Hemp is a plant with extraordinary properties and characterized by a versatility which makes it in some way unique and enshrouded in the fascination of its millenary history.
It represents an important natural resource of which the efforts have been very much underestimated for a long time, however today we assist an ever-growing substantial return of the hemp industry, with its specific processing sectors.
Hemp, a few historical notions
History tells about how Hemp in Italy was utilised for millennia. For thousands of years people were dressed, nourished, warmed up and in some cases cured thanks to this plant.
In the Fifties, Italy was the second largest hemp producer in the world, second only to the Soviet Union. The variety named “Carmagnola” represented the absolute best fibre and the yield per hectare was the highest compared to whichever other country.
In agricultural texts prepared in the Seventies and told by VersilCanapa, one can read: “…in 1978 the official statistics say it is cultivated on barely sixty hectares. The view notions here below are intended to keep the interest alive of a plant supplying a truly precious fibre, even though it is unlikely that, in the current situation, hemp will be able to regain the lost ground.
Hemp is a plant with a noteworthy adaptability with regard to climate and soil, even more because its vegetative cycle is short.
Hemp cultivation leaves the ground well-cleared of weeds due to the suffocating effect of its lush and dense vegetation, moreover, it leaves a substantial residual of fertility, as the result of a very rich supply of mainly organic fertilisers, distributed in surplus to the requirements of the culture itself.
Also from a physical-mechanical point of view the land after hemp cultivation is in the best possible conditions, due to the penetrating action exercised by the taproots of the plants and to the protective effect of the dense vegetations, impeding the compacting action of the rain on the soil.
Hemp cultivation will be able to regain a part of the territory lost only if it will be possible to keep the agricultural phase distinguished from the actual industrial phase. The agricultural phase should be concluded after harvesting; the industrial phase should take charge of all subsequent processes.
Today the trend is to relaunch hemp cultivation by enhancing its capability of supplying huge quantities of cellulose, which can be employed in the paper industry, for the preparation of premium paper.
Hemp oil is used to favour and protect the correct functioning of physiological processes, from metabolism to the immune defences, and it is known as well for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, to reduce stress, insomnia and anxiety.
Along with fish oil and linseed oil, hemp oil is one of the few vegetal sources of alpha-linolenic acid.
In particular, hemp seed oil is known for its optimal balance between omega-3s and omega-6s: no other food is able to guarantee a 3:1 proportion, a ratio recommended by medical research and by the most advanced dietary theories.
This, in fact, is the main difference between hemp seed oil and other oils used in foods or as food supplements.
In hemp oil also significant amounts of amino-acids are present, essential for the correct functioning of the organism; numerous vitamins, among which A, E, B1, B2, PP, C; mineral salts like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus; phytosterols, cannabinoids like CBD, (Cannabidiol) which, according to recent scientific research, plays an important role in modulation at the level of the immune system and cognitive functions.
The level of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychotropic active principle, is very low, less than one part per million, hence in order to have psychotropic effects from this substance, one should consume about 5-9 litres a day.
Up to today, no adverse side effects have occurred when consuming hemp oil, but on the contrary, beneficial effects on health have been observed.
The benefits of Hemp OilA daily intake of 1 teaspoon of hemp seed oil a day, at the preventive level; and from 1 to 3 tablespoons to be distributed throughout the day have demonstrated excellent result in case of:
- Disorders of the osteo-articular and muscular systems: it is used for the prevention and the treatment of arthrosis and arthritis, muscular and joint pain.
- Cardiovascular and metabolic disorders: the daily use of hemp oil reduces the cholesterol level and the level of triglycerides in the blood, thus reducing also the risk of thrombosis, hypertension, vasculopathies e atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disorders in general, as it maintains the walls of the blood vessels flexible.
- Pathologies of the respiratory system: it is used to cure asthma, sinusitis, tracheitis and varies other respiratory diseases.
- Skin conditions like atopic and dry dermatitis, psoriasis, herpes, erythema, vitiligo, eczema, mycoses and for all localized inflammations or irritations. It may improve the conditions of the skin affected by acne.
- Pathologies of the gastro-intestinal tract and the liver: chronic infection of the bladder, ulcerative colitis, treatment of the irritable bowel.
- Imbalances of the female hormone system: ovarian cysts, menstrual pain, fibrocystic breast, it is extremely useful for the premenstrual syndrome as well as in menopause, as it fights osteoporosis.
- Neurological and mental problems: it reinforces the nervous system, can be used to treat learning problems, memory deficits, difficulty concentrating and lack of attention, chronic depression and postnatal depression; speech and personality disorders, autism, neurosis.
