Hemp 101: What It Is And How It Works
Hemp has been used for thousands of years to make a wide range of products, from textiles and building materials to paper, beauty products, food, and medicine.
Hemp is a variety of cannabis that is grown specifically for industrial use. As long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC, hemp can be legally cultivated and sold in the United States—unlike marijuana, which remains federally illegal. Hemp has been used for thousands of years to make a wide range of products, from textiles and building materials to paper, beauty products, food, and medicine. Cultivating hemp requires half the water other crops require, uses no pesticides during cultivation, and leaves less soil contamination than cotton.
The plant is tall and sturdy with a strong stalk that provides an excellent source of fiber for clothing, rope, or other textiles. The seeds provide protein that can be eaten raw or processed into oils—allowing you to add nutritional goodness to smoothies or salad dressings—and even used as alternative cooking oil for baking or frying food. The flowers are where most hemp-derived CBD comes from; they are also the part of the plant traditionally used in herbal remedies (the ancient Chinese called it má).
Hemp is not only environmentally friendly—it’s also one of the most versatile plants on Earth!
What are the benefits of using hemp products?
Hemp is widely used in alternative medicine to promote wellness with the following potential benefits:
Pain relief: Many users claim that hemp products can help reduce chronic pain, arthritis, and inflammation.
Insomnia and sleep disorders: Hemp has been used by individuals struggling with insomnia and other sleep disorders as an aid to falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.
Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions: Hemp may also be helpful for those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s thought that the mood-boosting properties of the hemp plant can improve these conditions.
Skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema: Some evidence suggests that a topical cream containing hemp oil may work as well as prescription medications like cortisone in treating post-surgical swelling, skin rashes like psoriasis and eczema, itching from dry skin or insect bites, minor burns or abrasions, acne flare-ups on sensitive skin, fungal infections at the site of a small wound (such as athlete’s foot), hemorrhoids after childbirth or surgery (especially for women experiencing episiotomy pain), varicose veins due to pregnancy (in addition to helping soothe leg cramps during pregnancy), diaper rash in babies—the list goes on!