Hemp

Hemp

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Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol , also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , Δ1-THC , or dronabinol, is the main chemical psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated in 1964. In pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed...

 (THC) strains of the plant Cannabis sativa
Cannabis sativa
Cannabis sativa is an annual herbaceous plant in the Cannabaceae family. Humans have cultivated this herb throughout recorded history as a source of industrial fibre, seed oil, food, recreation, spiritual enlightenment and medicine...

, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastic
Biodegradable plastic
Biodegradable plastics are plastics that will decompose in natural aerobic and anaerobic environments. Biodegradation of plastics can be achieved by enabling microorganisms in the environment to metabolize the molecular structure of plastic films to produce an inert humus-like material that is...

s, construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

, health food and fuel with modest commercial success. Since 2007, commercial success of hemp food products has grown considerably.

Hemp is one of the faster growing biomass
Biomass
Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel....

es known, producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 per year. A normal average yield in large scale modern agriculture is about 2.5–3.5 t/ac (air dry stem yields of dry, retted stalks per acre at 12% moisture). Approximately, one tonne of bast fiber and 2–3 tonnes of core material can be decorticated from 3–4 tonnes of good quality, dry retted straw.

For a crop, hemp is very environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly are terms used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies claimed to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment....

 as it requires few pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

s, when not grown industrially and no herbicides.
Results indicate that high yield of hemp may require high total nutrient levels (field plus fertilizer nutrients) similar to a high yielding wheat crop.

Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known.

Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa is the variety grown for industrial use, while C. sativa subsp. indica generally has poor fiber quality and is primarily used for production of recreational and medicinal drugs. The major difference between the two types of plants is the appearance and the amount of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol , also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , Δ1-THC , or dronabinol, is the main chemical psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated in 1964. In pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed...

 (THC) secreted in a resinous mixture by epidermal
Epidermis (botany)
The epidermis is a single-layered group of cells that covers plants' leaves, flowers, roots and stems. It forms a boundary between the plant and the external environment. The epidermis serves several functions, it protects against water loss, regulates gas exchange, secretes metabolic compounds,...

 hairs called glandular trichomes, although they can also be distinguished genetically. Oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis approved for industrial hemp production produce only minute amounts of this psychoactive drug, not enough for any physical or psychological effects. Typically, hemp contains below 0.3% THC, while cultivars of Cannabis grown for marijuana can contain anywhere from 2% to over 20%.

The world leading producer of hemp is China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 with smaller production in Europe, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

. While more hemp is exported to the United States than to any other country, the United States Government does not consistently distinguish between marijuana and the non-psychoactive Cannabis used for industrial and commercial purposes.

Uses


Hemp is used for a wide variety of purposes including the manufacture of cordage of varying tensile strength
Tension (mechanics)
In physics, tension is the magnitude of the pulling force exerted by a string, cable, chain, or similar object on another object. It is the opposite of compression. As tension is the magnitude of a force, it is measured in newtons and is always measured parallel to the string on which it applies...

, durable clothing and nutritional products. The bast fibers can be used in 100% hemp products, but are commonly blended with other organic fibers such as flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 or silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

, for apparel and furnishings, most commonly at a 55%/45% hemp/cotton blend. The inner two fibers of hemp are more woody and are more often used in non-woven items and other industrial applications, such as mulch
Mulch
In agriculture and gardening, is a protective cover placed over the soil to retain moisture, reduce erosion, provide nutrients, and suppress weed growth and seed germination. Mulching in gardens and landscaping mimics the leaf cover that is found on forest floors....

, animal bedding and litter. The oil from the fruits
Hemp oil
Hempseed oil is pressed from the seed of the hemp plant irrespective of the strain of cannabis. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a pleasant nutty flavor. The darker the color, the grassier the flavour....

 ("seeds") oxidizes (commonly, though inaccurately, called "drying") to become solid on exposure to air, similar to linseed oil, and is sometimes used in the manufacture of oil-based paints, in creams as a moisturizing agent, for cooking, and in plastics. Hemp seeds have been used in bird seed mix as well. Hempseed is also used as a fishing bait
Fishing bait
Fishing bait is any substance used to attract and catch fish, e.g. on the end of a fishing hook, or inside a fish trap. Traditionally, nightcrawlers, insects, and smaller bait fish have been used for this purpose...

.

Food



Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, made into hemp milk
Hemp milk
Hemp milk or Hemp Seed Milk, is a drink made from hemp seeds that are soaked and ground into water, yielding a creamy nutty beverage. It is marketed in health and fitness publications as a "new health food darling".- Health claims :According to Dr...

