Hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which we, medical patients and stoners, are very familiar with. The main difference between Hemp, and the beloved Sativa, is the THC percentage, which is the psychoactive substance in the plant. For comparison - Hemp has 0.3% THC, while the well-known Sativa contains approximately 20% THC. In order to get high with Hemp, one will need to consume an extreme amount which will cause him stomach ache, before anything else.
The Hemp seed is rich with proteins, fat and essential vitamins. The seed can be used to produce flour, protein powder, milk, bread and many more. The fibers and stalks of Hemp are used to create clothes, shoes, paper, bio-diesel, bags, rope and more.
Hemp use by humans isn’t new whatsoever and it is considered by historians as one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber. First traces of it date back to 8000 BC in the area of Japan.
In addition to its versatile usability, it has a minimal carbon footprint on the environment. It grows very fast. Compared to traditional crops and specifically Cotton, it consumes very small amounts of water. It requires few pesticides and no herbicides, that frees greenhouse gases and toxins to the atmosphere. As it grows, hemp breathes in CO2, detoxifies the soil, and prevents soil erosion. What’s left after harvest breaks down into the soil, providing valuable nutrients. For all these reasons and more, Hemp is very environmentally friendly.
So, why isn’t it the undoubted king of raw materials? Hemp is still a type of Cannabis, and despite the fact that it’s almost impossible to get high from it, many countries still ban its cultivation and sale. Nevertheless, trends of Cannabis consumption and the awareness of climate change, are creating changes in public opinion and regulation, that will hopefully allow this plant to become as popular as it deserves to be!