Cultivation

The Hemp Plant: Value in Every Ounce

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Written by Lydia Kariuki

Every part of the hemp plant possesses diverse uses; this is what makes hemp such a profitable plant. This potentially lucrative plant has been legalized at a federal level in the US, and is claimed to have a use in over 25,000 different products. The versatility of hemp is attributable to the usability of every part of the plant.

Hemp in the Seeds

Hemp seeds are fast becoming a fad and have been compared to flax and chia seeds. Hemp seeds are highly nutritious. They are a rich source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are heart healthy. [1]

Hemp seeds are also a rich source of fiber which aids in digestion and helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. Hemps seeds are loaded with vitamin A & E and minerals such as iron, zinc, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus. Lastly, hemp seeds are a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA offers cardioprotective benefits and reduces symptoms of menopause. [1]

Hemp seeds can also be processed into biofuel which can be used as a sustainable replacement to petrol.

Hemp in the Stalks

The stalks of hemp plants are a rich source of fiber. This fiber is used to produce different textiles. Hemp textiles are stronger and more durable than cotton. Hemp fiber can also be used to make animal feed and horticultural mulch.

Hemp in the Leaves

The leaves of hemp are the cherry on the cake; this is the source of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and all the therapeutic goodies that can be derived from hemp. So far, over 100 phytocannabinoids have been identified in hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) is probably the most popular. Research has shown that CBD working in concert with the other bioactive compounds in hemp can provide powerful therapeutic benefits. [2] 

Raw hemp leaves are a rich source of polyphenols that offer a myriad of health benefits.

Hemp in the Roots

Hemp roots have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a long time now. Hemp roots were used to relieve arthritis, menstrual pain, and joint pains.  One study examined the benefits of hemp roots and came to a conclusion that this could offer potential for the treatment of inflammation and pain. [3]

It is projected that the hemp industry will be worth $26.6 billion by 2025. This is a feat that can be achieved if the value of the whole plant is exploited effectively.

Image Source

https://pixabay.com/photos/hemp-cannabis-sativa-nature-crop-4354389/

References

  1. Rodriguez-Leyva, D., & Pierce, G. N. The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutrition & metabolism, 2010, 7, 32
  2. Gallily R, et al. Overcoming the Bell‐Shaped Dose‐Response of Cannabidiol by Using Cannabis Extract Enriched in Cannabidiol. Pharmacology  & Pharmacy, 2015,6,75‐85
  3. Ryz, N. R., Remillard, D. J., & Russo, E. B. Cannabis Roots: A Traditional Therapy with Future Potential for Treating Inflammation and Pain. Cannabis and cannabinoid research. 2017, 2(1), pp 210–216.

About the author

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Lydia Kariuki

1 Comment

  • Hi Lydia

    The most abundant supply of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are found on the flowers not the leaves.
    Each of the hemp plants products require different plant management practices and different varieties of hemp.

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