 (akin to soy milk
Soy milk
Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

), prepared as tea, and used in baking. The fresh leaves can also be eaten in salads. Products include cereals, frozen waffle
Waffle
A waffle is a batter- or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a distinctive and characteristic shape. There are many variations based on the type and shape of the iron and the recipe used....

s, hemp tofu, and nut butters. A few companies produce value added hemp seed items that include the seed oils, whole hemp grain (which is sterilized by law in the United States, where they import it from China and Canada), dehulled hemp seed (the whole seed without the mineral rich outer shell), hemp flour, hemp cake (a by-product of pressing the seed for oil) and hemp protein powder. Hemp is also used in some organic cereals, for non-dairy milk somewhat similar to soy and nut milks, and for non-dairy hemp "ice cream."

Within the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom...

 (Defra) has treated hemp as purely a non-food crop. Seed appears on the UK market as a legal food product, and cultivation licenses are available for this purpose. In North America, hemp seed food products are sold, typically in health food stores or through mail order. The United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 estimates that "the market potential for hemp seed as a food ingredient is unknown. However, it probably will remain a small market, like those for sesame and poppy seeds."
A survey in 2003 showed that more than 95% of hemps seed sold in the EU was used for animal feed (bird seed, bait for fishing)

Nutrition


Approximately 44% of the weight of hempseed is healthy edible oils, containing about 80% essential fatty acid
Essential fatty acid
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them...

s (EFAs); i.e., linoleic acid
Linoleic acid
Linoleic acid is an unsaturated n-6 fatty acid. It is a colorless liquid at room temperature. In physiological literature, it has a lipid number of 18:2...

, omega-6 (LA, 55%), alpha-linolenic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid
α-Linolenic acid is an organic compound found in many common vegetable oils. In terms of its structure, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 18:3 ....

, omega-3 (ALA, 22%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid
Gamma-Linolenic acid
γ-Linolenic acid is a fatty acid found primarily in vegetable oils...

, omega-6 (GLA, 1–4%) and stearidonic acid
Stearidonic acid
Stearidonic acid is an ω-3 fatty acid, sometimes called moroctic acid. It is biosynthesized from alpha-linolenic acid by the enzyme delta-6-desaturase. Natural sources of this fatty acid are the seed oils of hemp, blackcurrant, corn gromwell and echium, and the cyanobacterium Spirulina....

, omega-3 (SDA, 0–2%). Proteins (including edestin
Edestin
Edestin is a globular legumin protein that is found in hemp seeds....

) are the other major component (33%), second only to soy (35%). Hempseeds amino acid
Amino acid
Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group and a side-chain that varies between different amino acids. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen...

  profile is close to "complete" when compared to more common sources of proteins such as meat, milk, eggs and soy. The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in one tablespoon (15 ml) per day of hemp oil
Hemp oil
Hempseed oil is pressed from the seed of the hemp plant irrespective of the strain of cannabis. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a pleasant nutty flavor. The darker the color, the grassier the flavour....

 easily provides human daily requirements for EFAs. Unlike flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

seed oil, hemp oil can be used continuously without developing a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs. This has been demonstrated in a clinical study, where the daily ingestion of flaxseed oil decreased the endogenous production of GLA.

Hempseed is an adequate source of dietary fiber
Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, dietary fibre, or sometimes roughage is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components:* soluble fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and* insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water as it...

, calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 and iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, and contains antioxidants and chlorophyll
Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in almost all plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Its name is derived from the Greek words χλωρος, chloros and φύλλον, phyllon . Chlorophyll is an extremely important biomolecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to obtain energy from light...

. Whole hempseeds are also a good source of phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

, magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 and manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

.

Hempseed is usually very safe for those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten
Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye...

, lactose
Lactose
Lactose is a disaccharide sugar that is found most notably in milk and is formed from galactose and glucose. Lactose makes up around 2~8% of milk , although the amount varies among species and individuals. It is extracted from sweet or sour whey. The name comes from or , the Latin word for milk,...

, and sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

. In fact, there are no known allergies to hemp foods. Hempseed contains no gluten and therefore would not trigger symptoms of celiac disease.

Storage


Hemp oil
Hemp oil
Hempseed oil is pressed from the seed of the hemp plant irrespective of the strain of cannabis. Cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a pleasant nutty flavor. The darker the color, the grassier the flavour....

 can spontaneously oxidize and turn rancid within a short period of time if not stored properly; it is best stored in a dark glass bottle, in a refrigerator or freezer (its freezing point is –20 °C). Preservatives (antioxidants) are not necessary for high quality oils that are stored properly.

Dietary supplement


Hemp oil has been shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema
Eczema
Eczema is a form of dermatitis, or inflammation of the epidermis . In England, an estimated 5.7 million or about one in every nine people have been diagnosed with the disease by a clinician at some point in their lives.The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions...

 (atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory, chronically relapsing, non-contagious and pruritic skin disorder...

).

