Hemp vs. Cannabis
There are currently 52 varieties of industrial hemp approved for cultivation in the European Union. All of these varieties usually contain <0.2% THC and are used, for example, for fibre production, as food or as building material. There are differences in the permitted THC content of commercial hemp within the EU. In Italy, for example, up to 0.6% is permitted and in Austria up to 0.3%. Switzerland has taken a special position a few years ago and even allows up to 1% THC, but there is also increased indoor cultivation and corresponding hybrid varieties for CBD extraction.
Hemp is an annual crop and can be grown in almost any climate and soil. Hemp plants grow between 1.50 metres and 6 or 7 metres high, depending on the variety.
Let's take a look at the history of the hemp plant.
Historical use of hemp
Cannabis is said to have been the world's most common crop from the first millennium B.C. until the second half of the last millennium. Fibres, luminous oils, paper, medicines and foodstuffs were produced from hemp.
Commercial hemp cultivation in Germany
In Germany, farms have been allowed to grow hemp again since 1996. Unfortunately, I have to put the brakes on anyone who is happy about this, because private individuals are liable to prosecution if they cultivate hemp or cannabis plants. To give you a feeling for how slowly commercial hemp is finding its way back into German agriculture, I would like to give you a few figures.
Let's take a look at the last 9 years. The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food publishes adjusted statistics every year.
In 2010 there were 148 farms and 1209 hectares
2011 - 96 farms and 527 hectares
2012 - 95 farms and 424 hectares
2013 - 86 farms and 437 hectares
2014 - 100 farms and 715 hectares
2015 - 145 farms and 1442 hectares
2016 - 188 farms and 1501 hectares
2017 - 282 farms and 2148 hectares
2018 - 392 farms and 3114 hectares
2019 - 575 farms and 4508 hectares
Time to take responsibility
I personally like to go out on a limb and claim that hemp offers us the solution to many questions of our time.
Climate protection, sustainability, regionality - these don't have to be empty marketing phrases.
We live in an exciting and ingenious time and have a responsibility for our earth that we cannot ignore lightly.
I wish that everyone would start in some small way. I wish that our politics would finally take responsibility!