What is industrial hemp?

Welcome to Bohempia USA! We thought we should start out by explaining what exactly industrial hemp is. Many people think it is the same thing as marijuana or CBD but that is not the case! We’re here to help educate our customers so they understand the incredible product they are purchasing.

Cannabis sativa is the Latin genus name for plants that include hemp and marijuana. Just as there are different breeds of dogs, there are different breeds of Cannabis sativa. Hemp was bred from Cannabis sativa to create tall, sturdy plants used for rope and fiber, animal feed, and seed. Marijuana was bred from Cannabis sativa for its high production of THC that causes the marijuana high. Hemp contains almost no THC; in fact, it is required by law to contain less than 0.3%. 

Industrial hemp is native to Central Asia and has been around for centuries. Hemp was a traditional European fiber crop that played an important role for centuries in meeting demand for textiles, rope, and paper. It was grown as a commodity fiber crop in the US from the mid-18th century until the mid-1930’s. Production ceased in the US and UK when it was made illegal for many decades due to its association with narcotics. It is now legal in both places and many universities are studying all of the incredible benefits industrial hemp has for us and our environment. 

So how is hemp made into fiber? 

At harvest, hemp is cut down and lies flat in the field to ret which allows the tall stalk to begin breaking down. The stalks must be turned on all sides to allow for even retting. The stalk consists of two parts: the bast and the hurd. After the retting process, the stalk goes through a machine that strips the bast from the hurd. The bast is then woven into fiber while the hurd is used for things like insulation or animal bedding.