Hemp Seed contains a large dietary supplement of omega-3, higher even than walnut
Walnut
Juglans is a plant genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are known as walnuts. They are deciduous trees, 10–40 meters tall , with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres long , with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts , but not the hickories...

s which contain 6.3% of n-3.

Fiber


The fiber is the most valuable parts of the hemp plant. It is commonly called bast, which refers to the fibers that grow on the outside of the woody interior of the plant's stalk, and under the outer most part (the bark). Bast fibers give the plants strength. Hemp fibers can be between approximately 0.91 m (3 ft) and 4.6 m (15 ft) long, running the length of the plant. Depending on the processing used to remove the fiber from the stem, the hemp may naturally be creamy white, brown, gray, black or green.

The use of hemp for fiber production has declined sharply over the last two centuries, but before the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, hemp was a popular fiber because it is strong and grows quickly; it produces roughly 10% more fiber than cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 or flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 when grown on the same land. Hemp has been used to make paper. It was often used to make sail canvas
Canvas
Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame...

, and the word canvas derives from cannabis. Abaca
Abacá
Abacá, Musa textilis is a species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. The plant is of great economic importance, being harvested for its fibre, once generally called Manila hemp, extracted from the trunk or pseudostem. On...

, or "Manila hemp
Manila hemp
Manila hemp, also known as manilla, is a type of fiber obtained from the leaves of the abacá , a relative of the banana. It is mostly used for pulping for a range of uses, including speciality papers. It was once used mainly to make manila rope, but this is now of minor importance...

", a relative of the banana plant, replaced its use for rope. Burlap
Burlap
Hessian , or burlap in the US, is a woven fabric usually made from skin of the jute plant or sisal fibres, or may be combined with other vegetable fibres to make rope, nets, and similar products...

, made from jute
Jute
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

, took over the sacking market. The paper industry began using wood pulp
Wood pulp
Pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material prepared by chemically or mechanically separating cellulose fibres from wood, fibre crops or waste paper. Wood pulp is the most common raw material in papermaking.-History:...

. The carpet industry switched over to wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

, sisal
Sisal
Sisal is an agave that yields a stiff fibre traditionally used in making twine, rope and also dartboards. The term may refer either to the plant or the fibre, depending on context...

, and jute
Jute
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

, then nylon
Nylon
Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

. Netting and webbing applications were taken over by cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 and synthetics.

Building material




Concrete-like blocks made with hemp and lime have been used as an insulating material for construction. Such blocks are not strong enough to be used for structural elements; they must be supported by a brick, wood, or steel frame.

The first example of the use of hempcrete
Hempcrete
Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds and lime used as a material for construction and insulation.It is marketed under names like Hemcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre....

 was in 1986 in France with the renovation of the Maison de la Turque in Nogent-sur-Seine
Nogent-sur-Seine
Nogent-sur-Seine is a commune in the Aube department in north-central France.-Population:-Personalities:Camille Claudel lived in Nogent-sur-Seine with her family from 1876 to 1879....

 by the innovator Charles Rasetti. The Renewable House was the UK's first home made from hemp-based materials. Construction was completed in 2009. The first US home made of hemp-based materials was completed in August 2010 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Hemp plastic and composite materials


A mixture of fibreglass, hemp fiber, kenaf
Kenaf
Kenaf [Etymology: Persian], Hibiscus cannabinus, is a plant in the Malvaceae family. Hibiscus cannabinus is in the genus Hibiscus and is probably native to southern Asia, though its exact natural origin is unknown. The name also applies to the fibre obtained from this plant...

, and flax
Flax
Flax is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent...

 has been used since 2002 to make composite panels for automobiles. The choice of which bast fiber to use is primarily based on cost and availability.

Paper


The first identified coarse paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

, made from hemp, dates to the early Western Han Dynasty, two hundred years before the nominal invention of papermaking
Papermaking
Papermaking is the process of making paper, a substance which is used universally today for writing and packaging.In papermaking a dilute suspension of fibres in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by...

 by Cai Lun
Cai Lun
Cai Lun , courtesy name Jingzhong , was a Chinese eunuch. He is traditionally regarded as the inventor of paper and the papermaking process, in forms recognizable in modern times as paper...

, who improved and standardized paper production using a range of inexpensive materials, including hemp ends, approximately 2000 years ago.

In 1916, U.S. Department of Agriculture chief scientists Lyster H. Dewe and Jason L. Merrill created paper made from hemp pulp, they concluded that paper from hemp hurds was "favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood." Modern research has not confirmed the positive finding about hemp hurds. They are only 32% and 38% cellulose. The actual production of hemp fiber in the U.S continued to decline until 1933 to around 500 tons/year. Between 1934-35, the cultivation of hemp began to increase but still at a very low level and with no significant increase of paper from hemp.

