Properties and uses of hemp
CHARACTERISTICS OF HEMP
Scientific noun: Cannabis sativa L.
Family: Hemp family – Cannabaceae–
Common noun: Hemp, Marijuana, cannabis, hashish, Kief
Habitat: It is almost cultivated in every place of the world, but it comes from Central and Western Asia.
Components of hemp
– Cannabinoids: D- 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabinol, cannabinodiol, etc.
– Acids: Linoleic, oleic and isolinoleic (seeds)
– Niacin (seeds)
– Orientin (plant)
Active parts: The whole plant, specially the fruits, which are used to cure the urinary tract. Flowers have hypnotic properties.
Differences between hemp and cannabis
Although these two plants can be equally named, they actually belong to two different varietes of the same plant:
– Hemp (Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa) is richer in fiber, so it is aimed to an industrial use.
– Hemp is generally a much taller plant
– Hemp is poorer in THC (Less than 0,3%). Hemp content of active principle Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is to low to have any pyschoactive effect
– Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L. var. indica) is more psychoactive than Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa
– Cannabis is much richer in THC (From 2 % to more that 20 %) so it is specifically cultivated for the production of marijuana or hashish, that are aimed to be used as recreational purposes.
– Cannabis is a smaller although more dense plant.
(Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa)
(Cannabis sativa L var. indica)
Drawings of the two different varieties of the same plant
What is hemp used for?
The main uses of hemp are the following:
– Industrial textile use, being one of the most interesting fibres to build ropes. It also appears in different garments, shoes, belts, handbags, etc
– In the painting industry
– To produce soaps and plastics.
– As fuel, as a substitute of petrol, being more ecological.
– As food, specially to feed cattle and birds but also for human consumption, specially in Asia.
– As medicine, mainly to treat pain, anxiety and vomiting (More information)
Toxicity of hemp
Toxicity of hemp is very low. Cannabine is a yellow toxic resin, extracted from flowers. (See marijuana and hashish)
Effects of hemp
The main effects of hemp are the following:
More information about plants.