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  • Writer's pictureLoïc Charron

The industrial hemp

Hemp is a plant variety that grows over two meters tall and is derived from cannabis. Among the varieties of this plant, industrial hemp is distinguished by its uses and composition (low THC content). After retting the stalks, cultivated hemp yields hemp fiber (outer part of the stalk) and hurd (central part). The seeds are called hemp seeds. Once carded, the fiber is transformed into hemp wool.

Each part of the plant is used for specific purposes and by distinct industrial sectors. Hemp seeds (hemp seeds) are used in food and as a component in cosmetic products. The woody part of industrial hemp (hurd) has similar properties to wood and is used as animal bedding as well as for protecting other plants during winter.

Hemp fibers are longer (over 20mm), stronger, more abundant, and more insulating than wood and cotton fibers. They have multiple uses: in stationery (banknotes, cigarette paper, composite materials, filters, etc.), in construction (insulation, concrete, etc.), in textiles (ropes, clothing, etc.), and in medicine.

Hemp is cultivated worldwide, requiring only well-drained and healthy soil, as well as a sunny and airy location. For over a decade, hemp cultivation in France has been steadily increasing, and the country is even the world's largest producer of industrial hemp. Nearly 8,000 hectares are cultivated, with over 60% in Champagne-Ardenne, where its main production is located. Hemp is also grown in Île-de-France, Normandy, Burgundy, as well as in Manche, Aube, and Pays-de-la-Loire. French hemp is intended for industrial use.

In addition to its numerous properties, hemp is an environmentally friendly plant, requiring less water, benefiting the soil, and not needing pesticides.

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