Hemp is a subspecies of the plant Cannabis sativa L. That means that it belongs to the genus Cannabis, and the family Cannabaceae - as does its cousin Humulus (or hop).
Hemp is tall and thin, with cane-like stalks. It is an aromatic herb that flowers annually.
So while hemp is derived from the Cannabis genus, it’s important to remember that there are thousands of sub-species of cannabis, all with varying uses and molecular makeup.
Due to millenia of selective breeding hemp is a distinct species, grown mainly for fibre and food, with a low THC content (THC is the molecule in the cannabis plant that can have psychotropic effects - or induce a ‘high’ feeling). We completely remove the THC from all of our products, avoiding any concerns surrounding whether you can get high.
The cannabis we tend to think of automatically is an entirely different subspecies, a long-lost sibling of hemp that was cross-bred over time to contain varying levels of THC.
Hemp was first used for paper and textiles, but this has evolved over time and it’s now used in health foods, construction, biofuels, plastic composites, clothing and many more. Some claim hemp has up to 25,000 uses.
It was such an important commodity that hemp was used to bargain during the US Independence from Britain. It was used in everything from the ship sails, to canvasses for some of our most loved artists in history.
**See our Short History of Hemp. Extract 2 **.