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What is Industrial Hemp?

May 4th, 2016 by Brandy Palmer

Industrial Hemp

So what exactly is Industrial Hemp? For most people, the first thought which comes to mind when someone mentions “industrial hemp” to them is – marijuana. But, industrial hemp is very different from marijuana, specifically in terms of the potential to get someone “high”, as it contains very small amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – the psychoactive chemical).

Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana, yet , hemp is genetically different and distinguished by use and chemical compound makeup. The Industrial Hemp Program registers growers of hemp and samples the crop to verify that the THC concentration does not exceed 0.3% on dry weight basis, while Cannabis grown for marijuana can contain anywhere from 6 or 7 % to 20% or even more. That’s the long answer on the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana. The short answer is that you could consume a field of organic hemp and wouldn’t be high.

So, if it’s not psychoactive, what exactly is hemp used for? Ever since the Neolithic Age when farmers in China first cultivated this plant, the use of hemp grew in order to fulfill many different needs people had through history. It is now used to make clothing, biofuels, foods, health products, body care products and even plastic composites. One source suggests that this “magical plant” is currently used to create more than 25 thousand different products – as many as petroleum. The U.S. hemp industry was estimated to be worth around 500 million USD in annual retail sales in 2012, and this number is quickly trending upward, according to Hemp Industries Association.

Here is a visual of an industrial hemp farm

industrial hemp farming

6 different types of Industrial Hemp Seed varieties

varities of industrial hemp seeds

Learn more about industrial hemp at Green Wellness Life, Subscribe to our mailing list!

About Brandy Palmer

Brandy PalmerAfter years in banking and manufacturing management, Brandy went to work for a hemp manufacturer in West Michigan. What was intended to be a fun summer gig turned into a passion for hemp. Brandy founded GWL in 2015 and is still excited every day to share that passion. When she's not talking hemp, you can find her playing chauffer to her two kids or cuddling at home with her husband, Jim, and their 4 (yes, 4) cats.


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