Cannabis has numerous species, and one of them is the hemp plant. Unlike marijuana, hemp is accepted in most countries because of its small amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is known as the psychoactive compound of cannabis. Many people often confused hemp with marijuana due to the stigma whenever they hear the term cannabis, it already refers to marijuana. However, hemp is a way different from the latter not only in terms of chemical content, but also regarding legal and social acceptance.
Basically, hemp pertains to a non-drug alternative and industrial plant that is grown for its seeds, hurd, and fiber. This species of cannabis has three main parts which are proven to be useful in many aspects. For example, hemp hurd is typically used as cement, paper, and insulation, while seeds are more of dietary products. When it comes to fiber, it is widely used for materials, clothing, and paper as well. However, the benefits of hemp are not limited to giving people the materials for everyday living. Hemp also has a wide range of benefits to human health. Some of its health benefits are:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Good source of protein
- Helps with different skin conditions
- Relieves symptoms of menopause and PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Improves digestion
All these benefits are generally because of hemp as a CBD-dominant cannabis species. Knowing CBD (cannabidiol), it has numerous properties that can provide health benefits; hemp is considered a great source of purified CBD content among other cannabis plants. With all these benefits that human can get from hemp, many manufacturers and farmers as well are interested in the production of this plant.
Legality of Hemp
Before, the purpose of hemp is mainly for industrial products such as textiles and papers, and not as a drug or medication. Although it was not involved in any kinds of addiction, in 1970, the U.S. government proposed the Controlled Substance Act which prohibiting the use of any cannabis plant, including hemp. This bill has put all cannabis species under Schedule 1 drug and made growing, consuming, and production of any forms illegal. However, as many people found how helpful most species of cannabis are, the majority of people in different states of U.S. voted for legalization act of the plant.
Currently, there are already ten states where recreational uses of cannabis are allowed, while 33 are in favor of medicinal benefits. Along with the legalization act of cannabis plant is the acceptance of the public to hemp once again, but this time, as a medicinal plant.
Main Requirements for a Hemp Business
Because of the thousands of studies regarding CBD and its health benefits, researchers discovered that hemp is a plant that has a considerable ratio of CBD over THC content. In a study, experts found that there is only 0.3% of THC and much greater CBD content. These findings support the claims of testimonials about hemp and its health benefits. For this reason, farmers and producers are showing interest in the growing economy of industrial hemp in many countries.
Although the hemp industry is currently making some noise and contributes millions of income, there are still challenges that most mep cultivars are facing today. For instance, certain requirements are needed to have a license for hemp production. Aside from license, manufacturers should consider many other factors to comply with the government requirements. These requirements include:
Choosing a Good Hemp
At present, there are lots of industrial hemp products to choose from. However, in choosing good hemp, one should consider the height, seed size, oil composition, maturity, oil, and fiber content. These things need to be fixed before the inspection process and issuance of a license. If not, there might be chances of rejection of the application. For instance, in Canada where cannabis is widely legalized, growing hemp needs to undergo processes. These processes include seed and flower sampling, and tests to examine the THC content of the hemp seed. It is because even though cannabis is widely legal in Canada, there are still regulations regarding compounds. The THC level should be less than 0.3% of content in every hemp plant.
As mentioned, there is a long process before approval of any hemp business. Field inspection is done to ensure that the selected field by the farmers is good enough for quality hemp production. For instance, hemp cannot grow effectivity in poor soil, excessive, salinity, and drainage condition. Also, seed preparation is also another thing that inspectors usually consider. A good field for hemp production should take in mind the seeding date, equipment, and depth.
The same with many other plants, hemp fertility, is also important and required for all future farmers. Soil examination should be done to test the nutrients that hemp can get from the soil and it is linked with the first-mentioned requirement. The actual nutrients should not be lesser or greater than 45 kg (kilogram) phosphorus, 17kg sulfur, 89-135 kg nitrogen, and 67 kg potassium. Also, there should be a proper orientation process concerning planting and harvest procedures.
Although hemp and marijuana have obvious physical differences, there is still possible contamination. To prevent this from occurring, every pre-seed should be burnt-off with a chemical (glyphosate). It is done to ensure hemp’s competitiveness to marijuana and other cannabis species.
Just like many other plants such as sugar cane, corn, and vegetables, hemp plant can also be invaded by insects and pests. These insects are armyworms, grasshoppers, and cutworms. Although there are already pesticides to prevent these pests, it is still required for cultivars to observe and roam in the field for proper checking. This is done to secure the health of every hemp plant.
Aside from these mentioned requirements and processes before issuance of the license, yield expectations also need to consider. The minimum yield is ranging from 100 to 1,200 pounds every acre, and farmers are required to set a budget for about 449-561 kg grain which as clean and dry for proper assessment. It may be easy for those farmers and manufacturers to get a license if they possess most of the mentioned requirements here.
However, just like many other businesses, hemp production still has risks. It is like you enter a gambling game and once you enter, the only thing you need to do is to wait until the harvest of prizes. After all, industrial hemp is considered a win-win situation for both economy and environment.