What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a plant which belongs to the family of Cannabaceae. It contains rich nutrients that are ultimately beneficial to human health. It is highly regarded for its medicinal potential with a non-addictive component. Also known as Industrial hemp, it has been relevant in the field of industrialization. Its seeds and fiber are highly essential in making food and commercial materials such as rope, clothes, biodegradable plastic, and many others.
The plant is known to have three types of species. There are varieties that come with each type such as the Cannabis sativa plant. It comes with a variety containing low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and a variety with high THC. The former is commonly called hemp while the latter is popularly termed as marijuana or cannabis.
Hemp is known as a great source of Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is an element extracted to commercial products to produce a sense of relaxation and relief. It is also known to inhibit the intoxicating effects of THC among hemp plants.
The Farm Bill 2018 in the United States has legally allowed growing hemp in fields across different states. However, hemp products with THC levels above 0.3% are federally controlled in commercial marketplaces.
What Is The History Of Hemp?
Hemp has been grown in the country for centuries and it has evolved into numerous terms such as cannabis, marijuana, and weed.
The use of hemp started as early as ancient civilizations in Japan and China, according to the University of Florida. While seeds were used for food, and stalks were used for fiber, hemp flowers were smoked in ancient medicine and rituals.
The plant originally came from Central and Southwest Asia and was brought to North America in 1545 due to Spanish colonization.
In the 1800s, the rise of hemp fiber became significant in the US, not until other fiber crops such as cotton and later on, synthetic fiber, became popular.
In the 20th century, legal restrictions about its cultivation and possession were introduced, which resulted in a major decline of the hemp industry. Its commercial identity returned to life when federal prohibitions about it were lifted through the Farm Bill 2018.
Is Hemp A Drug?
Hemp is a plant and not a drug. It does have a natural therapeutic function, but there is no scientific evidence to prove its safety and efficacy.
The plant has three main components: its seeds, its oil, and its fiber. The seed and oil are typically used in food and nutritional supplements. Although the oil can also be used as a topical ointment, possible side effects are still unknown when it comes to using it as a medicine.
Some people mix the leaves and flowers of the plant in their meals while others take advantage of the immediate calming effect of smoking them. It may give a strong sense of relaxation, but it does not reach the feeling of getting high.
The CBD component from the plant is the powerful ingredient in medical drugs. Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved drug which is purely CBD oil, is used to treat two of the most serious epileptic encephalopathies called the Dravet Syndrome and the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
CBD formulations are currently studied by several researchers for its high medical potential especially in treating anxiety disorders, neurological illnesses, and cancer. Despite this, CBD and hemp must not be confused as one since the plant alone has multiple varieties.
What Does Hemp Do To The Human Body?
Hemp seeds contain the richest nutrients in a hemp plant and these are extremely beneficial for the health. However, some individuals may not respond well to these chemicals and the risk for skin irritation and digestive problems may likely occur. Despite these concerns, the following explains what hemp does to the human body.
Protects the brain
Hemp seed extracts have a mix of CBD and other compounds known to protect and develop neurological functions. Omega-3 fatty acids and tannins aid in keeping the brain healthy.
This potential highly supports the possible treatment of neurological illnesses, neuropathic pain and multiple sclerosis using hemp.
Boosts the heart
Hemp seeds contain healthy fats that promote good cholesterol and help lower blood pressure and triglycerides. These chemicals prevent the development of heart ailments and stimulate a healthy condition of the cardiovascular system.
Arginine, an amino acid found from hemp seed oil, also increases dilation of veins and arteries and softens blood vessel walls, allowing blood flow to run smoothly.
High levels of healthy fats and amino acids and the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are essential in boosting the immune system, preventing illnesses from successfully attacking the body.
Hemp is also a rich source of fiber, an active compound which helps improve digestion. It makes bowel movement regular and prevents constipation.
Hemp has a good ratio of omega 3 and 6 which helps reduce inflammation in the body. This function is essential in preventing inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes and arthritis.
The gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from hemp is a potent anti-inflammatory which is also found to be helpful in reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among women.
Keeps skin healthy
The omega 3 and anti-inflammatory components of hemp relieve symptoms of skin disorders such as acne and eczema. Applying hemp oil on the skin provides relief for these conditions.
Relieves stress and anxiety
Hemp seeds contain magnesium, amino acids, and B vitamins that help relieve stress. CBD from hemp also plays an important role in the central nervous system which relieves anxiety.
What Is Hemp Used For Medically?
Hemp is medically used to relieve inflammatory conditions such as constipation, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, atopic dermatitis, and acne.
The hemp oil, which is extracted from the seeds through cold-compress, contains high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids which provide a significant healing power in terms of relieving pain and boosting natural body functions such as blood flow and digestion.
Dermatologists trust that these compounds are valuable in treating skin conditions – not only atopic dermatitis and acne as mentioned, but also cradle cap and psoriasis. These experts also note that the oil can help protect the skin from an infection.
The richness of antioxidants present in the plant’s components are also acclaimed for its potential in nourishing cells and protecting it from damage by any infection. Scientists continue to study how far it could prevent the growth of tumors which cause cancer.
How Does Hemp Work?
Hemp is rich in cannabinoids, chemicals which act on the natural endocannabinoids in the body. This helps improve cardiovascular and digestive functions as well as cell interactions. This component also aids in regulating inflammation and relieving pain to those who suffer from specific illnesses.
In terms of industrial use, it contains properties that act as a good insulation and building material for construction. It is also a popular raw material that promotes sustainability.
How Is Hemp Used?
Aside from being an essential ingredient in food supplements, cosmetics products, and medical drugs, hemp is also used in several industrial items.
The hemp fiber is particularly used as a raw material in making clothes and shoes, ropes or cords, paper and biodegradable plastic. It is also mixed with other components to create building materials such as wood, concrete, and plaster, as well as automobile panels. The plant’s oil is also used in making varnishes and biodiesel.
The crop is also used for water and soil purification. It can clear impurities and other toxic chemicals found in wastewater. It can also act as a smother crop to prevent weeds from growing on other crops, and help farmers reduce their use of herbicides.
What Are The Different Types Of Hemp?
There are three different types of hemp and these are: Cannabis sativa L, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis sativa L
This is the variety with low levels of THC, making it highly ideal for dietary essentials. It uplifts energy without getting high. This variety is also significantly used in cosmetics and industrial products.
This is the main source of CBD oil which is relevant in treating inflammation and pain. It has a high level of THC but low content of CBD. It produces an effect of relaxation and relief without the side effect of getting high. This variety closely resembles Cannabis sativa L.
This is not as popular as the two previously mentioned species since it has no significant effect on human health and industry. However, its flowers are known to be used in combination with other strains to create an impact.
Are Hemp And Marijuanas The Same Plant?
Yes, they are the same plant! They do not differ in their taxonomy. Their scent and structure are no different at all since technically, they are similar species – the Cannabis sativa plant.
However, they do share one slight difference and that is the level of THC they contain. THC levels indicate the addictive factor of a substance. Hemp only has less than 0.3% THC while marijuana (also called cannabis) has about 5 to 20% THC.
It is for this distinction that both have varying legal standing in terms of production and use. Products which contain less than 0.3% THC are legally allowed in marketplaces while those higher than this are controlled.
CBD content from hemp typically comes with lower THC than that from marijuana. CBD products with THC level less than 0.3% are available for commercial use.
A major problem about CBD products at present includes most manufacturer labels of the items do not accurately reveal the exact concentration of CBD or THC. This may cause a negative impact on human health in the long run.
Are there hemp cigarettes?
A traditional cigarette substitute known as CBD cigarettes (or hemp cigarettes) elevates your smoking experience while assisting you in quitting tobacco-filled cigarettes. We solely roll our CBD cigarettes using hemp flower; they don’t have any tobacco or nicotine. Full spectrum inhalable CBD is what CBD smokes are.