Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species. It is grown specifically for many industrial purposes.
Most, if not all, varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component responsible for the ‘high’ associated with cannabis. However, as Wikipedia explains, hemp has a much lower concentration of THC and a higher concentration of Cannabidiol (CBD). Because of this the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis are generally much lower in hemp.
Hemp is ideal for industrial cultivation as it is one of the fastest growing plants. It is cultivated for its fibre, hurd and seeds. It was probably one of the first plants to be spun into usable fibre, as long ago as 10,000 years.
The hemp plant is used in a range of products. Just a few of these are medical products, animal feed, biodegradable plastics, biofuel, clothing, food, insulation, paint, paper and textiles. In some cases products are 100% hemp while in others it is blended with fibres such as flax, cotton and even polyesters.