Marijuana is perhaps the most misunderstood crop in Indian agriculture, mostly because of the THC which is found in the flowers and are intoxicating in nature. For this reason, the plantation of the hemp seeds had been outlawed by the Indian Government for more than half a century.
What is Hemp?
The hemp seeds are the seeds from the cannabis plant, the generic name of which is “Cannabis Sativa”. Although they belong to the same biological category as the marijuana, they are different from the aforesaid product because of the fact that hemp contains only traces of THC, the psychoactive component which is found in high levels in marijuana. These cannot get you a high.
Health Benefits of Hemp:
The health benefits of hemp seeds are also backed by science. They are extremely nutritious and are rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals. The seeds, also known as hemp hearts are exceptionally rich in fatty acids, omega-6 and the omega-3. The seeds can be eaten raw or it can be cooked or roasted. Interestingly, consumption of hemp seeds can be very beneficial for the heart, as it reduces blood pressure and blood clot in our body.
Benefits of Hemp and its contribution in Indian Economy:
• Agriculture: Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy and cultivation of hemp can come up as a robust solution to the sustainability problems, as hemp can survive with moderate to minimal amounts of water, little or no pesticide and can be grown on barren lands and in hilly areas.
• The Boom in the Textile Industry: The Indian Textile market has always had a bigger share in the Indian Industry and personnel involved in the textile industry believe that the growth of hemp can help the Indian Textile Industry to flourish. Besides, the policy boost to develop hemp can also open a new direction for underused fibres such as banana, nettle etc.
• Eco-friendly: The cultivation of hemp does not require the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The yield of the hemp crops is sustainable and organic. Hemp is used to making building materials, edible oils and fuel oils all of which back the superior environmental sustainability.
The Future of Hemp in India
Many industrialists are working very closely with the state and the central authorities to create a strong future of hemp in India. At the research point of view, work is going on, to optimize the hemp seeds, in which the THC content would be the permissible 0.3%.
Besides the industrialists are trying to introduce and educate a generation in India, about the alternative products that can be made up of hemp seeds such as hemp seeds, oil proteins, body creams, hemp fabric t-shirts, swatch books and badges. New India is trying to use hemp seed, not as a weed smokers paradise but to find an alternative to the problems of food, clothing and shelter in India.
Companies like BOHECO, are now getting support from government officials for their hemp projects and this indicates a strong future for hemp industry in India.
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