Is the Hemp plant taking the market by storm?
Ever since medical and recreational marijuana have been a topic on the rise worldwide, especially in the United States and Canada, a new word has seen some big rebirth as well – hemp. In short, hemp is the cousin of marijuana (both members of the species cannabis sativa), without the psychoactive component, without the THC content (less than 0.3% THC content).
Let’s start with a short history of this magical plant. The Hemp Plant was very widely used in North America in the 18th and 19th century. Its robust fibres were mainly used in the production of clothing, ropes and sails. It all ended in 1938 when the cultivation of hemp, as well as cannabis (also called Indian Hemp) became prohibited. The hemp industry collapsed almost instantly and was forgotten for many decades. In 1998, Canada decided to make a distinction in legislation between the two plants and allowed Hemp to be cultivated once again. However, until today, the production of hemp is still technically forbidden in the USA (waiting for permission from the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency). The leader of hemp production worldwide is by far France, with 70% of the global production, followed by China with 25%.
There are presently many uses for hemp, more than you could ever imagine. From Hemp milk to hemp building blocks, and even hemp cosmetics, clothing and jewelry! In Canada, as you walk into a health grocery store, you will easily find the following products: raw shelled hemp seeds, hemp oil, hemp milk, hemp protein powder, hemp flour, or hemp snack bars. Some stores will carry even moisturizing cream based on hemp or even hemp infused massage oil!
Hemp is considered a super food, with countless health benefits. Lowering blood pressure, improving digestion, maintaining a healthy cholesterol level, controlling blood sugars are the main ones. Many people have reported losing weight naturally by simply eating four to five spoons of shelled hemp seeds every morning with their favourite fruits, cereals, or yogourt. It also always resulted with increased energy for the whole day.
So how do I grow hemp in Canada? You will need a license from Health Canada, it will be valid only for one year, and has to be renewed. Applicants will need to have a cristal clear police criminal record and will be asked to provide the exact GPS coordinates of their future proposed industrial hemp plantation. As of today, over 100 Canadian farmers are growing hemp for different purposes, mainly in Central and Western Canada. In a subsequent article, we will review the main manufacturers as well as their products.