Industrial hemp (“hemp”) is one of the most useful and yet one of the most misunderstood agricultural products on the face of the earth.
Hemp is a plant with significant nutritional value. The seeds are low in carbohydrates and contain approximately 44% oil by weight of which about 80% is a perfect balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Protein makes up 33% of the seed and hemp’s protein is considered to be a more ‘complete protein’ when compared to meat, milk, eggs and soy and contains all 21 known amino acids including all 9 essential amino acids. Well known national cosmetic and personal care product companies have infused hemp into some of their best selling products. The stalk of the hemp plant is also useful since it contains two types of fiber. The outer fiber or bast 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 paper manufacturing. After all, early United States currency was printed on hemp paper and so was the Declaration of Independence.
Industrial hemp is also rich in cannabinoids, the chemical structures in industrial hemp that are being studied for a wide range of medical ailments including cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Some strains of industrial hemp are also rich in CBD (cannabidiol). Cannabidoil is non-psychoactive while having the potential to possess a variety of therapeutic properties in many medical conditions. CBD has been studied for its therapeutic potential in many serious medical ailments such as epilepsy, cancer, pain, arthritis, and many others.
The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law to remove hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and making it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Its provisions were incorporated in the 2018 United States farm bill that became law on December 20, 2018.
Today, it is legal to grow and sell products derived from industrial hemp anywhere in the United States.