Industrial hemp is one of the most useful and often misunderstood agricultural products on the face of the earth. Although there has never been a clear explanation established, the cultivation of industrial hemp has been banned in the United States for decades. The most popular explanation has always been industrial hemp’s association with the marijuana plant.
Industrial hemp contains all of the cannabinoids in medical marijuana but unlike marijuana, industrial hemp is most always low in THC. Some strains of industrial hemp are also rich in CBD, the cannabinoid which has been featured in hundreds of news stories for its therapeutic potential in many serious medical ailments such as epilepsy, cancer, pain, arthritis, and many others.
Today, all hemp products are still imported into the United States. However, the 2014 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp at state agricultural departments and universities in 10 states for research purposes.
The hemp seed and the oil derived from the seed is an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids. Three tablespoons contains about 10 grams of protein and the protein from the hemp plant is a more complete protein than red meat, chicken and fish. Hemp seeds are sold in national health food and supplements retailers. The stalk of the hemp plant contains two types of fiber. The outer fiber can be processed into long strands which can then be used for textile manufacturing. The inner core which resembles wood can be used for animal bedding. The hemp stalk can also be used as a key component in the manufacturing of paper.