Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant species grown for many industrial uses and its derived products (CBD being a prime example).

Although it is part of the cannabis family, hemp is a distinctly different plant strain to its cousin marijuana (‘weed’). Marijuana and Hemp are similar in appearance but have different phytochemical compositions. Moreover, the key differentiator is the amount of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in each. Hemp has much lower concentrations of THC (0.3% or less by law in Europe) than marijuana. It is categorised for having high concentrations of Cannabidiol (CBD), the beneficial compound.

History of the plant

Hemp is thought to be one of the first plants grown on earth. It was used across the world for thousands of years until early in the 20th century. This is when marijuana gained popularity for recreational use. The mind-altering effects of marijuana became a topic of social concern and as a result countries started to prohibit all plants from the cannabis family. Without enough thought or research, hemp was unfortunately included in these broad stroke bans. For nearly 100 years the world missed out on the range of medicinal and industrial benefits the crop offers.

Multi-functional ‘wonder’ plant (1000’s of ‘uses’)

Hemp is referred to as a ‘wonder plant’ due its diverse benefits and applications, famously reported to have over 25,000 uses. It is used today for textiles, paper, bioplastics, hempcrete (a concrete alternative), fiber, biofuels and an array of food products. 

The health properties of the plant are bolstered by the discovery of the Endocannabinoid system in the early 1990s. Scientists showed that cannabinoids found in the plant could activate receptors found throughout the body and brain resulting in many therapeutic effects. CBD is one of these cannabinoids and luckily it is found in abundance on the surface of hemp flowers. Coupled with the low THC content (no ‘high’ effects) it is clear why we have seen a worldwide resurgence of the crop. 

A solution to climate change

Hemp represents a key weapon for the world in a bid to save our planet. It is a sustainable alternative for numerous materials used in industries that are currently raising greenhouse gases. These industries are adding to deforestation and accelerating climate change issues. It is a viable green replacement to:

  • petroleum used to make plastic, 
  • cotton used for clothes 
  • traditional concrete (which is CO2 intensive), and
  • trees cut down for paper.

Hemp grows at a much quicker rate than trees and is proven to sequester more carbon dioxide than trees per acre. The world is finally starting to awaken to what can be achieved with this wonder plan and we at ethos CBD & Wellness look forward to a progressively sustainable future with Irish hemp playing a major part.

All ethos CBD products are made with organic Irish hemp. Shop the ranges now.