In A World Of Myths, What is Hemp?

If you favor recent politics, or even botany, then maybe this term sounds a little familiar. Hemp also known as Cannabis sativa, is essentially the fibrous material extracted from the stem of a certain plant and is often used in the production of many consumables, from ropes and fabric to supplements and oils. When referred to as ‘industrial hemp’, this references all Cannabis sativa products grown and cultivated for commercial needs. As an extremely cheap and stronger alternative to paper, hemp’s versatility in the production of textiles and supplements extends into dozens of well-known brands. Since Cannabis sativa seeds are rich in vital fatty acids, many beauty products, including mascaras, contours, and skin creams, contain hemp seed oil.

Discover Cannabis sativa‘s True Nature

So how come so many misunderstand hemp’s purpose? The answer lies with the type of plant from which it is farmed. The fibrous material is taken from the Cannabis sativa plant, an extremely close relative of the cannabis plant, the same plant that also produces marijuana. Although the two plants are similar in appearance, laboratory testing is the only sure-proof method of determining their differences. When marijuana was first added to the controlled substances list, its definition, which included “hemp”, mandated the material illegal to cultivate within the United States. Until that moment in history, the US had been extensively cultivating industrial hemp and even used hemp paper for both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. It hasn’t been until recent years that hemp and CBD have become legal once again.  

Currently, Senator McConnell is pushing for hemp legalization across all 50 states by removing it from the current definition of marijuana. This would mean the DEA would no longer have any control over its regulation. Back in 2014, he previously scored a win for hemp legalization after passing a bill that would prohibit any federal interference with state-sponsored research. This resulted in 34 states sponsoring research into hemp development, with 19 of those states fully committed to the crop cultivation. Production of Cannabis sativa doubled in 2017 when compared to the previous year. In early 2018 the industry and DEA reached a landmark agreement that made hemp/CBD a non-controlled compound, meaning that they are now federally legal to grow, extract and make consumer products using CBD. Furthermore, McConnell’s striving for total legalization in the 2018 Farm Bill, claiming the crop would become an “agricultural commodity”. The senator went as far as to claim it could impact the Kentucky economy as much as tobacco did over 150 years ago. The “Hemp Farming Bill” Senator McConnell sponsors would finally permit unimpeded, national research into Cannabis sativa cultivation that could potentially delineate the differences between Cannabis sativa and marijuana.

What does this mean for future businesses interested in hemp production? The passage of this bill could potentially pull hemp into a significantly more mainstream role. Instead of living in the myths castes by its close relative, hemp could become a large-scale, agricultural crop eligible for government subsidies. It could also bolster state economies by allowing companies the freedom to explore the possibilities of hemp uses. It’s time to eliminate the myths surrounding hemp and embrace the advantages this plant can provide.