Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a botanical class of Cannabis sativa cultivars that are cultivated specifically for industrial or medicinal use. It is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago. Hemp can be refined into a variety of commercial items, such as paper, ropes, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed. It is sometimes confused with cannabis plants that serve as sources of the drug marijuana and the drug preparation hashish. Hemp was historically associated with marijuana and was considered a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
However, it only contains small amounts of THC compared to marijuana or hashish. George Washington promoted the cultivation of hemp for its commercial use in making ropes and fabrics. Hemp fiber is also used to make bioplastics that are recyclable and biodegradable. In the 1960s, THC was determined to be the psychoactive component that caused a person to get high. This made it possible to distinguish industrial hemp with a low THC content from varieties with a high THC content.
George Washington also imported the hemp plant from India from Asia for its fiber and resin production. As mechanical technology evolved, the separation of the fiber from the core was achieved by shredding rollers and brush rollers, or by milling with a hammer. Traditionally, hemp stalks were first ground with water before the fibers were removed from the inside of the pod by hand. Despite this progress, hemp companies in the U. S.
have had difficulty expanding due to challenges in traditional marketing and sales approaches. In research trials in Pennsylvania, only Japanese beetles have been observed in hemp and they are only attracted to male plants. Industrial hemp also cannot be covered by the Uninsured Assistance Program (NAP) administered by the USDA Agricultural Services Agency. Because there are currently no herbicides labeled for use on hemp, hemp grown in rows will require mechanical weed control. Hemp fiber is known to have high strength and durability, and is known to be a good protector against vermin. Several arthropods can damage or damage hemp plants, but the most serious species are associated with the Insecta class.