What Is the Difference Between Industrial Hemp and Hemp?

Written by Derek Johnson

The terms are often used interchangeably but there can be a distinction found between the two.

Now that hemp is once again legal, terminology surrounding the plant is developing. However, because hemp is so new to the marketplace, many terms are often used interchangeably, such as hemp and industrial hemp. In the end, industrial hemp is, in fact, hemp. However, in some circles, the addition of the adjective industrial, implies a specific type of hemp farming.

The Basics of Industrial Hemp

We’re all aware of the cannabidiol (CBD) craze and the exploding market for this and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in hemp. However, when some speak of industrial hemp, they aren’t referring to the production cannabinoids. Instead, they’re talking about the production of the numerous products, both food and non-food, that can be made from the plant’s fibers and it seeds.

Edible products created from industrial hemp cultivation are made from hemp seeds, which can be ground up to produce meal, flour, and powders. Hemp seeds can also be processed into edible oils as well as “milks” and other beverages. Whatever the food produced is sure to be packed full of nutrition. 30 grams of shelled hemp seeds pack a whopping 11 grams of protein, 192 milligrams of magnesium, and 13.5 grams of fat (only one gram of saturated fat).

Non-edible products produced from industrial hemp are numerous and include fiber, which is used for clothing, rope, canvass, and practically anything else that can be made from cotton. The cosmetic industry also benefits from industrial hemp through the plant’s seeds, which produce high-quality oils. And new technologies lead to new innovations, such as HempCrete and HempInsulation, which are making big impacts in the construction industry.

In most circles, the terms industrial hemp and hemp are used interchangeably. In fact, in much of the legislation and regulations surrounding hemp in the US and worldwide, you’ll find little to no distinction between the two terms. However, a distinction is sometimes made and when it is, it usually has to deal with the production of multiple products for multiple markets versus the production of solely cannabinoids.

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Derek Johnson

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