There is a fundamental difference between industrial hemp and psychotropic hemp. The word industrial was quickly adopted in order to clearly identify the hemp for utilitarian use of that used for its psychotropic properties. One of the first to use this term in the mid-1990s was John Roulac, author of the books Industrial Hemp and Hemp Horizon. At that time, it seemed necessary to distinguish different types of cannabis. Still unknown, the plant suffered from a bad reputation because of the varieties that can be smoked to obtain a euphoric effect. In Quebec, they are commonly called pot, mari, grass, weed, etc. The terms psychotropic hemp or simply psychotropic will be used here when we refer to it. It is important to understand that the words hemp and cannabis are synonymous, despite popular belief. Wanting to differentiate the two varieties by calling one hemp and the other cannabis is therefore a mistake; to use the word hemp, is to say its name in English and to use the word cannabis, is to say its name in Latin. As in French it is called: chanvre, Hanf in German, cañamo for Spanish and so on. All these words identify the same plant, whether psychotropic or not!

 

It is therefore the same plant, but different varieties. Psychotropic hemp contains a narcotic which causes several effects on the metabolism, these being characterized by a modification of the psyche and the behavior of the individual who consumes it. The purpose of this blog is to make known industrial hemp, we will not tackle the subject of the effects of the psychotropic. However, you should know that the main psychoactive element of cannabis is called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is one of many phytocannabinoids found in the plant at various percentages depending on its variety. A study published in 2007 identified no less than 66 different types of phytocannabinoids [1] and new ones are identified each year. Some researchers even say there could be more than a hundred. Few of them can be considered psychotropic, but many have effects on metabolism without necessarily causing euphoria, such as cannabidiol (CBD). As mentioned, THC is the phytocannabinoid that has the reputation of being a bad boy and it is the latter that is measured to recognize varieties of industrial hemp. We also analyze the rate of CBD and it catches our attention because it is often found in the plant and has many uses worthy of mention.

 

Canada and most countries that allow the cultivation of industrial hemp have established a THC level for cultivars at around 0.3%. In other words, as long as this rate is below 0.3%, this plant is not considered a drug. Farmers licensed to grow can use one of 51 industrial hemp cultivars approved in 2018 by Health Canada, but sometimes they have to submit two samples of their crops per season. These analyzes, carried out by a competent laboratory, serve to demonstrate that hemp plants have regulated THC levels, otherwise the crop can be seized and destroyed. Some cultivars used by Quebec producers largely respect the standard imposed; some only have 0.005% THC. To give an idea of ​​the magnitude of the difference, psychotropic hemp contains rates that can exceed 20%.

 

[1] Brenneisen, Rudolf. 2007. Marijuana and the Cannabiniods. Totowa. New Jersey : Humana Press Inc. p. 17

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