Industrial hemp, or simply hemp, are the names most commonly given to fibre-producing strains of cannabis which contain less than 0.3% THC and have no psychoactive effect when consumed - unless you are able to ingest several tons of buds simultaneously - although they are the same plant: Cannabis Sativa L.
Nowadays, hemp is cultivated on a large scale for its fibre and seeds, in more than thirty countries worldwide, including The Netherlands, France, Germany, Russia, Chile, China and North Korea. Fibre and seeds have numerous practical applications, and hempseed also has great nutritional value.
Industrial hemp occupies a special place in our museums in Amsterdam and Barcelona. Our sister company HempFlax grows industrial hemp in the north of the Netherlands and is dedicated to providing affordable, modern, natural hemp items for a sustainable future. Many of these items, such as hemp oil, animal bedding and yoga mats can be seen in our museums. Industrial hemp is one of the oldest cultivated crops on Earth. The museums show how the plant was processed, and what an invaluable resource it was for the paper industries, shipping, and textile production.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about industrial hemp, especially when compared to trees or to other fibre crops, is its amazing versatility. It can supply hempseed oil for fuel or for use in cosmetics, paints, plastics, lubricants and varnishes. Paper made from hemp pulp is strong and flexible. Hemp fibre cloth can be incredibly long lasting and extremely strong – it is one of the only natural textiles tough enough to be used for the great mainsails of old sailing ships. Contemporary car producers like Mercedes, BMW and Bugatti utilize hemp plastics in their top of the line models. No other plant is so useful and multifaceted.