Hemp has never been used for commercial high-volume paper production due to its relatively high processing cost. Currently there is a small niche market for hemp pulp, for example as cigarette paper. Hemp fiber is mixed with fiber from other sources than hemp. In 1994 there was no significant production of 100% true hemp paper. World hemp pulp production was believed to be around 120,000 tons per year in 1991 which was about 0.05% of the world's annual pulp production volume. The total world production of hemp fiber had in 2003 declined to about 60 000 to 80 000 ton. This can be compared to a typical pulp mill for wood fiber, which is never smaller than 250,000 tons per annum. The cost of hemp pulp is approximately six times that of wood pulp, mostly because of the small size and outdated equipment of the few hemp processing plants in the Western world, and because hemp is harvested once a year (during August) and needs to be stored to feed the mill the whole year through. This storage requires a lot of (mostly manual) handling of the bulky stalk bundles. Another issue is that the entire hemp plant cannot be economically prepared for paper production. While the wood products industry uses nearly 100% of the fiber from harvested trees, only about 25% of the dried hemp stem — the bark, called bast — contains the long, strong fibers desirable for paper production. All this accounts for a high raw material cost. Hemp pulp is bleached with hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest peroxide and an oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide is a clear liquid, slightly more viscous than water. In dilute solution, it appears colorless. With its oxidizing properties, hydrogen peroxide is often used as a bleach or cleaning agent...

, a process today also commonly used for wood pulp.

Jewelry


Hemp jewelry
Hemp jewelry
Hemp jewelry uses hemp twine material which is made from the Cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as “Common Hemp”, which is cultivated to make goods such as food, fuel, clothing and textiles, cosmetics, paints, paper, building materials, and plastics, among others...

 is the product of knotting hemp twine through the practice of macramé. Hemp jewelry includes bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings, watches and other adornments. Some jewelry features beads made from glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

, stone
STONe
is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Sin-Ichi Hiromoto. Kodansha released the two bound volumes of the manga on April 23, 2002 and August 23, 2002, respectively.The manga is licensed for an English-languague released in North America be Tokyopop...

, wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

 and bone
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

s. The hemp twine varies in thickness and comes in a variety of colors. There are many different stitches
Stitches
Stitches is a Canadian retailer and a division of YM Inc. The first Stitches store was founded in Toronto in 1975 along with YM Inc. by entrepreneur Michael Gold. Stitches currently has over 170 locations across Canada...

 used to create hemp jewelry, however, the half knot and full knot stitches are most common.

Fabric



A modest hemp fabric industry exists, and hemp fibers can be used in clothing. Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen.

Cordage



Hemp rope was used in the age of sailing ships
Age of Sail
The Age of Sail was the period in which international trade and naval warfare were dominated by sailing ships, lasting from the 16th to the mid 19th century...

, though the rope had to be protected by tarring
Tarring (rope)
Some types of rope must be protected from rot by tarring, coating the rope with tar. Hemp rope requires tarring, but Manila, cotton, and synthetics do not...

, since hemp rope has a propensity for breaking from rot
ROT
The aviation term ROT stands for rate one turn, also known as a standard rate turn. All aircraft must be able to perform a standard rate turn....

, as the capillary effect of the rope-woven fibers tended to hold liquid at the interior, while seeming dry from the outside. Tarring was a labor-intensive process, and earned sailors the nickname "Jack Tar
Jack Tar
Jack Tar was a common English term used to refer to seamen of the Merchant or Royal Navy, particularly during the period of the British Empire. Both members of the public, and seafarers themselves, made use of the name in identifying those who went to sea...

". Hemp rope was phased out when Manila, which does not require tarring, became widely available. Manila is sometimes referred to as Manila hemp
Manila hemp
Manila hemp, also known as manilla, is a type of fiber obtained from the leaves of the abacá , a relative of the banana. It is mostly used for pulping for a range of uses, including speciality papers. It was once used mainly to make manila rope, but this is now of minor importance...

, but is not related to hemp; it is abacá
Abacá
Abacá, Musa textilis is a species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. The plant is of great economic importance, being harvested for its fibre, once generally called Manila hemp, extracted from the trunk or pseudostem. On...

, a species of banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

.

Animal bedding


Hemp shives are the core of the stem, hemp hurds are broken parts of the core. In the EU, they are used for animal bedding (horses, for instance), or for horticultural mulch. Industrial hemp is much more profitable if both fibers and shives (or even seeds) can be used.

Water and soil purification


Hemp can be used as a "mop crop" to clear impurities out of wastewater, such as sewage effluent, excessive phosphorus from chicken litter, or other unwanted substances or chemicals. Eco-technologist Dr. Keith Bolton from Southern Cross University in Lismore, New South Wales
Lismore, New South Wales
Lismore is a subtropical town in northeastern New South Wales, Australia. Lismore is the main population centre in the City of Lismore local government area. Lismore is a regional centre in the Northern Rivers region of the State.-History:...

