Hemp: An untapped resourceThursday, September 23, 2021
People often group both hemp and marijuana in the same category, though hemp is different in its function, cultivation, and application. Both species of plants are similar, but it's the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content that is found in marijuana that is responsible for the “high” that an individual feels when using it.
Hemp contains less than 0.3 per cent (THC), can grow with minimal care, and is adaptable to grow in most climates. Hemp can be utilised as a cover crop and enhances soil health by shading out weeds, thereby reducing the need for synthetic herbicides.
Hemp can be used in a variety of industries — medicinal, industrial, fashion, and food. Products such as cannabinoid (CBD) oil, which is used to alleviate pain, is a popular product, while hemp oil works for eczema, is perfect for most skin types, and used as a moisturiser that aids in the rejuvenation of dry skin without the clogging of pores.
Food products like hemp seeds, hemp milk, or hemp protein powder are just a few items that are available on the market. The seeds are rich in nutrients that are high in protein, fibres, and omega-3, and can also be found in food items for pets.
Hemp is also used in fashion to create fabrics and yarns and is said to be more durable than cotton.
The industrial sector can benefit from hemp in the form of plastics, paints, and varnishes.
Biofuel for machinery and vehicles can also be derived from hemp. Biodiesel is made from seeds and can be used in any conventional diesel engine and as a suitable alternative to fossil fuel.
There are myriad uses that can be derived from this plant to support a range of industries, which can provide much-needed employment opportunities.
The benefits the plant possesses are endless and should be examined. Hemp is an uncut diamond in which the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Transport, and Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, along with private partnerships, can invest. These three ministries should work together to make this project a reality.