Today, hemp is all the rage, but many don’t stop to ask: What is hemp?
What is hemp? From hemp lotion and clothing to even concrete and rope, products made from hemp are becoming very common. But many don’t take the time to learn where it came from, why it has been illegal for so long, and how all the products we see on the market are actually made.
Some history behind hemp in the USA.
From the 1970s until 2018, hemp has been all but illegal in the US. When many in the US were seeking to make marijuana illegal, two individuals, DuPont and William Randolph Hearst helped get hemp outlawed. And it was NOT because it got you high. They were upset that hemp was cutting into their paper and nylon business. They controlled both of these industries and they didn’t want Hemp getting in the way. Now, it’s making it’s way back into many industries from rope, to clothing, to CBD oil. If you’re looking to read more about the history, click here for a helpful article from Brookings.edu.
How to identify it:
True industrial hemp is usually 10-15 feet tall. Marijuana is typically 5-6 feet tall.
What is it exactly?
What is hemp exactly? Hemp is a weed! It can grow anywhere. To grow quality hemp, you’re going to get different results depending on the soil, the sunlight, and many other factors. Hemp is best grown in an environment where it can flourish. You typically shouldn’t use hemp that is grown in an environment with herbicides, pesticides, or other materials. As a weed, hemp will soak up anything in the soil, including metals, oils, or other harmful chemicals.
Hemp is very healthy!
Hemp is full of cannabinoids. It interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your body already has a similar chemicals to CBD in it. Hemp helps your endocannabinoid system function better. Your body has receptors that are actively searching for chemicals such as CBD. Your body naturally produces anandamide, and CBD interacts with the body in a similar way to help reduce anxiety, stress, pain, and inflammation. It can even help keep your metabolism up and your body sugar down. It must of course be grown responsibly without heavy metals, herbicides, or pesticides, as mentioned previously.
How is oil actually made from a hemp plant?
To create hemp oil, you must extract the oil from the hemp plant with CO2. You take the hemp plant, and place it in a high pressure CO2. This is referred to as “raw hemp.” At this point, you have “CBDA,” which is the acidic version of hemp. You have to heat this in order to clean the acid off of the hemp, and create CBD oil.
Just like marijuana, with hemp, you need to heat it in order to get the effects. Whether you’re using hemp or marijuana, the process of cleaving the acid off of either plant is called decarboxylation. Once this is complete, manufacturers typically try to keep the terpenes and cannabinoids in their products through this process. Raw hemp is helpful as an inflammatory, but it is not usually as helpful for stress & anxiety as CBD oil, because it doesn’t cross the blood/brain barrier.
How are hemp and marijuana different? Hemp has a different makeup of cannabinoids. It also has more fiber, so it’s better for materials like rope, clothing, and even fencing and concrete! They’re similar plants, like tulips and roses, but their makeup is very different. The CBD is higher in hemp, and the THC is lower.