, Australia, is a leading researcher in this area. Hemp is being used to clean contaminants at Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

 site.

Weed control



Hemp, because of its height, dense foliage and its high planting density as a crop, is a very effective and long used method of killing tough weeds in farming by minimizing the pool of weed seeds of the soil. Using hemp this way can help farmers avoid the use of herbicides, to help gain organic certification
Organic certification
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, [food] processors, retailers and restaurants.Requirements vary...

 and to gain the benefits of crop rotation
Crop rotation
Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons.Crop rotation confers various benefits to the soil. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals...

 per se. Due to its rapid, dense growth characteristics, in some jurisdictions hemp is considered a prohibited noxious weed, much like Scotch Broom
Cytisus scoparius
Cytisus scoparius, the Common Broom and Scotch Broom, syn. Sarothamnus scoparius, is a perennial leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe,....

.

Fuel


Biofuel
Biofuel
Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

s, such as biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

 and alcohol fuel
Alcohol fuel
Although fossil fuels have become the dominant energy resource for the modern world, alcohol has been used as a fuel throughout history. The first four aliphatic alcohols are of interest as fuels because they can be synthesized chemically or biologically, and they have characteristics which allow...

, can be made from the oils in hemp seeds and stalks, and the fermentation of the plant as a whole, respectively. Biodiesel produced from hemp is sometimes known as "hempoline". Hemp is clean burning and non-toxic.

Filtered hemp oil can be used directly to power diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

s. In 1892, Rudolf Diesel
Rudolf Diesel
Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the diesel engine.-Early life:Diesel was born in Paris, France in 1858 the second of three children of Theodor and Elise Diesel. His parents were Bavarian immigrants living in Paris. Theodor...

 invented the diesel engine, which he intended to fuel "by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils, which earlier were used for oil lamp
Oil lamp
An oil lamp is an object used to produce light continuously for a period of time using an oil-based fuel source. The use of oil lamps began thousands of years ago and is continued to this day....

s, i.e. the Argand lamp
Argand lamp
The Argand lamp is home lighting oil lamp producing a light output of 6 to 10 candlepower which was invented and patented in 1780 by Aimé Argand...

."

Cultivation



Millennia of selective breeding
Selective breeding
Selective breeding is the process of breeding plants and animals for particular genetic traits. Typically, strains that are selectively bred are domesticated, and the breeding is sometimes done by a professional breeder. Bred animals are known as breeds, while bred plants are known as varieties,...

 have resulted in varieties
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

 that look quite different. Also, breeding since circa 1930 has focused quite specifically on producing strains which would perform very poorly as sources of drug material. Hemp grown for fiber is planted closely, resulting in tall, slender plants with long fibers. Ideally, according to Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom...

, the herb should be harvested before it flowers. This early cropping is done because fiber quality declines if flowering is allowed and, incidentally, this cropping also pre-empts the herb's maturity as a potential source of drug material. However, in these strains of industrial hemp the tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol , also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , Δ1-THC , or dronabinol, is the main chemical psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated in 1964. In pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed...

 (THC) content would have been very low, regardless.

The name Cannabis is the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 and was the name favored by the 19th century medical practitioners who helped to introduce the herb's drug potential to modern English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

-speaking consciousness. Cannabis for non-drug purposes (especially ropes and textiles) was then already well known as hemp.

The name "marijuana" is Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 in origin and associated almost exclusively with the herb's drug potential.

Historical cultivation


Hemp has been grown for millennia in Asia and the Middle East for its fibre. Commercial production of hemp in the West took off in the eighteenth century, but was grown in the sixteenth century in eastern England. Because of colonial and naval expansion of the era, economies needed large quantities of hemp for rope and oakum
Oakum
Oakum is a preparation of tarred fiber used in shipbuilding, for caulking or packing the joints of timbers in wooden vessels and the deck planking of iron and steel ships, as well as cast iron plumbing applications...

. Other important producing countries were China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, the former Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

In Western Europe, nobody banned the cultivation of hemp in the 1930s but the commercial cultivation ceased almost anyhow in the decades after the 1930s. Hemp was simply ousted by artificial fibres.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was the world's largest producer (3,000 km² in 1970). The main production areas were in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, the Kursk
Kursk
Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kur, Tuskar, and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was site of a turning point in the Russian-German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history...

 and Orel
Oryol
Oryol or Orel is a city and the administrative center of Oryol Oblast, Russia, located on the Oka River, approximately south-southwest of Moscow...

 regions of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and near the Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 border. Since its inception in 1931, the Hemp Breeding Department at the Institute of Bast Crops in Hlukhiv
Hlukhiv
Hlukhiv or Glukhov is a historic town in Sumy region of Ukraine, just south from the Russian border . As of 2001, the city's population is 35,800...

