Introduction to what is hemp?
Hemp is a cultivar of the Cannabis plant and is generally known as Industrial Hemp. Hemp can make a large range of products and is a fast-growing plant. You can grow hemp for Fibre which you make clothing, paper, building materials, bioplastics, ropes or Seed which can then be pressed into food products such as hemp seed oil, protein etc or the flower which you can extract Cannabidiol (CBD).
Depending on what you are growing hemp for will determine the different seed types, as well as the way you grow hemp in your region.
What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
They are both from the Cannabis family. The main difference is the THC content in the ‘flower’ THC is the compound that has psychotropic or euphoric effects on the user. Hemp which is ‘Low THC’ generally 0.3% and won’t cause any psychotropic feeling. Marijuana (high THC) is typically used today for recreational and medicinal purposes. Hemp is mainly used for Industrial purposes (Fibre and Seed) and now also for its medicinal properties.
What are cannabinoids?
There are many chemical compounds which have different characteristics of Hemp or Marijuana plant. Cannabinoids are the chemical which gives the plant it’s medicinal and or recreational properties. There are as many as 113 different cannabinoids in the Marijuana plant. The most common that people know are THC and CBD which interact with different receptors in our bodies and in turn, can produce a wide range of effects.
Humans and most animals have an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a system in the human body consisting of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors and can change how the cells function which in turn will lead to different effects in the body. The effect, in general, is to help the body to regulate normal bodily function.
Misconceptions around hemp
Hemp will get you high! Well, actually quite the opposite. Because of the low THC in hemp, there is no chance of this happening.
Would this affect my pet if they ate a hemp plant? Some animals will eat hemp, but this is only because of the nutritional value the plant presents.
Hemp Seed Oil and CBD oil are NOT the same things. Hemp seed oil is extracted by a cold-press process using only hemp seeds and is a very healthy dietary supplement rich in Omega 3 and 6 Essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. CBD oil is part of the resin extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant, which can contain Cannabidiol (CBD).
Written by the Hemp Collective Team in Australia for The Small Collective Magazine