisphere. Nobody knows how and where it was originated but historical records trace its origins to the Himalayan region in Asia.
There are various varieties of the cannabis plant—cannabis Sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp are both derived from the species cannabis Sativa and both contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It contains lower concentrations (less than 1%) of THC and higher concentrations of CBD (cannabidiol), which means it can do a lot good for you instead of getting you high.
Himalayan hemp is coming to the forefront after a string of controversies linking it to marijuana in the wrong way. The level of psychoactive substance, THC, found in the Himalayan hemp flowers is typically between 0.2% and 0.3% as compared to THC levels of 4% to 5% in marijuana.
Himalayan hemp is a climate-adaptive crop that can grow from 40 cm-4 m in height depending upon the seed variants, water availability, rainfall, and other climatic conditions. Soil rich in nitrogen and temperature variation of 15-25 degrees is preferred for its cultivation and speedy growth of the plants.
It needs consistent moisture only during the germination and planting process and once grown, its taproots can easily reach the underground water reserves.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Himalayan hemp crop is its organic growth. It can be grown without the use of any pesticides or herbicides. Besides, this multipurpose plant can also be used in crop rotation for soil remediation and to eliminate pesticide effects and bio-absorption of contaminants.
Consumed globally, Himalayan hemp is considered among the best grades of hemp. It is used as a substitute for cotton, clubbing it with other natural fibers like silk to produce textiles. The plant is also used for manufacturing paper products and fiberglass as well as an alternative source of biofuel.
What can Hemp do?
The Hemp plant has been cultivated since nearly 12,000 years and over this time it has been used for food, fibers and fuel by many civilizations across the globe. Today, Hemp seeds and fiber can be used to create over 60,000 sustainable products ranging from health drinks to fabric to concrete and everything in between!