 (Glukhov), Ukraine, has been one of the world's largest centers for developing new hemp varieties, focusing on improving fiber quality, per-hectare yields, and low THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol
Tetrahydrocannabinol , also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol , Δ1-THC , or dronabinol, is the main chemical psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated in 1964. In pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold, and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed...

 content.

In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, hemp was historically used as paper and a fiber crop. There is archaeological evidence cannabis was used for clothing and the seeds were eaten in Japan back to the Jōmon period
Jomon period
The is the time in Japanese prehistory from about 14,000 BC to 300 BC.The term jōmon means "cord-patterned" in Japanese. This refers to the pottery style characteristic of the Jōmon culture, and which has markings made using sticks with cords wrapped around them...

 (10,000 to 300 BCE). Many Kimono
Kimono
The is a Japanese traditional garment worn by men, women and children. The word "kimono", which literally means a "thing to wear" , has come to denote these full-length robes...

 designs portray hemp, or asa , as a beautiful plant. In 1948, marijuana was restricted as a narcotic drug. The ban on marijuana imposed by the United States authorities was alien to Japanese culture, as the drug had never been widely used in Japan before. Though these laws against marijuana are some of the world's strictest, allowing five years imprisonment for possession of the drug, they exempt hemp growers, whose crop is used to make robes for Buddhist monks and loincloths for sumo wrestlers. Because marijuana use in Japan has doubled in the past decade, these "loopholes" have recently been called into question.

Yield in modern agriculture


Air dry stem yields in Ontario have from 1998 and onward ranged from 2.6-14.0 tonnes of dry, retted stalks per hectare (1-5.5 t/ac) at 12% moisture. Yields in Kent County, have averaged 8.75 t/ha (3.5 t/ac). Northern Ontario crops averaged 6.1 t/ha (2.5 t/ac) in 1998. Only a part of that is bast fiber. Approximately one tonne of bast fiber and 2-3 tonnes of core material can be decorticated from 3-4 tonnes of good quality, dry retted straw. For an annual yield of this level is it in Ontario recommended to add Nitrogen (N):70–110 kg/ha, Phosphate (P2O5): up to 80 kg/ha and Potash (K2O): 40–90 kg/ha.
The average yield of dry hemp stalks in Europe was 6 ton/ha (2.4 ton/ac) in 2001 and 2002.

FAO argue that an optimum yield of hemp fiber is more than 2 tonnes per ha, while average yields are around 650 kg/ha.

There are a lot of very uncertain, easily misleading and sometimes clearly incorrect numbers about the yield from hemp in ton/hectare or pounds/acre etc. on the Internet. Frequently it is not specified if the numbers describe: the total biomass; the total yield of biomass; the total yield of dried stalk; or the total yield of fiber from the bark. Furthermore, it is frequently not specified whether the numbers measure wet or dry material. Hemp can contain a lot of water.
In modern industrial agriculture
Industrial agriculture
Industrial farming is a form of modern farming that refers to the industrialized production of livestock, poultry, fish, and crops. The methods of industrial agriculture are technoscientific, economic, and political...

 is about 42% of the plants' biomass returned to the soil in the form of leaves, roots and tops.

Harvesting



Smallholder plots are usually harvested by hand. The plants are cut at 2 to 3 cm above the soil and left on the ground to dry. Mechanical harvesting is now common, using specially adapted cutter-binders or simpler cutters.

The cut hemp is laid in swathes to dry for up to four days. This was traditionally followed by retting
Retting
Retting is a process employing the action of micro-organisms and moisture on plants to dissolve or rot away much of the cellular tissues and pectins surrounding bast-fibre bundles, and so facilitating separation of the fibre from the stem...

, either water retting (the bundled hemp floats in water) or dew retting (the hemp remains on the ground and is affected by the moisture in dew, and by molds and bacterial action). Modern processes use steam and machinery to separate the fiber, a process known as Thermomechanical pulping.

Varieties


There are broadly three groups of Cannabis varieties being cultivated today:
  • Varieties primarily cultivated for their fiber, characterized by long stems
    Plant stem
    A stem is one of two main structural axes of a vascular plant. The stem is normally divided into nodes and internodes, the nodes hold buds which grow into one or more leaves, inflorescence , conifer cones, roots, other stems etc. The internodes distance one node from another...

     and little branching, extreme red, yellow, blue or purple coloration, or thickness of stem and solid core, such as hemp Cannabis oglalas, and more generally called industrial hemp.
  • Varieties grown for hemp seed oil which is high in protein and essential fatty acids and has no psychoactive properties.
  • Varieties grown for medicinal
    Medicine
    Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

    , spiritual development
    Spiritual use of cannabis
    Sacramental, religious and spiritual use of cannabis refers to cannabis used in a religious or spiritual context. Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual usage as an aid to trance and has been traditionally used in a religious context throughout the Old World....

     or recreational
    Cannabis (drug)
    Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

     purposes.


