by Arthur Jaffee – ECS Brands
Breaking It Down: Use Cases and Markets for Hemp Flower, Stalk, and Seed
Recent legislative developments have re-opened a world of possibilities when it comes to the cultivation of hemp. With the ability to use each/all components of the plant for different industries and products, whilst simultaneously reducing our environmental impacts, hemp is quickly becoming a sought after commodity. In order to understand how you can integrate hemp and hemp based products into your industry, it is important to understand how and where each element of the plant can be used, and their potential applications.
What is Hemp?
Before we go too far, let’s take a wider view of the hemp plant. In this context we’ll look at hemp as an agricultural crop, to better understand why it is being adopted by farmers the world over.
First and foremost, hemp is a non-psychoactive crop belonging to the cannabis family. Thanks to the recent enactment of the Farm Bill (2018) in the USA, it has finally been distinguished and reclassified from other cannabis family plants, and has now been rendered federally legal for commercial cultivation.
Second, hemp can be cultivated for a number of qualities, including grain or seed, fibers and cannabinoids. It also offers the potential to be grown as a row-crop (such as corn or wheat) or under horticultural conditions (hydroponically). Typically, the method of cultivation depends on the use cases of the plant, whereby row-crops are more commonly used for grain and fiber production, and the controlled conditions of horticulture are better suited to producing cannabinoids and other hemp extracts.
Aside from the resiliency of the hemp plant, it can also be grown in a wide variety of environmental conditions on all continents, giving it far reaching potential to overcome social and economic barriers. As one of the most nutrient rich sources of food available (through the seeds) hemp may also serve in reducing the food deficit in Africa and developing nations, and could serve to close the economic gap between the developed world as it moves to become a primary export.