Hemp - plant anatomy
Cannabis Sativa L. belongs to the Cannabaceae family and can grow up to 4-5 metres in height in the varieties used for the production of hemp fibre, and up to 1 meter for seed plants.
The leaves are mainly opposed, with 5-11 lanceolate leaflets with a length of 7-8 cm. and a width of 2-3 cm. with rough and jagged margins: the upper ones are alternated, while the lower leaves are three to seven palmately lobed or unlobed.
The seed is a smooth achene, lucid, a grey-green flattened oval with dark grains, from which the oil with its many properties is extracted.
Hemp for Fibre and Fabrics
Hemp can be used for the production of high quality textile fibres, which are resistant and extremely performing.
Hemp fibres can be utilized in the nautical sector for the creation of ropes, as well as in the fashion industry, with a unique versatility.
Garments produced with hemp fibre are much requested due to their thermally insulating capabilities, protecting the wearer from heat and cold.
For centuries hemp has been used for the production of paper, for its high productivity with respect to normal celluloses extracted from wood.
Just consider that up to 1880 hemp paper was the favoured element for the manufacturing of printed matter.
The Gutenberg Bible, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol were written on hemp paper; the American Declaration of Independence and many other most famous and most read texts in the world were created on this fibre.
Cannabis sativa for the reclamation of contaminated soils
One of the less known uses of cannabis sativa is that of allowing an effective reclamation of contaminated lands.
Hemp counteracts the toxins in the soil with a chemical process called phytoremediation, is able to extract the chemical compounds present in the contaminated soils and induce them to a progressive degradation, eliminating them.
This process is extremely useful with regard to soils which are notoriously harmful for our organism, to the extent that a project was created to utilise hemp also in territories like the Ilva di Taranto.
Hemp, for its cultivation, does not require the use of pesticides; being an infesting plant, it grows quickly and without the use of chemical substances, cleaning the environment and limiting the use of chemical pesticides.
Other uses of cannabis sativa
The use Cannabis and its extracts in the therapeutic field is increasingly involving the interest of the medical and scientific communities.
In particular the study and the uses of CBD, one of the cannabinoids we can find in the hemp plants and is present in various concentrations in the CBD oils extracted from cannabis.
Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychotropic effects and is used more and more for its action on the nervous system.
CBD helps to mitigate anxiety states, and due to its anti-inflammatory properties can help to alleviate chronic pain. There are many ways to consume the correct dosage of CBD oil, for example putting it under the tongue or adding it to the ingredients of a recipe.
How to take CBD oil CBD?
If one wants CBD to act in a short space of time, it is often recommended to take it sublingually.
Whether we are talking about CBD oil contained in capsules to be melted in the mouth, or about oil applied with the dropper under the tongue, in this manner the times it takes affect are very short, and, according to the characteristics of the individual, vary from 5 to 20 minutes: the time it takes for CBD to be absorbed by our tissues before entering into the blood flow. Usually some drops are applied under the tongue and after about two minutes the remaining is swallowed.
Another way of using CBD is topically. The benefits of cannabidiol, in fact, regard also our skin and many are the uses in cosmetics. In general, CBD oil applied on a part of our skin starts to act in about 10 minutes.
CBD oil can also be “eaten”, if one decides to use it as an ingredient of a recipe. However in this case, the times get significantly longer. The substances of which CBD oil is composed are metabolized by our organism in very variable times, from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Which quantity of CBD oil to use?
The dosage varies both with regard to the way it is going to be consumed and to the weight of the individual. It is for this reason that Enecta CBD Oil is offered in different concentrations, with 3%, 10% and 24%, in order to satisfy the needs also of those using it for the first time.
The subjectivity regarding the quantity to be taken, depends in the first place on the way cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system, deputed to control emotional and physiological conditions of the human body, like stress, pain, inflammation, anxiety states.
Cannabinoids are produced in nature by the Cannabis plant and by the human body and are responsible for the stimulus of a specific cell activity, when CBD interacts with the two main receptors of the endocannabinoid system, the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The ideal quantity for obtaining the desired effects can thus change from individual to individual and hence a patient titration will be necessary.
The experience consumers report is that of starting with a relatively low quantity of CBD and verifying if the expected results are achieved; if this is not the case, the dosage is gradually increased until the desired effects are obtained.
We can state that if we have the intention of taking CBD Oil, observing oneself is the correct approach, parting from a few drops and then finding the dosage necessary to satisfy one’s own needs, consulting always and in any case a physician in order to better identify the appropriate dosage.
Important, as always, is that we use CBD oil produced with strict procedures and extracted from pesticide-free hemp plants.