By / December 21, 2018

Hemp 101: What to know about America’s new agriculture star

The 2018 Farm Bill has just received the approval of President Donald Trump. The common provision that people know about hemp in the Farm Bill is that the plant will be removed from the controlled substances list. However, there are other important things to know about hemp as well.

The pioneer of hemp in the Farm Bill

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky is the biggest proponent of hemp‘s inclusion in the Farm Bill. This should not be surprising for those familiar with McConnell and with where he is coming from.

Kentucky had a thriving tobacco industry once but anti-smoking campaigns and groups dealt a blow to its major economic driver. The state has thousands of acres of lands dedicated to growing tobacco. When the anti-smoking movements began taking its toll, the state decided to shift its attention toward the hemp industry. McConnell himself believes that hemp could be the new cash crop of the state.

Hemp vs  marijuana

One of the reasons why there is such a huge misunderstanding about what hemp is that people do not differentiate it from marijuana. Though both plants are from the cannabis family, the distinction between the two is vast.

woman meditating
The composition of hemp makes it suitable for the health and wellness industry. (Source)

First off, hemp does not get people high as it contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is also known as the psychoactive compound in marijuana. It does retain the medically beneficial cannabidiol (CBD) compound. Hemp’s composition makes it an ideal item for the health and wellness industry.

Hemp can also be used as an alternative to other materials

Aside from its composition, there are also various uses for hemp. While marijuana is mostly consumed whether for recreation or medical, hemp can be used as an alternative fuel for automobiles, building materials, and even clothes. Of course, it has been used as a healthy ingredient in food and drinks.

Hemp is easy to grow

Hemp is expected to be a new driver in the U.S.’ agricultural industry for a lot of reasons, the first being it is growing in demand and the uses for it are diverse. Another reason is that hemp is easy to grow. Its cultivation properties allow it to become easily handled even by less-experienced farmers.

hemp plants
Hemp has a growth cycle of around 108-120 days which is a little bit longer than marijuana (Source)

Unlike marijuana, hemp can thrive in various climate conditions. In fact, hemp will only have trouble growing in extreme weathers. Even then, farmers can still yield crops, but they might experience lower production rates. Hemp has a growth cycle of around 108-120 days which is a little bit longer than marijuana, but it makes up for this extended time with its ease of handling.

There is still a lot of time for farmers and potential investors to learn about all there is to know about hemp. Marijuana’s close cousin is more than just a part of the cannabis industry as its potential to reinvigorate the US’ agricultural sector and economy is outstanding. By next year, we can expect hemp to be at the center of the US.

(Featured Image by WildOne)

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