A nominal, if not legal distinction is often made between hemp, with concentrations of the psychoactive chemical THC far too low to be useful as a drug, and Cannabis used for medical, recreational, or spiritual purposes.

Diseases



Hemp plants can be vulnerable to various pathogen
Pathogen
A pathogen gignomai "I give birth to") or infectious agent — colloquially, a germ — is a microbe or microorganism such as a virus, bacterium, prion, or fungus that causes disease in its animal or plant host...

s, including bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

, fungi, nematodes, viruses and other miscellaneous pathogens. Such diseases often lead to reduced fiber quality, stunted growth, and death of the plant. These diseases rarely affect the yield of a hemp field, so hemp production is not traditionally dependent on the use of pesticides.

History


Hemp use archaeologically dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture
Yangshao culture
The Yangshao culture was a Neolithic culture that existed extensively along the central Yellow River in China. The Yangshao culture is dated from around 5000 BC to 3000 BC. The culture is named after Yangshao, the first excavated representative village of this culture, which was discovered in 1921...

 pottery dating from the 5th century BC. The Chinese later used hemp to make clothes, shoes, ropes, and an early form of paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

.

The classical Greek historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 (ca. 480 BC) reported that the inhabitants of Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

 would often inhale the vapors of hemp-seed smoke, both as ritual and for their own pleasurable recreation.

Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber summarizes the historical evidence that Cannabis sativa, "grew and was known in the Neolithic period all across the northern latitudes, from Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, the Ukraine) to East Asia (Tibet and China)," but, "textile use of Cannabis sativa does not surface for certain in the West until relatively late, namely the Iron Age."
"I strongly suspect, however, that what catapulted hemp to sudden fame and fortune as a cultigen and caused it to spread rapidly westwards in the first millennium B.C. was the spread of the habit of pot-smoking from somewhere in south-central Asia, where the drug-bearing variety of the plant originally occurred. The linguistic evidence strongly supports this theory, both as to time and direction of spread and as to cause."

Jews living in Palestine in the 2nd century were familiar with the cultivation of hemp, as witnessed by a reference to it in the Mishna (Kil'ayim 2:5) as a variety of plant, along with Arum
Arum
Arum is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region....

, that sometimes takes as many as three years to grow from a seedling.

In late medieval
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 Germany
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 and Italy
Italy in the Middle Ages
This is the history of Italy during the Middle Ages.- Transition from Late Antiquity :Italy was invaded by the Visigoths in the 5th century, and Rome was sacked by Alaric in 410. The last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed in 476 by an Eastern Germanic general, Odoacer...

, hemp was employed in cooked dishes, as filling in pie
Pie
A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients....

s and torte
Torte
A torte is a rich, usually multilayered, cake that is filled with buttercreams, mousses, jams or fruits. Ordinarily, the cooled torte is glazed and garnished . A torte is made with little to no flour, but instead with ground nuts or breadcrumbs, as well as sugar, eggs, and flavorings.- Origin...

s, or boiled in a soup
Soup
Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

.

Hemp in later Europe was mainly cultivated for its fibers, and was used for ropes on many ships, including those of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

. The use of hemp as a cloth was centered largely in the countryside, with higher quality textiles being available in the towns.

The Spaniards brought hemp to the Western Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 starting about 1545. However, in May 1607, "hempe" was among the crops Gabriel Archer observed being cultivated by the natives at the main Powhatan
Powhatan
The Powhatan is the name of a Virginia Indian confederation of tribes. It is estimated that there were about 14,000–21,000 of these native Powhatan people in eastern Virginia when the English settled Jamestown in 1607...

 village, where Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 is now situated; and in 1613, Samuell Argall reported wild hemp "better than that in England" growing along the shores of the upper Potomac. As early as 1619, the first Virginia House of Burgesses
House of Burgesses
The House of Burgesses was the first assembly of elected representatives of English colonists in North America. The House was established by the Virginia Company, who created the body as part of an effort to encourage English craftsmen to settle in North America...

 passed an Act requiring all planters in Virginia to sow "both English and Indian" hemp on their plantations. The Puritans are first known to have cultivated hemp in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 in 1645.
In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed in the United States. It levied a tax on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. It was repealed by an overriding law in 1970.

Hemp was used extensively by the United States during World War II. Uniforms, canvas, and rope were among the main textiles created from the hemp plant at this time. Much of the hemp used was cultivated in Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and the Midwest.

Historically, hemp production had made up a significant portion of antebellum
History of the United States (1789–1849)
With the election of George Washington as the first president in 1789, the new government acted quickly to rebuild the nation's financial structure. Enacting the program of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the government assumed the Revolutionary war debts of the state and the national...

 Kentucky's economy. Before the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, many slaves worked on plantations
Plantation economy
A plantation economy is an economy which is based on agricultural mass production, usually of a few staple products grown on large farms called plantations. Plantation economies rely on the export of cash crops as a source of income...

 producing hemp.

