Humanity has been interested in hemp and its by-products for centuries. Henry Ford is believed to have been a proponent of the growth of this crop in the 1930s but was thwarted in his efforts by the implementation of the Marijuana Act legislated in 1937. During World War II, interest was rekindled by the Hemp for Victory campaign, but the revival was short-lived.
In 1970, President Nixon included hemp as a Schedule 1 drug in the Controlled Substances Act. This paved the way, over the next few decades, for new legislation to be put in place, allowing limited cultivation in approved areas.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP AND MARIJUANA?
Hemp and marijuana both hail from the Cannabaceae family of vegetation. Both plants belong to the same species and there are no classification differences between the two. It is said that science does not distinguish between the pair of variants, but that legal consideration does.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in some strains of Cannabaceae plants, causes euphoria and a change in general functionality in humans. Hence, the legal differentiation applies. In this article you’ll learn more about the differences between these variants.
Hemp is a variety of cannabis that can be grown for its fiber, grains or cannabinoid properties.
Fiber rich varieties have long threads and represent a large biomass, which calls for large scale harvesting, processing and transport facilities to be put in place. These plants are used in the production of many industrial goods including textiles, building materials, paper and fuel.
The grain-yielding variant of the shrub can potentially be exploited in food and nutrition technology. It is said to be high in complex protein and fatty acids and can be used as a valuable dietary supplement to ensure general well-being. However, the reaped seeds are fragile and can easily spoil if stored or transported incorrectly.
Cannabinoid hemp exhibits a diverse range of recreational and curative applications and is an enormously lucrative cash crop to cultivate. However, this cultivar is heavily legislated due to its psychoactive tendencies and FDA regulations not yet fully established and implemented.
Marijuana is essentially cannabis that can be intoxicating and euphoric. The THC content in marijuana is higher than 0.3% and delivers a mind-altering experience to the user.
Also known as weed, Mary Jane or ganja, this derivative of cannabis is available for consumption in a multitude of cannabinoid strengths, strains and spectrums and can be bought for a specified desired effect.
For example: Acapulco Gold and Sour Diesel will energize and give pain relief, while Purple Kush and Bubba Kush will help you sleep soundly without discomfort. Other strains include White Widow to lift the mood and stimulate creativity, and Golden Goat, which is said to stir the imagination and resourcefulness.
CBD or cannabidiol is a natural chemical extracted from female cannabis plants. Combined with suitable carriers these hemp oils interact with the receptors in the body’s Endocannabinoid System to regulate and balance physiological systems such as hormones and metabolic processes.
In achieving homeostasis (a balanced self), sleep patterns, moods, digestion and painful issues such as inflammation are regulated and improved, creating a feeling of physical and mental contentment.
Application of CBD oils are achieved via tinctures which can be ingested sublingually (under the tongue), in the form of edibles and capsules, as well as by vaping or applying lotions.
The agricultural opportunities presented by hemp farming are endless. Subsequently, this crop promises to become a valued commodity in the future. Market demands are said to be overtaking domestic production and more intensive research is called for.
Despite innovative sequencing and biotechnology techniques in the field, many issues still remain. Cooperative brainstorming between stake holders includes methods to successfully apply suitable infrastructure as well as the construction of shipping networks and production facilities. Additional problems include ongoing legal considerations, market development, product branding and the expansion of export opportunities.
Industrial hemp shows application potential in the fields of agriculture, medicine, manufacturing, energy, technology and logging.
This crop is mass produced and planted intensively at a concentration of four hundred thousand plants per acre. As the plants grow tall, the tops are harvested for seed production. Stalks are then cut down for industrial use.
The plants used to produce CBD oils and other products, are treated very differently. These bushes are planted at a frequency of one thousand to one thousand six hundred units per acreage. Crop rotation ensures rich fertile soil and optimum yields.
Plants are tended carefully and individually to ensure a product of superior quality. Farmers plant cuttings or clones from female plants only, as seed production is not generally desired. Planting cuttings instead of seeds, guarantees uniform, upright plants and a crop that matures more rapidly. Read here for more information on hemp farming: https://www.agriculture.com/news/crops/what-farmers-need-to-know-about-growing-hemp
Farmers cultivating a CBD crop, must be able to manage and consider changing elements such as soil composition, pH levels and moisture content in the earth. Also, keeping a close eye on THC content is critical, as a CBD crop with too much tetrahydrocannabinol is deemed illegal and will sadly be destroyed.
Sustainable, renewable cannabis cultivation is still in its infancy. However, continued research and development in the field and an increased understanding of environmental and agronomic requirements, should see the business rise to new highs in the future.