What exactly is this hemp stuff made of anyway?
What are the important parts of a hemp plant? Are there portions of the plant that are discarded as trash?
These are all questions commonly asked by those who are starting their journey into understanding hemp. Like all crops, properly harvesting and separating of the material is critical to maximizing the plant value and its uses.
One of the many great factors about hemp is that it has so many uses. In fact, according to research, it may have more documented uses than any other plant on the planet. Part of the reason for that is there simply is no waste in a hemp plant. Each of the various components and portions of the plant, from the roots to the leaves, are valuable.
Let’s take a deeper look and break down the various parts that make up a hemp plant.
The Four Major Parts of Hemp Plants
We’ve already mentioned the roots. Any while roots are often overlooked, the portion of a hemp plant that’s underground can still serve very valid purposes. One of the most common uses for hemp roots is medicinal. For thousands of years, the roots of cannabis plants (hemp and marijuana) have been used for everything from inflammation to skin burns to treating infections and fever. The roots are processed in different ways including juicing, boiling, and others and have seen use with infants, adults, and animals.
Climbing up the plant we have the stalks. Hemp stalks are comprised of different components and can be separated into a wide range of products with an even wider range of use. Animal bedding, rope, insulation, building materials, textiles, and paper are just a few of the common uses for hemp stalks. Considered by some as waste, hemp stalks may actually be one of the more versatile components in the hemp plant. Certain varieties of hemp that are grown specifically for their stalks can grow as tall as 18 feet or more even in short growing seasons.
Leaves and flowers are often the first things many think of when considering the hemp and other cannabis plants. Uses range from medicinal to recreational and can be processed into products that range from topical applications to smokable and ingestible. Mulch, compost, and animal bedding are other common uses for these portions of the plant.
Last but not least are the seeds. Seeds, too, have an almost unlimited number of uses. From propagating and growing additional plants to oil extraction and to food ingredients, seeds are the tiny little multi-purpose swiss army knives of the hemp plant. Rich in nutrients and proteins, the seeds are commonly processed down and placed into health-conscious food ingredients for humans and animals. Uses range from supplement powders to bread and even beer. Fuel is another avenue being explored and researched by many in the science community. Cooking oils, milk and dairy, and flour are also all common uses for hemp seed.
Because of the rapid growth rate of hemp plants, and their positive impact on the environment, organizations around the world are researching and learning ways to increase and improve the use of the hemp and its separate components. One thing we know for sure is that separating the various plant parts by safely rubbing them ensures minimal harm to the plant and maximizes the available downstream uses.
Learn more about rubbing hemp plants here.