Everything You Need to Know About Hemp!
The mere mention of the word “hemp” stirs a number of emotions and questions in the mind of a common man. Even medical professionals, dieticians, and health experts are curious about this plant which has become an enigma over the last few years. Hemp’s health benefits notwithstanding, its close association with marijuana has made the plant a subject of intense debate. In this article, we will try to answer all the questions related to hemp and also bust the myths associated with it.
Historical Licensed Canadian Hemp Acres. Source: Health Canada
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a plant that is grown all over the world especially in the northern hemisphere and is known for its medicinal properties and nutritional value. The plant belongs to the cannabis family and matures in three to four months. It is grown specifically for industrial use to derive products such as milk, oil, and cheese and protein powder. Hemp seeds have a nutty flavor and its oil is the source of a lot of health-boosting medicines.
Due to its close association with cannabis, hemp is often confused with marijuana. However, the two plants are vastly different. While marijuana contains a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its psychoactive properties, hemp contains minor traces of THC. The hemp plant is also a rich source of fiber and has been used for centuries to produce fabric, ropes, and industrial material. The modern construction industry also uses hemp as a building material.
As hemp is derived from the species cannabis sativa, it contains some traces of THC, but a high concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) which is known for its medicinal properties. Due to its close association with cannabis, the legality of industrial hemp varies in different countries. In the United States the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 makes it federally legal to cultivate hemp.
Source: Savage Cabbage
How to choose the right hemp seed
As hemp is used widely in industries ranging from health, apparel, and nutrition to construction and automobile, choosing the right hemp seed can be a complicated task. First of all, you should be clear whether you are growing it for industrial purpose or medicinal use. If you are growing hemp for industrial purposes, the CBD content of the plant won’t matter. But if your purpose is medicinal or personal wellness, finding strains with CBD content is very important. CBD interacts with the body through cannabinoid receptors in a way that is distinctively non-psychoactive. CBD can potentially be used to treat a variety of different conditions ranging from chronic pain to epilepsy. This means that you should have a fair understanding of the CBD and THC ratio of the seed. The next thing you have to consider before buying hemp seeds is the type of farm you have. Different varieties of the hemp seeds respond differently to weather conditions, and indoor and outdoor farming practices.
As pollination only requires a small portion of the total crop to be male, having too many male plants is simply ineffective. Ideally, your crop should be almost entirely female in order to maximize its total yield. If you consider all these factors before choosing your hemp seeds, you can be sure that your choice is right.
What are the different varieties/products of hemp seed?
Hemp is essentially grown for three different purposes—to produce fiber, to produce oil, and to do both. Accordingly, it is mostly available in three varieties. The first variety is rich in fiber and is ideal for apparel, construction, and automotive industries. The second variety is used to make medicinal products and different types of nutritional supplements like hemp milk. The hybrid variety produces both fiber as well as seeds. Different states in the US have their own approved varieties of hemp seeds.
What are some of the alternatives to hemp seeds?
Hemp seeds are of great nutritional value and at the same time prove to be rich in fiber. Very few plants can match the versatility of hemp, but there are some plants that come close to it in terms of usage and medicinal value.
One of the most potent anti-inflammatory plants, ginger root is rich in both antioxidants and cannabinoids. Since inflammation can have a significant impact on your tissues, muscles and joints, it is critical to include ginger root ginger root in your diet. It naturally boosts the ECS by attaching to receptors responsible for regulating pain and inflammation.
Experts have discovered that magnolia bark and its main bioactive compounds magnolol and honokiol have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-allergic agents. Additionally, magnolia can activate cannabinoid receptors responsible for regulating sleep, memory, and anxiety.
You may be more familiar with echinacea as a cold remedy, but this powerful herb can also activate CB1 receptors. It contains a compound called N-alkyl amides that’s very similar to how THC affects pain, the immune system, and inflammation.
What are the health benefits of hemp seed?
An Effective Anti-inflammatory Agent
Of the ten leading causes of mortality in the United States, chronic, low-level inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least seven, specifically heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and nephritis.
