Hemp is one of the oldest crops men have grown over the years for many purposes, including textiles, paper, and cordage. However, not many people understand why it is different from other forms of cannabis consumed for recreation and medical reasons.

Hemp 101

Hemp is a non-intoxicating form of cannabis sativa containing less than 0.3 percent THC. The extremely low THC level explains why users can’t get high when they consume this product. Although the product comes from the same family as marijuana, it has different genetic makeup.

What Does it Do?

Hemp has numerous uses well beyond its chemical profile. For example, manufacturers can incorporate raw biomass into thousands of products such as nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, food products, and cosmetics. In addition, its stalks and fibers can help make biofuels, paper, plastic composites, construction materials, clothing, and more.

Hemp is also a good rotation crop for farmers. It breathes in carbon dioxide and detoxifies the soil while preventing soil erosion. After harvesting, whatever components remain in the soil break down to provide valuable nutrients to future crops.

With the right hemp seeds, farmers can expect their plants to grow and mature with less care compared to other cannabis crops. It requires no pesticides and less water to grow. Hence, it’s more environmentally friendly than traditional plants, as well.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Hemp and marijuana are both subspecies of the plant, Cannabis Sativa. To be clear, they are broad classifications of cannabis adopted into our culture and not a legitimate nomenclature for the plant. In fact, the only thing that differentiates the two is the percentage of THC. Hemp has lower than 0.3 percent THC, while marijuana has a higher rate.

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