hemp is a fibrous plant used for many things such as fiber, paper, fuel, and medicine. The United States government’s intent through the policy implementation process has always been to give clarity to future legal registration and license holders, and adequate safeguards for patients of Medical/Legitimate Hemp Products. Consumers and the industry will both be better served through sound manufacturing procedures (GMPs). In the hemp industry there are five key areas of focus that any responsible manufacturer should address:
* Hemp seed/resin – the raw ingredient to produce most of the hemp products in the United States. This product must undergo a four step process to make it usable for human consumption. It must be made from completely natural materials, such as wood or other biomass, by a company that is licensed by the hemp bureau. The process used creates a concentrated solution that is then converted into usable oil or wax. Any other ingredients added must comply with federal, state, and local laws.
* Hemp starch – this is the by-product left over from making the hemp starch product. This is another highly concentrated but clean, synthetic base product. In order to use this product a company needs to have its manufacturing operations comply with all of the applicable rules and regulations. Hemp starch may be blended with other ingredients such as butane or natural gas to create different concentrated forms of hemp products. A final, and very important, function of hemp starch is that it can replace petroleum jelly or Vaseline in the manufacture of hemp cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
* Hemp Fiber – this is the end product of the hemp plants. It is a fine, spun, silky type of fiber that is strong, yet flexible and easily woven into clothing, linoleum, sails, and much more. There are hundreds of uses for hemp fiber. It is ideal for creating textiles, including clothing, napkins, towels, and furniture. Many companies that specialize in hemp products also produce fiber for industrial, agricultural, and household purposes.
* Hemp Stocks – hemp seed is the product of the hemp plant’s flowering buds and stems. Considered to be a form of protein fiber, it is very high in natural proteins and low in fats. It has many beneficial qualities, including being antibiotic, antiseptic, and flame retardant.
* Hemp Wine – this is the end product of the hemp plant’s flowers and leaves. As such, it is the product most often used in cooking and as a beverage. Not only is it used for flavoring, it can be used as an additive to many foods or alcoholic beverages. Some varieties of hemp wine are made from the entire hemp plant, while others are only a part of the plant.
* Hemp Beads – these products are made from hollowed-out hemp stalks. These stalks contain natural fibers, and have been used for centuries in the making of textiles and other clothing items. However, in recent years, many companies have begun to grow, harvest, and process hemp to make these products.
While hemp products are not yet commonplace in our economy, the trend is certainly moving in that direction. Already, many manufacturers are finding it cost effective and convenient to process hemp goods into a finished product. In addition, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential benefits of hemp products. Many individuals and companies have begun to use hemp as an ingredient in a variety of food and personal care products, as well as in their own products, such as clothing, athletic wear, and even electronics. While more hemp products will continue to emerge on the market, for now, many of the current selections are proving to be quite popular.
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