During World War II, the U.S. produced a short 1942 film, Hemp for Victory
Hemp for Victory
Hemp for Victory is a black-and-white United States government film made during World War II, explaining the uses of hemp, encouraging farmers to grow as much as possible.- History :...

, promoting hemp as a necessary crop to win the war.

By the early twentieth century, the advent of the steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

 and the diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

 ended the reign of the sailing ship
Sailing ship
The term sailing ship is now used to refer to any large wind-powered vessel. In technical terms, a ship was a sailing vessel with a specific rig of at least three masts, square rigged on all of them, making the sailing adjective redundant. In popular usage "ship" became associated with all large...

. The production of iron and steel for cable and ships' hulls further eliminated natural fibres in marine use. Hemp had long since fallen out of favour in the sailing industry in preference to Manila hemp.

Countries that produce hemp


The world-leading producer of hemp is China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, with smaller production in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

. Over 30 countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Great Britain, France, Russia and Spain.

France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 is Europe's biggest producer with 8,000 hectares cultivated. 70-80 % of the hemp fibre produced in Europe in 2003 was used for specialty pulp for cigarette papers and technical applications. About 15% is used in the automotive sector and 5-6% were used for insulation mats. Approximately 95% of hurds were used as animal bedding, while almost 5% were used in the building sector. In 2010/2011 was the total area cultivated with hemp in the EU about 11 000 ha, a decline compared with previous year.

Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 Commercial production (including cultivation) of industrial hemp has been permitted in Canada since 1998 under licenses and authorization issued by Health Canada (9,725 ha in 2004, 5450 ha in 2009).

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 all resumed commercial production in the 1990s. British production is mostly used as bedding for horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s; other uses are under development. The largest outlet for German fibre is composite automotive panels. Companies in Canada, the UK, the United States and Germany, among many others, process hemp seed into a growing range of food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 products and cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

; many traditional growing countries still continue to produce textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

-grade fibre.

Hemp is not legal to grow in the U.S. under Federal law because of its relation to marijuana, and any imported hemp products must meet a zero tolerance level. It is considered a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act
Controlled Substances Act
The Controlled Substances Act was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain...

 (P.L. 91-513; 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Some states have defied Federal law and made the cultivation of industrial hemp legal. These states — North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, California, Montana, West Virginia and Vermont — have not yet begun to grow hemp because of resistance from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

.

Uruguay has also approved a project of hemp production as of the second half of 2010.

Industrial growth under licence



Licences for hemp cultivation are issued in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, in all states of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and ten states in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, these licences are issued by the Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is an Act of Parliament which represents UK action in line with treaty commitments under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic...

. When grown for non-drug purposes, hemp is referred to as industrial hemp, and a common product is fibre for use in a wide variety of products, as well as the seed for nutritional aspects and for the oil. Feral hemp or ditch weed is usually a naturalized fibre or oilseed strain of Cannabis that has escaped from cultivation and is self-seeding.

Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

, Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

 and, most recently, New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 issue licences to grow hemp for industrial use. Victoria was an early adopter in 1998, and has reissued the regulation in 2008.
Queensland has allowed industrial production under licence since 2002, where the issuance is controlled under the Drugs Misuse Act 1986.
Most recently, New South Wales now issues licences under a law, the Hemp Industry Regulations Act 2008 (No 58), that came into effect as of 6 November 2008.

Vermont and North Dakota have passed laws enabling hemp licensure. Both states are waiting for permission to grow hemp from the DEA. Currently, North Dakota representatives are pursuing legal measures to force DEA approval.
Oregon has licensed industrial hemp .

See also



  • Hemp Industries Association
    Hemp Industries Association
    The Hemp Industries Association is a non-profit trade group representing hemp companies, researchers and supporters in the USA and Canada. The group petitions for fair and equal treatment of industrial hemp...

  • Hemp Plastic
    Hemp plastic
    Hemp plastic is a composite material made of hemp fibre, which can be used to replace oil-based raw materials. Hemp Plastic was designed in Europe over 15 years, and is now primarily produced in China. However, hemp plastic was invented much earlier, since even Henry Ford designed and then produced...

  • Hemp for Victory
    Hemp for Victory
    Hemp for Victory is a black-and-white United States government film made during World War II, explaining the uses of hemp, encouraging farmers to grow as much as possible.- History :...

  • Hempcrete
    Hempcrete
    Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp hurds and lime used as a material for construction and insulation.It is marketed under names like Hemcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre....

  • Natural fibre
  • Plant textiles
  • Vote Hemp
    Vote Hemp
    Vote Hemp is a non-profit, single-issue organization dedicated to the regulation of industrial hemp in the United States.Founded in 2000 by members of the hemp industry, , Vote Hemp takes a political approach to education and legislation...