CBD found in hemp seed has been shown to modulate both acute and chronic inflammatory issues ranging from joint pain to irritable bowel syndrome to diabetic retinopathy. Research shows that CBD is even more powerful than many of the commonly recommended natural remedies for inflammation such as curcumin, fish oil, resveratrol, anti-oxidants, proteolytic enzymes, Vitamin C, etc.
Our immune cells secrete proteins known as cytokines that act as modulating factors that balance initiation and resolution of inflammation. If you take CBD to treat any type of inflammation, it stops the production of cytokine by immune cells and lowers cytokine production by the T-helper cells Th1 and Th2. These are the cells that contribute to autoimmune issues and food intolerances if their growth is not checked. CBD decreases the production of the inflammatory compound interleukin-6 (IL-6). All these properties make CBD a highly potent anti-inflammatory agent.
The Effects Of CBD On Metabolism and Body Fat
Cannabidiol is known to counteract some of the effects of THC like the “munchies.” While THC increases your appetite significantly, CBD suppress your appetite. So if you are a fitness enthusiast and believe in maintaining the perfect figure, CBD can be of great help.
Many of the researchers studying the effects of marijuana extracts on obesity are affiliated to GW Pharmaceuticals, UK. So, it won’t be a surprise if they come up with an expensive weight-loss drug based on CBD. Nonetheless, there is ample evidence that the compounds THCV and CBD boost metabolism, and reduce liver fat and cholesterol. Studies on mice show that THCV and CBD made them more sensitive to insulin, protected the insulin-producing cells, increased their metabolic rate, and at the same time suppressed their appetite.
The Effects of CBD on Sleep
In the United States, approximately 70 million people suffer from insomnia, insufficient sleep or other sleep disorders. CBD can be of great help in treating the problem. Cannabidiol actually activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine, which is technically a stimulant. But patients with sleep issues report that ingesting a CBD-rich tincture or extract a few hours before bedtime has a balancing effect that facilitates a good night’s sleep.
In addition to these well-researched health benefits, CBD is also proving to be a great treatment for chronic medical conditions like multiple sclerosis, seizures, and many types of cancers.
Does hemp seed help in weight loss?
Since hemp seed is low in sodium and calories and is a complete protein, it can be eaten in large quantities without fear of gaining weight. Complete proteins make the body feel full because all the necessary amino acids have been taken through food, thereby inhibiting the release of ghrelin and curbing hunger pains. This reduces the chances of overeating and subsequent weight gain. Also, fiber makes the body feel full and stimulates good digestion and bowel movement, which can reduce weight and increase the efficient absorption of nutrients.
Does hemp seed benefit arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It causes the immune system to attack its own tissues, which leads to inflammation in the joints.
In 2014, research conducted in human cells suggested that hemp seed oil could have anti-rheumatic effects. However, a 2018 review found a lack of conclusive evidence to suggest that cannabinoids could effectively treat rheumatic diseases. The authors noted that more research is needed.
Can cannabis seeds stimulate hair growth?
While the medical benefits of CBD are as yet unproven, many take it orally (for pain, anxiety, depression) and topically for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
It’s rich in the fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 and also contains high doses of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin E—all of which are great for the skin (and scalp).
It’s also understood to contain good levels of linoleic and gamma linoleic acid (GLA)—essential fatty acids which promote normal hair growth.
Hari, the founder of Hari’s Hairdressers, is convinced of its benefits for hair. “CBD increases blood circulation; therefore, when used in our in-salon, Hari’s CBD Life Force Hair Treatment, it promotes hair growth and healthy hair production,” he says. “In addition, CBD oil balances sebum production so it’s great for both oily and dry or problem scalps, helping to address a variety of hair and scalp complaints.”
Does hemp seed help in diabetes?
The biggest effect of CBD on the endocrine system is that it lowers cortisol and improves blood sugar control.
