Hemp is a botanical class of Cannabis sativa cultivars grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use. It has been used for thousands of years to make a wide range of products, such as paper, ropes, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food and animal feed. Hemp is among the fastest growing plants on Earth and is not used as a recreational drug. It contains only 0.5 percent of the psychotropic chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to the North American Industrial Hemp Council.
Foods containing hemp seeds and ingredients derived from hemp seeds are currently marketed in the United States. Hemp seeds are seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, and do not contain THC or CBD. The ingredients derived from hemp seeds that are the subject of GRAS notices contain only traces of THC and CBD. The consumption of these ingredients derived from hemp seeds is not capable of “drugging” consumers.
The GRAS findings may apply to ingredients from other companies, if they are manufactured in a manner consistent with the notices and meet the specifications listed. Some of the intended uses of these ingredients include adding them as a source of protein, carbohydrates, oil and other nutrients to beverages (juices, shakes, protein drinks, plant-based alternatives to dairy products), soups, sauces, dressings, plant-based alternatives to meat products, desserts, products baked goods, cereals, snacks and nutritional bars. Products that contain any of these ingredients derived from hemp seeds must declare them by name in the list of ingredients. Hemp can also be used as a mop to remove impurities from wastewater, such as wastewater effluents, excess phosphorus from chicken litter or other unwanted substances or chemicals. Hemp plants can be vulnerable to several pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, viruses and other diverse pathogens. In the United States, the cultivation of hemp is legally prohibited but during World War II farmers were encouraged to grow hemp for string replacing the Manila hemp that was previously obtained in areas controlled by the Japanese.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has granted several dozen permits to grow hemp in nine states. Hemp can be refined into a variety of commercial items and when oxidized (often mistakenly referred to as drying), hemp oil in seeds solidifies and can be used in the manufacture of oil-based paints, in creams as a moisturizing agent for cooking and in plastics. In 1997 Ireland and other countries began to legally cultivate industrial hemp again. The former “Cheers” star and current Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky State Senator have been on separate but parallel crusades to make hemp legal again in the U. S.For their experiment Mitlin's team cooked discarded hemp stalks that were being stored by the government in Alberta Canada where it is legal to grow industrial hemp.