FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Hemp in India

Hemp FAQs in India | Buy Hemp Products in India on itsHemp
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Ever since the Food Safety and Standards Authority recognised hemp seeds and seed products as food items, many people are looking for a lot of answers. The ITSHEMP team has collated a list of the most basic FAQs about Hemp that can help you understand the plant and its many uses.


What is industrial hemp?

Industrial hemp is a crop belonging to the cannabis Sativa family It is a small-seeded, dicot, dioecious, photoperiodic plant. It is a broadleaf plant and not grass. It is a species of Cannabis Sativa plant whose byproducts serve numerous industrial uses. We can refine it into a wide range of commercial items such as fibre, fabric, paper, ropes, paint, biofuel, biodegradable plastic, food, and animal feed.


Is industrial hemp the same as marijuana?

No. Both industrial hemp and marijuana are varieties of the cannabis Sativa plant but they have different chemical profiles. Hemp has low levels of THC (the high-causing compound in cannabis). It is used to extract CBD oil which has a plethora of medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The seeds of the hemp plant are used for their rich nutritional profile. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a variety rich in THC. It is used for recreational purposes and to experience the medicinal benefits of THC.


Does consuming hemp seeds cause psychoactive behaviour?

No. Hemp seeds do not contain THC, the chemical compound in cannabis that causes the high. There is also no CBD present in hemp seeds. Therefore, consuming hemp seeds does not cause psychoactive behaviour.


Where does industrial hemp grow?

Typically, industrial hemp grows in the northern hemisphere. Some countries that actively grow industrial hemp are Australia, Canada, Austria, China, Chile, France, Denmark, Germany, Egypt, Finland, Great Britain, India, Italy, Hungary, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Romania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, and Turkey.


Does hemp production require pesticide use?

Typically, growing hemp is free of pesticides and any other chemical fertilizers. Industrial hemp is a crop that requires minimal to zero amount of chemicals. It grows naturally in organic conditions and is healthy in that sense.


How is industrial hemp different from marijuana?

Industrial hemp and marijuana are varities of the same species of cannabis plant. However, they differ on multiple levels.
Chemical Composition: The prime cannabinoid present in hemp is CBD whereas that in marijuana is THC. This is the reason that marijuana causes extreme excitant brhavious in the body whereas hemp shows no such effects.

Appearance: Both marijuana and hemp are broad-leafed plants. However, marijuana leaves are skinnier than hemp leaves and have a tight bud. Marijuana grows in a fat bush whereas hemp grows skiinier and taller.

Cultivation Enviorment: the cultivation environment for industrial hemp and marijuana are contrastingly different. Marijuana nees a carefully-controlled, warm, and humid atmosphere whereas hemp can grow in a relatively freer cultivation environment. Marijuana and hemp plants are never grown together because hemp pollen can considerably dilute the psych activity of marijuana.

Uses: Marijuana is primarily a recreational drug. Hemp, on the other hand, has multiple uses across various industries. Hemp is one of the first plants to be spun into fibre. Industrial uses of hemp include use in construction as building material, insulation, biodegradable plastic, and paint etc. Hemp’s use as a food item is continuously increasing owing to its high nutritional value.


What are organic and non-organic hemp products?

Organic hemp products are naturally produced products with minimal chemical interference. Both conventional (non-organic) and organic hemp oil grow without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemical fetrilizers. Both these plants are non-GMO plants. However, non-organic hemp does use fertilizers at the beginning of its growth cycle.

To take an example, CBD oil derived from organically grown hemp is rich in CBD. Organic hemp naturally contains high amounts of CBD. The same product delivered from non-organic hemp tends to contain lesser amount of CBD and requires more than usual amounts of plant to extract the same quantity.

Another difference is that of certification. Non-organic hemp, unlike organic hemp, does not undergo the same inspection and does not have to adhere to a long list of necessary guidelines to meet the certified organic standard.


How can hemp be used for food?

Hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. They naturally contain all the essential fatty acids and oils along with a high number of proteins and essential minerals. Hemp seeds do not contain any THC and are thus a perfectly safe addition to a diet.

They are easy to digest and provide the body with all the essential nutrients. They can be eaten raw, blended into smoothies, or as oatmeal. Hemp seeds are the only seeds containing essential fatty acids with almost no saturated fat. As a diet supplement, they reduce the risk of heart disease while boosting metabolism and aiding weight loss.

Hemp seeds are also used to extract hemp seed oil which can be used as a nutritional supplement. Hemp seed oil can be consumed raw or used as a salad dressing. Adding a tablespoon of hemp seed oil to scrambled eggs or grilled chicken boosts the protein shot of the meal.

When finely grounded, hemp seeds give hemp protein powder which is a vegan and gluten-free alternative to whey protein. It can be used in smoothies, porridge, and pancakes.


What are the benefits of hemp in comparison to other food crops?

The cultivation of the hemp plant requires little or no fertilizers and also naturally resists pests. It has deep roots which serve well for the soil. Hemp can grow on the same soil for as many as two decades without depleting it. The water requirement of the plant is also very less as compared to other conventional food crops. Moreover, the hemp plant has natural healing and therapeutic benefits which make it a better food product.


Why is hemp better than cotton?

There are many reasons why hemp is better than cotton. From the plantation point of view, hemp requires less water, area, and fertilizers than cotton and thus leaves a minima ecological footprint. From the product point of view, hemp can produce a wide number of products than cotton. While cotton is used primarily for textile needs, hemp can singlehandedly cater to the needs of textile, paper, food, petroleum, and construction industries.


Does hemp food cause any allergies in the body?