CBD directly affects the secretion of insulin and thus controls blood sugar. The pancreas secretes the hormones glucagon and insulin. While glucagon directs the liver to break down fat into sugar, insulin makes it store the sugar as fat. This complex mechanism is very delicate and gets easily disturbed due to present-day lifestyle and eating habits. While THC primarily increases glucagon and blood sugar, CBD lowers insulin levels. It is this action of CBD that explains why marijuana users tend to consume more calories but do not gain any extra weight, have less obesity, and lower rates of type II diabetes than non-users
How to consume hemp seed
As hemp seed has been legalized throughout the United States, companies dealing in this “orphan drug” are coming up with innovative products containing CBD. It is available in the form of e-liquids, balms, pastes, tablets, and even as chewing gum. Every form of this wonder drug is effective, but vaping CBD as e-liquid and wax is a very popular option. It also gives you the best results in terms of flavor, therapeutic value, and ease of use.
Depending on the concentration of CBD, e-liquids come in three main categories—Gold Label, Green Label, and Blue Label.
Is hemp seed as good as CBD oil?
Raw hemp seed can be consumed in various ways while hemp oil or CBD oil, as it is known, is the purest form of the plant. CBD oil is the concentrated form of the main element found in the plant. In terms of effect both hemp seeds and CBD oil differ vastly. While CBD oil is essentially used as a medicine, the seeds are nutritious and boost overall health of the user. In treatment of chronic diseases like cancer and arthritis, CBD oil is more effective.
Difference between hemp and CBD oil
Hemp is the complete plant that is a rich source of protein, fiber, and oil. The oil derived from the hemp plant is also referred to as CBD oil. So in essence one can say CBD oil is a derivative of the hemp plant. That is the only difference. While hemp seeds can be used in a wide range of recipes, hemp oil in particular is known for its medicinal properties. The oil can be consumed in various forms. You can apply it topically on the area of pain, and also inhale it using a vaporizer.
CBD Facts That You Must Know
You may have heard some people say that marijuana and hemp are exactly the same, while others swear they are different. The debate of hemp versus marijuana is fueled by the confusion and misinformation that surround the cannabis plant. To bust this myth let’s discuss 11 essential CBD facts:
Cannabis is Different from CBD
As you may know, industrial hemp and marijuana come from the same genus of the flowering plant, cannabis. The term “genus” essentially refers to a sub-family of plants and not a single species. This means that there may be multiple types of the cannabis plant, which are all cannabis but have remarkable differences. So, in terms of scientific classification, multiple species can exist within a single genus, and that’s exactly the case with cannabis.
Different Varieties of Cannabis
The genus cannabis is thought to include three distinct species of the cannabis plant, namely, cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis sativa is the most common strain of cannabis. It has been cultivated throughout history for a number of purposes, including the production of seed oil, food, hemp fiber (for clothes and rope), medicine, and even recreation.
Cannabis ruderalis is a species native to Russia that flowers earlier and is able to withstand harsher conditions than cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. It is the hardiest of the three, but it is relatively poor in terms of cannabinoids as ruderalis has a lower THC content than either sativa or indica.
Cannabis indica was first discovered in India and is a cannabis species that is described as shorter and bushier than sativa. Problems with botanical taxonomy have led some scientists to still doubt the existence of cannabis indica as a distinct species of cannabis.
In nature, cannabis ruderalis typically has the lowest levels of THC, cannabis sativa has a higher level of THC than it has CBD, and cannabis indica has a higher level of CBD than it has THC. However, since man has been cultivating cannabis (especially cannabis sativa) for thousands of years, the effects of artificial selection have led to several different types of cannabis even within the same species, depending on the purpose the cannabis was cultivated for.
It’s All About Artificial Selection
Cannabis has been cultivated by humans, for a variety of purposes, since antiquity. So it comes as no surprise that there are several different species and even different varieties within the species, depending on the purpose the plants were bred for. Through artificial selection, different species of cannabis have different properties—some have been used for medicinal purposes, others as food, and others to create clothes, ropes, and other items.
Industrial hemp is produced by strains of cannabis sativa that have been cultivated to produce minimal levels of THC and are instead artificially selected and bred to grow taller and sturdier. This is done to enable the plant to be used effectively in the production of hemp oil, wax, resin, hemp seed food, animal feed, fuel, cloth, rope, and more. Industrial hemp is exclusively made from cannabis sativa.
