While hemp and marijuana plants look very similar, as they both come from the same Cannabaceae family, it is important to know and understand the key differences that make them different. From differences in cultivation purposes to their characteristics as plants to the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) each plant contains, we will discuss everything you need to know about hemp and what makes it different from other forms of cannabis.
Hemp has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years, for textiles, materials, food, and medicine. Hemp is known for its strong fibers and its ease in harvesting, as it requires very little water, and no pesticides, and can be grown in just about any environment in a variety of different soils. The hemp plant is known to be one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans for a variety of purposes, making it quite interesting given the fact that it is still used today for a number of purposes.
Before we dive into the specific characteristics of the hemp plant, let’s discuss one of the most important elements of hemp and debunk a common misconception about the multifaceted plant and its purpose. Legally, the hemp plant must only contain no more than 0.3% THC. THC is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. However, because hemp can only contain 0.3% of THC (legally), you will not feel any “high” when using or consuming hemp products.
Hemp and the 2018 Farm Bill
For years, hemp and cannabis plants were illegal and were often confused with one another. With that being said, one of the strongest differences between hemp and cannabis is the fact that cannabis contains more THC (up to 28%) and hemp contains only up to 0.3%, so you will never experience a psychoactive effect when using hemp products.
In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp products that contained no more than 0.3% of THC in the U.S. This means that hemp can be found in a variety of stores, including certain grocery stores and most health food stores. From hemp seed oils to hemp seeds, to hemp milk, to hemp lotions, and more – there is a wide range of hemp products available today. However, while hemp is legalized in the U.S.; laws surrounding CBD and marijuana vary from state to state.
Characteristics of Hemp
The hemp plant has very specific characteristics that differentiate it from the cannabis plant. Here are some key differences that you can expect to see in a hemp plant:
- Thinner leaves that form mostly at the top of the plant
- Contain little leaves or branching towards the middle/bottom of the plant in order to utilize the long stalks that are rich in hemp fiber
- Can reach up to 20 feet
- It looks and grows similarly to a weed, as it requires little water and can grow in a variety of environments and soils
- Grows closely together
- Requires little care
What is Hemp Cultivated For?
For centuries, hemp was cultivated for textiles and materials, such as clothing, shoes, rope, paper, and much more. Hemp contains strong fibers that allow it to create strong and durable products. In addition, because hemp grew quickly and easily, with little irrigation, and no pesticides, in almost any environment and soil, it made it easy for people to grow it for such purposes.
Today, hemp is cultivated for a number of other purposes as well, including for construction and building projects, food, medicine, pet products, and more.
The fact that hemp is such a multifaceted product, certainly makes it one of the more interesting plants in the world, as it can be used for a wide range of things. Here are some examples of hemp products that can be used today:
- Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are a superfood that can be incorporated into your daily diet in many different ways. Studies have shown that hemp seeds are rich in nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more. In addition, hemp seeds are known for having a high level of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which may contribute to a number of conditions, according to studies. Studies have shown that hemp seeds may help improve skin conditions, such as eczema, and more.
Hemp seeds can be added to yogurt, smoothies, salads, and other types of foods, making them extremely versatile.
- Hemp milk: Hemp milk is a plant-based milk that is made by soaking and grinding hemp seeds in water. Hemp milk can be found at grocery stores and health foods stores, and can even be made at home. It has an earthy, nutty flavor and resembles the look, taste, and texture of regular milk.
- Hemp oil: Hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds, which is done by cold-pressing the seeds. Hemp oil can be added to food or enjoyed alone. In addition, hemp oil can be added to essential oils. Because hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds, studies have shown that individuals who consume or use hemp topically, may experience the same benefits as hemp seeds.
- Hemp pet products: Hemp pet products have become increasingly popular, and come in different forms, such as treats and oils. Studies have shown that hemp pet products may help pets with anxiety, skin issues, pain relief, and more. However, it is imperative that you speak with your veterinarian about hemp products before giving any to your pet.
- Hempcrete (limecrete): Hempcrete is a biocomposite material used in building and construction projects. It is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional building materials. Hempcrete is highly sustainable, lightweight, durable, promotes insulation, and more.
About Dripp Extracts
Dripp Extracts takes pride in being a reliable resource for education, providing valuable insight about hemp, cannabis, and related topics. We are dedicated to keeping you updated with the latest news, information, and developments surrounding hemp, ensuring that you stay informed and connected at all times. If you wish to learn more about hemp with Dripp Extracts, feel free to visit https://drippextracts.com/learn for more information.