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What Is Industrial Hemp?

January 7, 2024

Industrial Hemp: The Powerhouse Behind CBD Products

Industrial hemp, often overshadowed by its infamous cousin marijuana, is undergoing a renaissance due to its invaluable role in the production of CBD products. Characterized by its low THC content—the psychoactive component in marijuana—this is a versatile crop with multifaceted applications.

Industrial Hemp Factory

Historical Significance

The historical roots of industrial hemp are deep, with its uses dating back thousands of years:

  • It’s been utilized for fiber, food and medicine.
  • Throughout history, legislation has shifted from widespread cultivation to stringent regulation and back towards an acceptance of hemp’s agricultural potential.

The Rebirth

The rebirth of industrial hemp in modern times has been marked by legislative milestones, such as the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States. This legislation differentiated hemp from marijuana, defining it as a cannabis plant containing 0.3% or less THC on a dry weight basis, and thus federally legalizing its cultivation.

  • The legalization has led to an increased demand for CBD products.
  • As awareness and acceptance grow, industrial hemp has cemented its status as the backbone of the burgeoning CBD industry.

Cannabinoid Production

Industrial hemp is the primary source for extracting cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound acclaimed for its potential health benefits. The CBD extraction process typically involves:

  • Harvesting hemp biomass
  • Utilizing methods like CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction to isolate CBD.

The result is a range of products that tout the benefits of CBD oil, which is derived from the chemical profile of industrial hemp, acclaimed for its wellness properties.

Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids: HHC vs Others

Cannabinoids derived from hemp are not limited to just CBD. Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is another compound found in hemp, though in smaller quantities, and shares some similarities with both CBD and Delta 8:

  • The distinction between HHC vs Delta 8 lies in their chemical structures and respective effects on the user.
  • Similarly, when comparing HHC vs THC, consumers note differences in potency and legality.

Uses and Products Derived from Industrial Hemp

The diversity of products derived from industrial hemp is extensive. Here are just a few:

  • Health and Wellness: CBD oils and tinctures, capsules, and topicals such as CBD skincare products.
  • Recreational: Smokable hemp flower and innovative products like HHC flower.

Hemp in Health and Wellness

CBD’s growing reputation as a natural aid for health and wellness has bolstered hemp’s position in the market. It is increasingly sought after for its perceived effectiveness in providing pain relief and addressing other health concerns without the intoxicating effects of THC.

  • Health Industry: Hemp’s influence is growing as research continues to explore its therapeutic potential.
  • Consumer Awareness: An informed public is recognizing hemp’s contribution to a healthy lifestyle.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Hemp isn’t just beneficial to consumers; it’s kind to the planet. Some of the environmental benefits include:

  • Reduced pesticides: Hemp requires fewer pesticides than many crops.
  • Phytoremediation: Hemp can absorb toxins from the soil, cleaning contaminated lands.


The future of industrial hemp looks bright, both as a pillar of the CBD market and as a crop offering sustainable agricultural practices. With ongoing research and regulatory advancements, the role of hemp in the health and wellness sector as well as its impact on the environment will likely continue to expand, opening new doors for consumers and industries alike.


A: No, hemp contains 0.3% or less THC, making it non-psychoactive, whereas marijuana has higher levels of THC.

No, the low levels of THC in hemp are not sufficient to produce a high.

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