If you’ve heard of hemp, you may have some common misconceptions about it. Hemp can be used for a multitude of different products, including the CBD that we make! Hemp is a plant that is rich in resources, history, and potential. Today we’re going to talk about the history of hemp, what it actually is, and how CBD is made from it.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a plant variety of Cannabis sativa L. While hemp and marijuana are both cannabis, they are not the same. One of the most notable differences in the two plants is the amount of THC they contain. Marijuana contains enough THC to produce psychedelic effects, but hemp does not. The THC produced in hemp is too small of an amount to cause these effects.
What hemp does produce a lot of, is CBD. While many cannabinoids can be found in hemp, CBD is found in the highest concentration. That’s why most companies, including Nature’s Ultra, grow hemp for producing their CBD oil and products. And, because hemp can be grown closer together and require less attention, it’s a much more sustainable crop in the long run. If you want to learn more about our sustainable agricultural processes, click here!
But, hemp can be used for more than just CBD. The fibers in the hemp plant can be used to make clothing, paper, building materials, bedding, and other industrial products. Interestingly enough, hemp can produce 4 times more paper per acre than trees! And, since it’s a plant, it’s biodegradable, adding to the sustainability of the crop.
Hemp seeds can also be eaten! They are high in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. They can be eaten raw, as oils, flours, or mixed with water to create milk. They can be used as substitutions in recipes where other flours or oils would be used, or the seeds can be sprinkled on salads, yogurt, or smoothies!
Needless to say, hemp is very useful and versatile. But, we don’t see it used as often as you might think, given how handy and sustainable of a crop it is. Why is that? Let’s take a look into the history of hemp and why it isn’t as popularly used as it once was.
From very early on in human civilization (8,000 BCE to be exact) hemp was used and found in pottery, food, natural medicines, rope, and paper. Archaeologists have found artifacts such as these anywhere between China, Taiwan, India, Russia, Greece, and France. There were even monarchs that were buried in clothing made out of hemp! Hemp continued to be used throughout history from everything from sacred rituals to everyday objects. Even Abraham Lincoln used hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps!
Sadly, in 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, placing a tax on any cannabis sales—including hemp. Production slowed, as it was now highly discouraged to grow and produce. But, society didn’t give up on it! In 1938, Popular Mechanics wrote an article listing 25,000 different products that could be made from hemp. Henry Ford even built an experimental car body which was ten times stronger than steel, and it was all made from hemp!
Regardless of these movements in favor of using and legalizing hemp, restrictions only got tighter. Almost 13 years after the last commercial hemp field was planted in Wisconsin in 1957, hemp was classified as an illegal Schedule I drug by the Controlled Substances Act. But, eventually, things eased up.
In 1998, the US began to import food-grade hemp seed and oil for use in foods, proving that the stigma surrounding hemp was beginning to loosen. Then, in 2004, a law went through protecting sales of hemp foods and body care. Three years later, two farmers from North Dakota were granted the first hemp licenses in fifty years. Things continued to progress in favor of hemp, until it was finally removed from the Controlled Substances Act in 2018. Now hemp can be used in any products, as long as they are following FDA guidelines!
Hemp and CBD
As we mentioned earlier, hemp and CBD are essential to one another. CBD is the cannabinoid that is found in abundance in hemp, much more than other cannabis plants provide. Just like hemp itself, CBD has long been used, but more is known about it nowadays. For example, Chinese emperor Sheng Neng would infuse cannabis plants into hot water, making a type of Tea CBD to treat ailments. This was happening all the way back in 2737 BC! Now we’re able to process hemp to get the oils from its leaves, allowing us the ability to make way for more products than just tea. Here is how CBD oil is extracted:
It all starts at the farm. CBD oil is pulled out of the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant using a variety of techniques. Some companies make infusions using olive oil, while others use ethanol or CO2. It all depends on the type of product the company is making. Once our CBD has been extracted, we go through rigorous testing to ensure that we have extracted the purest CBD with 0.0% THC. We’re proud to be able to say that we have the Young Living’s Seed to Seal® stamp of approval!
With all of this being said, it definitely goes to show how beneficial and important hemp is, not only just to the world of CBD, but for many other products! And, it’s great for the environment, too. If you want to learn more about hemp, stay tuned to our blog. For more information on Nature’s Ultra, click here. We can’t wait to teach you more about the wonderful world of hemp!