With a range of uses from paper to medicine, hemp (a variety of the cannabis sativa plant) has been an important crop on the planet for over 10,000 years. The female help plant holds much of the power in the wellness marketplace these days, particularly as a rich source of CBD oil, known to enhance health naturally (without the intoxicating “high” caused by THC).
Let’s explore the early origins of hemp, why hemp farming is good for us (and the Earth) and what makes the female hemp plant so powerful. Then learn some ways to integrate hemp products into your daily use.
A Brief History of Hemp
While hemp may have been on the planet for much longer, its first records of cultivation date back to 2800 BCE in China, when it was grown for fiber. The plant was so highly regarded there that the ancient Chinese once called their country the “land of mulberry and hemp.” It slowly spread through the Mediterranean countries of Europe throughout the Middle Ages before making its way to the Americas in the 1500s.
Though American production of hemp was encouraged by the government in the 17th century for the production of rope, sails and clothing — and was even used as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland — hemp production was banned in the U.S. in 1937 under the Marihuana Tax Act.
By 2018, the U.S. had re-discovered the diverse range of benefits and applications of hemp, and production was legalized again under federal law under the 2018 Farm Bill. But there was one important consideration: the hemp plant, which resembles marijuana in its appearance, could contain no more than 0.3 percent concentration of THC.
Hemp Farming is Good for the Earth
Before we explore how hemp benefits our bodies and minds, we’ll first look into how industrial hemp production benefits the planet. Hemp has been scientifically proven to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any forest or commercial crop, making it a natural air purifier. It can be grown on a widespread scale, on nutrient-poor soils, with very small amounts of water and no fertilizers or pesticides.
Hemp could serve as an eco-friendly alternative to many of the world’s most polluting materials, including concrete, plastic, fabric and fuel. These alternatives aren’t just good for the planet, they’re also less toxic for the consumer. Hemp also has the ability to enhance soil health by shading out weeds and reducing the need for synthetic herbicide, adding diversity to sustainable crop rotations.
This is exactly why at SHEbd, we’ve committed to celebrating and preserving hemp’s natural ability to restore our earth. Our products are sustainable, and always will be.
What Sets the Female Hemp Plant Apart
Like humans, hemp plants carry sex chromosomes and female flowers produce significantly higher quantities of cannabinoids than male flowers, including cannabidiol, or CBD. It’s possible to maximize the production of female flowers, which may further benefit growers and facilitate research into developing new hemp strains. Female flower strains are typically sought after for medicinal purposes due to its cannabinoid composition, which includes more CBD and less THC. This is why female flowers are more conducive for those learning how to make hemp oil.
Male hemp plants are simply more suited to making fiber or rope.
How to Use Hemp Products
Beyond fiber or rope, the magic of hemp is in its many uses. Hemp can be used to make textiles like clothing and shoes, building material, paper products, bioplastics and much more. While it is proven to be stronger and more durable than cotton, it requires less space and water to grow. Even hemp seeds have value, as they are powerfully nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals. Other common ways to use hemp include:
- Plant milk
- Lotions and cosmetics
- Animal bedding
- Concrete alternative called “hempcrete”
- Paper products
Even more magical, hemp-derived CBD oil has been proven in numerous studies to have potent therapeutic properties and healing effects in users. CBD activates the 5HT1-A serotonin receptor, which modulates mood and anxiety. This has led some researchers to claim that CBD may be more effective than antidepressants like SSRIs, which interact with serotonin production. Other proven health benefits of CBD include:
- Stress relief
- Drug addiction recovery
- Inflammation treatment
- Better sleep
- Relief from pain associated with menstruation
Hemp-derived CBD can be taken in a variety of ways, from CBD oils and softgels to balms, creams and sheet masks. Find out how SHEbd is making a difference in women’s health with the purest, highest quality, CBD-rich hemp supplements on the market. Explore the magic at SHEbd.com.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist. Her work has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, The Telegraph and VICE. She lives in Los Angeles.