Medical marijuana is produced mainly from variants of cannabis sativa that have been selectively bred to maximize their concentration in cannabinoids. Cannabis ruderalis is almost exclusively grown for medicinal purposes, as it naturally has very small quantities of THC.
Difference Between Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana
The major difference between industrial hemp and medical marijuana is that industrial hemp is exclusively made from cannabis sativa that was specifically bred to produce the lowest possible concentrations of THC.
Hemp-producing cannabis has tall, fibrous stalks that are very strong and have very few flowering buds. On the on the other hand, marijuana strains are short, bushy, and have high amounts of THC. In fact, industrial hemp and medical marijuana are so distinctively different that most laypeople wouldn’t be able to tell that they belong to the same genus of plants if they encountered them in the wild!
While marijuana is bred with the only purpose of maximizing its THC concentration, industrial hemp always has trace amounts of THC and naturally occurring high amounts of CBD (it has the highest CBD/THC ratio of all cannabis strains, even cannabis ruderalis). This means that industrial hemp’s chemical profile makes it incapable of inducing intoxicating effects and getting you “high” from ingesting it.
Industrial Hemp Dietary Supplements
Since industrial hemp is naturally rich in CBD and has been bred to have only trace amounts of THC, many people today are turning to industrial hemp products as an alternative to medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is not legal in all states in the US and many countries worldwide, while products made from industrial hemp can be a safe and legal alternative. You can get many of the same benefits of medical marijuana from industrial hemp products without getting “high.”
Industrial hemp products are completely safe as they are made according to federal standards and are produced in FDA-registered facilities within the US. If you are interested in knowing more, please check out our line of premium industrial hemp products.
How Can Hemp Contribute in Reducing Global Warming?
Hemp is a plant that belongs to the cannabis genus but unlike marijuana does not make you high. Hemp is a sturdy plant that can grow well in different soil types and does not need a lot of water or fertilizers. Even small patches of hemp have been found to reduce atmospheric CO2 considerably.
Drought-affected areas can be turned into hemp cultivations which can help improve the soil and provide a source of livelihood for people in those areas.
Hemp is useful in several ways, all of which help reduce the impact of global warming. These include:
- Hemp can absorb large amounts of atmospheric CO2.
- Hemp has strong fibers and can be used to make paper and other products that trees are usually cut down for. In this way, larger trees can be conserved.
- Hemp seed oil can be used as a good alternative to fossil fuel. Biodiesel produced from hemp is a green fuel that does not release as much carbon dioxide into the surroundings resulting in lower levels of atmospheric pollution.
How to Buy Hemp Seeds Online
If you are looking for quality hemp seeds or hemp-based products, you can log on to hempeverything.com.au and hempfoundation.org and place your order. We are a reputed provider of hemp seeds and hemp products.
How Hemp Can Be Used as a Fuel
In a world where climate change looms large, environmental disasters due to oil spills and oil wars due to oil pricing are increasingly commonplace, hemp provides a fresh breath of air as a sustainable alternative.
Hemp, as you would know, is a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant species but minus the effects that cannabis has. Due to multifarious properties, hemp is also known as industrial hemp. One of the many uses of hemp is as fuel. Hemp can provide two types of fuel.
Why Use Hemp Biodiesel
The benefits of hemp biodiesel are obvious. It is the most cost-efficient among fuel crops because of the numerous advantages of hemp. Unlike other plants, hemp doesn’t require chemicals after growing.
It can be grown in any temperate to the hot climate. And the best part is that you can the same land for at least 20 years for re-cultivation of hemp without damaging the soil.
Coming back to hemp biodiesel, it already a proven biofuel with more than 30 million successful US road miles and has been in use in Europe for more than 20 years.
Hemp biodiesel is also biodegradable as sugar can be transported easily as it has a flashpoint of about 300F compared to petroleum which has a flashpoint of 125F.
And if all this wasn’t enough, when burned in a diesel engine, it replaces the odour of exhaust fumes with the fragrance of hemp, popcorn or French fries. Can you beat that?