Hemp is the common name, but it is also known under its Latin name "Cannabis Sativa". It is an annual plant from the hemp family. The plant is dioecious; this means that male and female flowers do not appear on the same plant.
The female pistil flowers of the Cannabis Sativa are located in the axils of the leaf.
The male stamen flowers are located in the plumes of the plant. The hemp can reach a height of four meters.
Family / history
For a long time it was unclear how the hemp plant could be categorized. To which family belongs this plant actually? It is now clear that the hemp plant belongs to the Cannabinaceae family. This plant family of angiosperms is known from the protection around the seeds.
In the Netherlands, the hemp family comes in two genera:
- Cannabis (Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis ruderalis)
- Humulus (Hop)
Useful parts of the plant
The hemp plant consists of many useful components:
The fibers of the bark of the hemp plant are very strong, and can be used to make ropes and textile-based fabrics.
Hemp seed is healthy because the extractable oil is full of healthy fats, minerals and vitamins. This hemp seed oil has a delicious taste, is nutritional and healthy for humans and animals.
About 60% of the plant contains woody parts. These woody parts have a number of possible applications, such as straw, building materials and firewood. The woody parts actually have a high heating value and low ash formation.
The leaves of the hemp plant can be used for preparing a nice fresh cup of tea or as herbs to give your oven dish an extra boost. The dried leaves can also be used to give your bath a delicious aroma.
Buds and flowers
The buds and flowers of the hemp plant can be used to extract cannabinoids. By nature, the plant is full of wholesome cannabinoids. Think about the cannabinoids CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBN and CBC. The cannabinoid THC is not naturally present in hemp, so it is not psychoactive and even safe for kids to use.
As mentioned earlier, the seeds of the hemp plant are used to make hemp seed oil. This is a healthy oil that contains about 20% alpha-linolenic acid and 60% linolenic acid. These are fatty acids that are produced by the body itself. The fatty acids, also known as essential fatty acids, are required by the body. It is therefore important that these fatty acids are part of our diet.
Free of gluten
Even flour can be extracted from hemp. The flour can be used in the preparation of normal dough products. Hemp is healthy and free of gluten, and not expensive to buy. Because the knowledge about gluten allergy is growing, it is important to have a good perspective on the alternatives. At this moment many good alternatives are available, including hemp flour. Think of the preparation of e.g. pastry or bread.
Because hemp is related to hop, you can also make tasty drinks from it. Today, hemp beer, hemp coffee, hemp tea and even hemp energy drinks are available.
Hemp tea might be the best known drink made out of hemp. By mixing the individual leaves with hot water, you can make a tea with delicious aromas with all the best of hemp in every sip.
Hemp seed peeled and unpeeled
The individually peeled hemp seeds are nice to eat as well. Do you want to eat them unpeeled, then you need to be a fan, because eating them like that is not so easy. The taste of unpeeled hemp seeds is delicious, it reminds of nuts. Some consider hemp seeds even a "super food". Hemp seeds contain good fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself.
Hemp fiber products
The diversity of hemp has no limits and there is a long list of products to which hemp can be added. Almost every day products are added that contain hemp fiber. Some examples:
- Animal litter
Raw litter can be used as bedding in stables for cattle. The litter is light and has water-absorbing characteristics. The litter therefore does not transform into a wet mush. An additional advantage is that it is completely harmless to animals, even if they eat it accidentally.
The production of 100% natural hemp rope has almost no impact on the environment, and is not expensive. The rope has been in use for ages, for example in agriculture and shipbuilding, is soft the hands and is fire retardant. No chemicals are used in the production of hemp rope.
Characteristics hemp rope:
- hemp rope is a 100% natural product
- environmentally friendly and biodegradable
- feels soft
- light beige in color
- fire retardant
Hemp rolling papers
The best known hemp paper is the rolling paper. Of course, the hemp can also be processed in any other type of paper.
Hemp as fabric
For centuries fabrics are made of hemp. This dates back to 600 b.C. Also canvas is actually a type of fabric. Hemp is even used in ropes and sails of traditional ships, because of its strength and tear-resistant properties.
The woody plant parts are used for the manufacturing of different kind of building materials. It is used with calcium for example, and can function as binding agent. Besides, the fiber hemp is also processed in isolation materials. A good example is the isolation material in cavity walls.
Hemp has good isolation properties
Hemp as isolation material complies with all technical requirements and is also clean and low-dust. It is a 100% natural product and an environmentally responsible choice as well. Hemp fiber contains no protein and therefore no chemical treatment is required.
Hemp fiber mats
Fiber mats are made of the woody plant parts. Think about different applications:
- below the carpet,
- below fabrics used in furniture,
- drainage mats,
- tree disks (impact protection).
Hemp seed oil is also used in health products. Hemp as feed, natural separation of property and against erosion in the mountains thanks to its long roots.
We can therefore ascertain that hemp is very versatile. The whole plant is used, from seeds to the leaves. Everything is produced at scale and new applications are invented every day. Recently, there was an article to make Lego stones of hemp, because this is much friendlier for the environment than normal plastics.
Hemp is not marijuana
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion about the difference between hemp and marijuana. The big difference is the lack of a psychoactive effect. In hemp, there is almost no THC, the same THC for which marijuana is mostly produced.
Let's say it differently: an apple is not pear, but both are fruits. Hemp is not marijuana, though both are Cannabis Sativa plants.
CBD in hemp
We cannot ignore this. CBD is a hot item. More and more people accept that using CBD products can have beneficial effects. But then all the questions start to arise. What is it? Where to buy? Will it make me high?
Hemp is naturally clean and pure
These are understandable questions. There was little known about hemp and at this very moment a lot of research still has to be done. The association with 'drugs' is made quickly, though wrongly - we already explained it, this is not correct. Hemp is a versatile plant without undesired side-effects. On the website you can find information about CBD and hemp products that can be ordered here.
Yes, we want hemp!
Hemp is something we should actually want! A product so versatile and with so many applications. A plant that you can use from its roots to its very end, for almost everything. Hemp is good for the soil life when it grows, and also wholesome in case of different symptoms. That shouldn't be a taboo. Everybody should know about this.
- Hemp is legally produced in Holland.
- Fiber hemp doesn't contain THC
- Hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids and is therefore healthy.
- (Organic) Fiber hemp is used for the production of many CBD products.
- Fiber hemp produces very little waste, every part is being used.