The Whole Hemp Plant: A Plant With Immense And Diverse Potential

This article was originally published on Hoban Law Group, and appears here with permission.

This article is authored by managing attorney, Garrett Graff, and Haley Keefer, Law Clerk.

When people think of cannabis, most immediately think of marijuana and often overlook marijuana’s close relative: hemp. Compared to marijuana, the complete hemp plant possesses immense utility, and its uses continue to diversify as new products that contain hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (“CBD”), emerge and grow in popularity. Notably, all portions of the hemp plant can be used in some way, including in consumer goods, topicals, foods and beverages, textiles, bioplastics, biofuels, and building materials, to name a few. In addition to its utility, hemp’s sustainability and versatility are also attractive as hemp presents a viable option to combat climate change as hemp is affordable, grows quickly, and can be used as an ingredient for biodegradable and eco-friendly products.

The Parts Of Hemp Plants

The hemp plant breaks down into four general sections – the seed, the roots, the stalk, and the leaves and flowers. Each portion of the hemp plant offers utility; however, the most commonly used portions of the hemp plant are the stalk for fiber and leaves and flowers for extraction of cannabinoids such as CBD, cannabinol (“CBN”), and cannabigerol (“CBG”). There is a variety of hemp types that can be cultivated and each of which can be grown to produce fiber, cannabinoids, or a hybrid of the two. Hemp producers must be mindful of the end utility of the particular harvest to ensure that the cultivated hemp will meet the intended purposes. In addition to ensuring that the end purposes are met, producers must also monitor the market to guard against and …

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