What is Hemp? Understanding the Versatile and Sustainable Plant

Hemp is another herb belonging to the Cannabis family. With several benefits and useful effects on human life, it is considered a very potent type of CBD.

what is hemp

The world of Cannabis has been transforming our lives like nothing else. With several benefits, health uses, and the least risk of side effects, Hemp is another variant of the Cannabis family that can easily make your life much healthier, happier, and more useful than ever. So, what is hemp? Let’s learn! 

Some Basics about Hemp

Before diving into the long list of Hemp benefits, it is best if we review all the basic details about the most important question, ‘What is Hemp?’

Well, simply put, Hemp is a versatile variant of the Cannabis family. The cultivation of hemp dates back to approximately 2700 B.C. in China, and its cultivation has since expanded globally. 

Every part of the hemp plant serves a purpose, contributing to its widespread utility as a valuable crop. However, the most important part is the amount of THC or ‘Tetrahydrocannabinol’ that Hemp contains. 

Since THC is the driving factor that makes any CBD variant a ‘hit’ or ‘miss’ for the people, it would be a great relief for all such conscious people to know that Hemp contains very little amounts of THC. This makes it a relatively safe variant of CBD to be used by everyone. 

Abundant in nutrients, hemp seeds are hailed as a superfood. They boast a well-balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, promoting heart health. Additionally, these seeds are a valuable source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Derived from hemp, CBD is extracted and incorporated into a range of products, such as oils, tinctures, edibles, and topical creams.

Hemp’s Industrial and Environmental Benefits

It is evident from several resources that Hemp is indeed the answer to many solutions for human beings. As experts go on to reveal more of its useful benefits through research, let’s briefly overview some of the industrial and environmental benefits that Hemp has for us. 

Water Conservation

Hemp requires less water compared to many other crops. Its deep root system helps prevent soil erosion and can contribute to water conservation in agricultural practices.

Fiber Production

Renowned for their breathability and moisture-wicking attributes, hemp fibers are exceptionally robust, durable, and versatile. Their versatility extends to the production of textiles, clothing, ropes, and canvas.

Paper Production

Hemp has been historically used for paper production. Hemp paper is considered more environmentally friendly than traditional wood-based paper because it requires fewer chemicals and can be produced with less environmental impact.

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Building Materials

Hemp fibers can be used to make composite materials for construction. Hempcrete, composed of hemp fibers, lime, and water, represents a sustainable substitute for conventional concrete.

Notable for its lightweight nature, breathability, and outstanding insulation properties, hempcrete stands out as an environmentally friendly construction material.

Biodegradable Plastics

Hemp can be utilized in the production of biodegradable plastics, presenting a renewable alternative that decomposes more readily than conventional petroleum-based plastics. This contributes to a reduction in environmental pollution.

Carbon Sequestration

During their growth, hemp plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). The widespread cultivation of hemp on a large scale has the potential to sequester carbon, offering a partial contribution to the mitigation of climate change.

Hemp in Nutrition and Health

Like every other natural crop, Hemp is also found to have several benefits for enhancing the health and nutrition of people. Some of the key pointers that make Hemp a clear winner in people’s eyes have been listed as under:

Protein Content

Hemp seeds serve as a superb plant-based protein option, catering to the dietary preferences of vegetarians and vegans. The easily digestible hemp protein includes globular proteins, offering potential health benefits.

Dietary Fiber

Hemp seeds and their derivatives, like hemp flour, are rich in dietary fiber. The importance of this fiber extends to sustaining digestive health and participating in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

Vitamins and Minerals

Hemp seeds encompass a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. These nutrients are vital for upholding overall health and well-being.

Antioxidant Properties

Hemp seeds and hemp oil are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phenolic compounds, which play a crucial role in countering oxidative stress and inflammation within the body.

Potential Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Cannabidiol (CBD), an element present in hemp, exhibits potential anti-inflammatory properties. Ongoing research is exploring the potential of CBD in addressing conditions associated with inflammation, though further investigation is required.

Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp may play a role in promoting cardiovascular health, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the amino acid arginine in hemp serves as a precursor to nitric oxide, aiding in the dilation of blood vessels and the regulation of blood pressure.

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Management of Skin Conditions

Often employed in skincare products for their moisturizing qualities, hemp seed oil is recognized for its potential role in addressing skin conditions like eczema and dry skin.

Despite all the benefits and advantages of incorporating Hemp in your life, the most important part is the amount of THC or ‘Tetrahydrocannabinol’ that Hemp contains. 

Since THC is the driving factor that makes any CBD variant a ‘hit’ or ‘miss’ for the people, it would be a relief for all the Hemp enthusiasts to know that the amount of THC that Hemp contains is less than all other variants of CBD. 

This ultimately implies that Hemp is less likely to be declared as a controversial or illegal substance in any part of the world. But, as you might have already guessed, this wasn’t always like this. 

The legal standing of hemp differs across countries and, in certain instances, within various regions of a country too. It is, therefore, safe to say, that the rules and regulations regarding the legal status and the accepted ‘safe’ doses of Hemp keep changing from time to time. 

In the U.S., the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and legalized its cultivation, processing, and sale. However, here’s the catch – one can only sell and use Hemp as long as it contains less than 0.3% of THC content.  

Similarly, the EU allows the cultivation of hemp with a THC content not exceeding 0.2%, whereas in Canada, Hemp cultivation is legal.

To Summarize

All in all, Hemp is indeed a gold mine for all the people who wish to try something new and effective yet also something that is safe for them to consume. 

With these benefits of Hemp, people can easily make the most of their lives and health, and even enhance it greatly. All that is required from you is to use it within the prescribed safe limits and with that, you are good to go for a long, long time.

Several people tried Hemp and the effects that they experienced from it were enough to make them hooked for a lifetime! So, why not include yourself in that list too?

Andleeb Asghar - Pharmacist

Andleeb Asghar - Pharmacist

Andleeb Asghar holds a “Pharm-D” degree from Lahore College for Women University, Lahore. She is an official Registered Pharmacist (RPh) in Punjab, Pakistan. She has also got a “Master of Philosophy” degree from the University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Lahore. Andleeb has worked in various practice settings as a clinical Pharmacist and has a wide range of experience. She has been cited in Healthline and Telehealth for her expertise. She has also served as a distinguished guest speaker at various local hospitals and high-profile organizations. She has been writing Cannabinoid & Marijuana related content for the past five years for different reputable companies. She is passionate about serving others by crafting information and helpful pieces for her readers.

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