Hi-five for cows: hemp is a climate-friendly alternative feed and more
Environment Climate Change Alternative Materials

Hi-five for cows: hemp is a climate-friendly alternative feed and more

Dr ASM Mainul Hasan
Dr ASM Mainul Hasan

In 10 seconds? As more and more states legalize marijuana across the world, there is more attention on its cousin, hemp, which offers some surprising, climate-friendly solutions as animal feed fiber for the clothing industry.

Wait, hemp is not the same as marijuana? Marijuana and hemp belong to the same genus, i.e, Cannabis. But, marijuana comes from both C. indica and C. sativa species whereas hemp belongs only to C. sativa. Under the 2018 farm bill in the USA, C. sativa L. plants having less than 0.3% of THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that makes users feel ‘high’) are considered as hemp or industrial hemp which people can grow in most parts of the USA under strict regulations and excluding three states. Europe has similar regulations. In contrast, cannabis plants having more than 0.3% of THC fall under the category of marijuana. There are nearly 80 different types of chemicals named cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant the most important players among them being Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which have the ability to psychological and physiological effects on users. Both CBD and THC have medicinal properties. Both marijuana and hemp contain CBD. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal laws, but illegal under some state laws whereas the opposite is true for marijuana-derived CBD products. Overall, even though there are some misconceptions about hemp being equated with marijuana as they refer to the same group of plants, i.e, cannabis, they are actually different.

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