Hemp... What Exactly is it?
What is hemp?
The hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. According to the Columbia History of the World, the oldest relic of human industry is a piece of hemp fabric that dates back to to 8000 BC.
Hemp, sometimes called industrial hemp, is the same species as marijuana, but is cultivated differently. Historically marijuana has been cultivated for just one property: high THC. Marijuana’s THC content has grown 10-fold or more over the last generation with some strains topping out close to 30%. Hemp’s THC content is very low, less than.3%, and therefore has no psychoactive properties.
The “CBD” section of Hemp it UP is based on hemp cultivated for very high CBD. CBD is the cannabinoid with the most health benefits associated with it. Cannabinoids occur in the leaves and flowers of the plant. The non-CBD cosmetic products at Hemp it UP are based on hemp seed oil. This lovely oil is an ideal base for cosmetic products and is also a food item and a fuel! The seeds of the hemp plant contain virtually no cannabinoids at all. The clothing, fine papers and accessories at Hemp it UP are made from hemp grown for its fiber. Hemp fiber is among the toughest natural fibers in the world. Our hemp bags, accessories, papers and clothing are not only great looking and durable, their impact on the earth is minimal compared with similar products made from cotton or wood.
Hemp in the USA - a brief history with some fun facts:
George Washington grew hemp at his Mt. Vernon farm. Hemp was used for making nautical ropes, nets, threads and clothing. There is speculation that Betsy Ross used hemp to make our first flag. (We have a huge 100% hemp flag hanging in our store!) One of the earliest drafts of our Declaration of Independence was written on hemp parchment.
Hemp continued to play a major role in the American farming scene right up through the beginning of the twentieth century. It was so important to the American economy that hemp farmers were honored on the 1914 $10 bill.
In 1937 the US government passed for various political reasons the Marijuana Tax Act which strictly regulated the growth of hemp. This did not hamper Henry Ford's inventiveness. He unveiled a car in 1941 which was partially constructed with hemp materials and ran on hemp biofuel.
In 1970 the Controlled Substance Act was passed, which declared all cannabis varieties, including hemp, illegal Schedule I drugs, and strictly prohibited the cultivation hemp.
Hemp's American return!
A half a century later, the tide is finally turning! Thanks to the US Farm Bill of 2014, hemp can now be grown again for research purposes in states that support it. New York State is now one of them, and there are dedicated hemp farms thought the state, including Western and Central New York. In December of 2018, the US Farm Bill fully legalized hemp!
Why open a hemp boutique?
We cherish our planet and want it to be a livable place for future generations! Hemp offers huge environmental advantages over other industrial crops such as cotton, soy, corn and trees. It requires far less water and requires virtually no pesticides or herbicides. Hemp can out-muscle weeds. It grows quickly, maturing in as little as 100 days. Clear-cutting hemp, which grows from seed to maturity in months, for paper fiber has obvious advantages over clear-cutting trees which take decades to reach maturity. The entire plant from root to flower can be processed for use into food, clothing, biofuel, building materials, paper and medicine. Hemp fabrics are antimicrobial and extremely durable.