What is Industrial Hemp?

industrial hemp plant leaves

Everyone in the cannabis community knows and loves traditional, gets-you-high weed, but there's another version of Cannabis Sativa that deserves some attention as well. Hemp, typically called industrial hemp, is a variant of weed which can't get you high and is instead used for creating a huge variety of sustainable, plant-based products. And, unlike the name of the plant suggests, industrial hemp isn't really a drug at all! Industrial hemp is a crop with amazing benefits for both the environment and for a ton of product industries.

But, if hemp is so useful, why don't more people know about it? And what, specifically, is industrial hemp used to make? With so many questions and so few answers, how do you get to the bottom of the definition of industrial hemp and its uses 

Don't worry if the details of industrial hemp escape your weed knowledge. Leafbuyer is here to give you a thorough rundown on all things industrial hemp. From history to agriculture, we have all your hemp bases covered. So, grab your favorite strain, kick back, and get ready to learn about industrial hemp! 

What is Industrial Hemp?

industrial hemp plant in hand

Industrial hemp, also known as just "hemp,is a non-psychoactive variation of Cannabis Sativa. THC-heavy cannabis (the kind that gets you high) is more well-known, and its status as a schedule-one drug can and has affected the publicsassociation with hemp.

Unlike its more popular cousin, industrial hemp is grown specifically for industrial use. Hemp is commonly used for its fiber, oilseed, nutritional value, and other valuable assets. As one of the fastest-growing plants out there, it is both a low-maintenance crop and an excellent resource for producing sustainable cannabis products

The legality of hemp varies widely from country to country, and regulations can be more or less strict depending on your location. Sure, you can't get high off hemp, but it's still useful nonetheless! 

The History of Industrial Hemp 

hemp seeds hemp oil

The history of industrial hemp use can be traced back to the Neolithic ages in China where an imprint of hemp fibers was found on a piece of pottery. Since then, industrial hemp has been recorded as being used throughout history as a valuable source of fiber for paper and textiles, as well as a source of food and other useful hemp byproducts.

The Spanish brought industrial hemp to the Americas around 1500 A.D. and thus began hemp production in the USA. The founding fathers of America considered hemp to be an integral crop with a significant amount of agricultural value. George Washington himself supported industrial hemp growth and understood the value of this versatile, easy-to-grow plant. Industrial hemp use in America only died back around the early 20th century when its shared genetics with psychoactive cannabis stigmatized its cultivation and use.  

Industrial Hemp Agriculture 

hemp agriculture field

Agriculturally speaking, industrial hemp is incredibly appealing. Not only can it be used to create sustainable products, it is also excellent for crop rotation. The breakdown of hemp adds nutrients to soil, and the plant's extensive root systems serve to aerate the soil, making it ideal for the next crop. 

Hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants, taking anywhere between 70 and 140 days from germination to harvest to reach maturity. Since hemp grows easily and has so many uses, large-scale hemp agriculture can prove incredibly beneficial on multiple levels. From rope to clothing to compost, industrial hemp is one of the most versatile and useful plants — and that's only naming just a few of the dozens of hemp uses. Humanity has been harnessing the power of industrial hemp for centuries and will (hopefully) continue to do so for the foreseeable future! 

Industrial Hemp Regulation 

hemp products

As we touched on earlier, the regulation of industrial hemp can and will vary widely depending on your geographical location and the laws pertaining to that area. Generally speaking, it should clock in below 0.3 percent THC to be considered true industrial hemp. This THC percentage is very strict in Northern America, but other regions may have less constricting laws about the classification of hemp. In America, you do need to obtain a license to grow industrial hemp. This license can be acquired through the DEA.

The effects of the war on drugs in America have leaked into hemp production, and only in more recent movements has hemp deregulation become a topic of popular discussion. Only time will tell if hemp will, in the future, be deregulated as the non-psychoactive plant it is. In the meantime, all we can do is sit back, relax, and smoke some good weed while you wait to hear more on industrial hemp's legal status