The reported number of food allergies by people who consume hemp frequently have been rare but they do exist. Chemically, hemp is 100% organic and all-natural which makes it a great food with zero or minimal risks for the human body. Still, hemp food can cause some mild allergic reactions in the body. These include irritation, swelling, skin rashes, puffiness of the eyes, running nose, sneezing, and conjunctivitis.


How can we make cloth from hemp?

Hemp is one of the first plants to be spun into usable fibre. The stalk of the hemp plant has two parts—the bast and the hurd. The bast extracts hemp fibre which can then be weaves into almost any kind of cloth. When harvesting hemp for fibre, the plant is grown closely spaced in a field until it sheds its leaves. The growers cut the plant and leave it on the field for the rain to wash it. During this time, the hurd of the stalks softens. After this, a machine separates the bast and the hurd. The bast then disintegrates into fibre.


How can we make paper from hemp?

Hemp paper can be extracted from both the bast and the hurd. The paper from the bast is called hemp paper and that from the hurd is called pulp paper. Fibre paper was the first kind of paper whose first batch was made out of hemp in ancient China. It is thin, tough, brittle, and a little rough. It is stronger than pulp paper. Pulp paper is not as strong as fibre paper but is softer, thicker, and preferred for everyday purposes. The paper used today comes from chemical pulp. Hemp paper can be made without chemicals directly from the hemp hurd. This alternative presents an opportunity for humankind to create an affordable and eco-friendly paper that can be used for practically all needs.


How can we make biofuel from hemp?

The hemp plant is an excellent source of high-quality cellulosic biomass. The seeds of the hemp plant can be used to create viable and sustainable diesel fuel. The hemp seed oil can further be refined to make hemp biodiesel which can be used in any conventional diesel engine.


Why is hemp better than petroleum?

Hemp is a biomass fuel that, as compared to petroleum and fossil fuel, is clean and potentially frees the environment from metals and sulphur. Also, creating biomass fuels does not cause an increase in the total amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.


What is the difference between hemp and CBD?

CBD is a phytocannabinoid present in the hemp plant. Many of the healing and therapeutic benefits of hemp are because of this compound. CBD exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-psychotic, neuroprotective, anti-emetic, and anxiolytic properties which provide relief from a wide range of medical conditions.
Every hemp plant naturally contains CBD. However, because of the potential of CBD, an entire industry dedicated to CBD-based products has risen. Today in the market, we have CBD oils, tinctures, vapes, chewing gums, gummies, tea and coffee, capsules, creams, and other similar products that allow for different and convenient consumption of CBD for various health benefits.


What is the difference between CBD from industrial hemp and CBD from marijuana?

CBD can be extracted from both industrial hemp and marijuana. Both products have different regulations. CBD extracted from marijuana is regulated as a cannabis product and only people with a commercial cannabis license can source, produce, and supply it. This CBD is not an approved food additive. Marijuana contains a high percentage of THC and hence is not a great addition to food items.|

CBD derived from industrial hemp, however, is safer to use as a food additive, diet and beauty supplement, and medicine. It contains less than 0.3% of THC and does not cause intoxication.


Does hemp oil contain THC?

Typically, no. The hemp plant naturally contains less than 0.3% THC which reduces to an even lower percentage on the extraction of hemp oil.


Can using hemp oil result in a positive on a THC test?

This is highly unlikely. The THC content in hemp oil is essentially non-existent since hemp oil comes from the plant’s stalks and leaves. However, if you’re using a product that contains even minimal levels of THC, it can accumulate in the body over time and may show a positive. This is why it is always essential to research the hemp and CBD products you use.


Is CBD oil the same as hemp oil?

No. Hemp Seed Oil differs from CBD oil with respect to the source and properties. The two have different therapeutic properties for the body.
HSO comes from the seed of the hemp plant and is rich in nutrients providing nourishment for different body parts.
CBD oil comes from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant and is more helpful as a potential wellness supplement aiding in managing health problems such as pain, anxiety, depression, etc.


Do I need a prescription to buy and use hemp oil?

No, the purchase and use of hemp oil do not need any prescription.


How to consume hemp oil?

Hemp oil can be consumed directly or mixed with everyday food items. It can be used as a salad dressing or an ingredient in shakes, smoothies, and bread spreads. Hemp oil can also be used to sauté chicken and vegetables. Please note that hemp oil has a low boiling point and it is not recommended for deep frying.

Is Hemp legal?

This is a question that has no definite answer. The legality of hemp varies from border to border. In some places, it is legal to produce and sell hemp or hemp-based products for industrial or health purposes. To use hemp as food, some put the restriction of THC content of less than 0.3%. There are different regulations across different regions, states, and countries. We recommend that you thoroughly understand them before buying and/or importing hemp or any hemp-based product.


What are the side effects of hemp seed oil?

Hemp seed oil may affect the gut causing indigestion and gastrointestinal problems. Staying hydrated and consuming cold foods or drinks helps manage this symptom. As a skincare supplement, it is suitable for almost all skin types. It may, however, cause a rash in some cases. Apply aloe vera or ice over the affected area. If the rash intensifies or begins to itch, stop using the hemp seed oil immediately.


What are the health benefits of hemp protein powder?

Hemp protein powder is a complete source of protein containing all 9 essential amino acids required by the body for maintaining hormonal balance. It is also rich in dietary minerals that strengthen heart health and help the body fight sickness and disease. It is a good source of GLA which helps maintain optimal bone health. The presence of soluble and insoluble fibre in hemp powder naturally cleanses the colon, reducing constipation and toxins in the body. Essential fatty acids in hemp powder reduce inflammation in the body preventing the onset of serious health conditions.


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