Views From The Leaf

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Hemp

May 17, 2021

Hemp Leaf and Seeds

What is hemp?

Hemp comes from the cannabis sativa plant species grown specifically for industrial use.  It can be used to create items such as: clothing, textiles, rope, paper, and so much more.

Hemp has an incredible history.  Our ancestors used hemp as one of the very first plants to be spun into usable fiber more than 50,000 years ago.  These fibers were used to create clothing, rope and other various items that helped improve the life of early man.

Hemp is an incredibly versatile product.  While it was previously mentioned that hemp can be used to create goods such as paper, rope, and textiles, that is only the beginning of what hemp can be used to create.  Biofuel, animal feed, and even biodegradable plastics can all be fashioned from hemp.  The inner two fibers of the plant are woodier and typically have industrial applications, such as mulch, animal bedding, and litter. When oxidized (often erroneously referred to as “drying”), hemp oil from the seeds becomes solid and can be used in the manufacture of oil-based paints, in creams as a moisturizing agent, for cooking, and in plastics. Hemp seeds have been used in bird feed mix as well.

Hemp seeds are high in complete protein and are also a great source of iron. They can be eaten raw, ground into hemp meal, sprouted or made into dried sprout powder. Hemp seeds can also be made into a liquid and used for baking or for beverages such as hemp milk and tisanes. Hemp oil is cold-pressed from the seed and is high in unsaturated fatty acids. The leaves of the hemp plant, while not as nutritional as the seeds, are edible and can be consumed raw as leafy vegetables in salads, and pressed to make juice. In the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand, India, hemp seeds are grounded with lemon juice and Himalayan salt into a paste. Water is then added to make ‘Bhang Chutney’. This dip has been served since ancient times as a side to several meals.

Hemp fiber has been used extensively throughout history, with production climaxing soon after being introduced to the New World. For centuries, items ranging from rope, to fabrics, to industrial materials were made from hemp fiber. Hemp was also commonly used to make sail canvas. The word “canvas” is derived from the word cannabis.  Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen. Because of its versatility for use in a variety of products, today hemp is used in a number of consumer goods, including clothing, shoes, accessories, dog collars, and homewares. For clothing, in some instances, hemp is mixed with lyocell.

Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and may have higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects. The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit only hemp that is bred with an especially low THC content.

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf distributes this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions for an Ohio marijuana card. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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