Do Hemp Plants Grow Buds?
Some hemp plants grow flowers or hemp buds that are indistinguishable from marijuana.
What is Hemp
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is low in the intoxicating substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC.) Since THC and other cannabinoids compete for real estate in the cannabis plant, hemp plants tend to be high in non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD.) CBD does not get you high but has been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, analgesic, and anti-emetic effects. You can get these effects by smoking or ingesting decarboxylated hemp buds.
Industrial hemp plants are a renewable resource for pulps that can be used to make paper and fabric products instead of wood pulp. Hemp seeds are also a healthy addition to any diet because of their high protein content and Omega fatty acid profile. In addition, there is a robust amount of scientific research showing that hemp cannabinoids have medicinal uses and at least one FDA approved medication has been created using extracts from hemp.
Does Hemp Have Buds
Female hemp plants produce flowers, otherwise known as hemp buds. To the naked eye hemp buds are indistinguishable from marijuana. However, hemp buds contain only trace amounts of the intoxicating substance THC and will not get you high.
Hemp buds grow together in clusters that look like much larger hemp buds, known as cola. These hemp bud colas are farmed for their medicinal and aromatic compounds.
Hemp Buds contain the highest concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant. Since the bud of the hemp plant has the most CBD in it many hemp farms are utilizing feminized seeds to produce entire crops of female plants so that they can farm the hemp buds. Read more about hemp buds in my everything you need to know about hemp buds article.
How to Identify Hemp Plant
Cannabis Sativa grows throughout many regions of the continental united states. Hemp plants can be short and bushy or tall and thin depending on the strain and the climate. Cannabis or hemp leaves will have between 5 and 9 leaflets which have serrated edges. The cannabis plant also has a strong and distinctive scent which can help you identify it.
Male plants have thicker stalks with fewer leaves and will never flower. They are grown mostly for hemp seeds.
Male and female hemp plants look about the same for the first six months of their growing cycle. Female hemp plants have more leaves and are bushier and after six months will begin to flower or grow buds and hemp bud colas.
The only way to tell the difference between a hemp plant and a marijuana plant for certain is to perform a lab test to verify THC content. One of the most trusted labs in the hemp industry is ProVerde labs. They are very affordable, reliable, and can give you a full cannabinoid profile that will show the amount of THC and whether or not it is below .3% by dry weight.
What is Hemp used for
Hemp uses are many and varied and range from industrial pulps, fabric, and paper products to foods, oils, supplements, and plain hemp buds.
One of the most valuable parts of the industrial hemp plant is the fiber, known as bast. These fibers grow on the outside of the plant’s stalk. Hemp fiber is one of the oldest methods of making paper but can also be woven into rope, blended into fabric for clothing, and is even used to strengthen concrete. Hemp is a highly renewable resource because it grows so quickly.
Hemp seed oil is chock full of essential fatty acids but cannot be used to cook at high temperatures, so it is usually used as a salad dressing oil. Hemp seed oil is also used as an ingredient in soaps, skincare products, and paints.
Some people just buy and smoke hemp buds the way you would smoke marijuana, except that hemp isn’t psychoactive and you won’t get high.
Hemp plant uses also include medicinal byproducts such as CBD tinctures and full spectrum hemp extract. My favorite brand of these is Immortal Tortoise. Amazon still does not allow CBD products, so be wary of anything claiming to be a medicinal hemp product on Amazon. Always look for lab test results that have scannable QR codes where you can verify with the original lab that the test results are recent and for the actual company you’re buying the product from. I’ve noticed a lot of places putting fake QR codes on their (presumably also fake) lab test results. Scan them yourself!
As you can see, hemp is an incredibly valuable crop because of its versatility and durability.
What is hemp milk?
Hemp milk is a nut milk made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Much like any other nut milk, the hemp seeds are soaked in water and then ground up into a creamy substance that resembles milk.
Hemp milk is popular in coffee shops and with coffee connoisseurs because it can be frothed for lattes like cow’s milk. This is probably because of the high content of healthy Omega 3 and 6 fats.
Hemp milk does not contain any cannabinoids.
Hemp milk is safe for those with soy allergies or dairy intolerances. Hemp milk does not need to be refrigerated before opening. Probably the most popular brand of hemp milk is Temp brand. I personally prefer vanilla flavored hemp milk but I really only use it in coffee and smoothies.
Is Hemp illegal?
Hemp is legal as of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. The act removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act which previously defined hemp and marijuana the same way.
The new law defines hemp as “Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
However, you need a license from the Department of Agriculture to grow hemp because lab results need to be submitted to determine that hemp plants fall below the .3% THC threshold. Your state will have individual compliance programs to permit the growing of hemp.
Buying and possessing hemp is perfectly legal.