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Hemp FAQ - What Is Hemp?

Hempco LogoHempco Admin
8 Mins. Read

What exactly is the hemp plant? 

The hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa) is a plant that is part of the cannabis species. Typically referred to as industrial hemp, the hemp market is growing and expanding every day as people discover the vast array of benefits hemp can provide.

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Hemp, Cannabis & Marijuana

Around the world, the word "Marijuana" is being dropped (and about time) as it's only really a slang term. It's largely being replaced by its actual plant name, Cannabis.

What is the difference?

Hemp/Cannabis are both names given to the various breeds of Cannabis sativa plants. Despite looking and smelling the same, these plants are very different. The most significant and most known difference between these two plants is their THC production. 

Cannabis plants are a high potency THC plant, well-known for their psychoactive effects on the mind and body users experience. Marijuana is the slang name used for these high potency THC plants, and the word is believed to originate back as early as the Aztecs, but it became popular in the 1930s. 

Hemp plants, however, are low potency THC plants that contain less than 0.2%THC. They are normally used for industrial purposes such as compressing them to make Hemp Seed Oil. 

It's very easy to confuse these two plants since they look, smell and grow pretty much the same. People often speculate that Hemp Plants are male-bred plants, but that is not completely true.

A female plant loses a huge amount of its cannabinoids, and the energy is put into producing seeds instead which are used for making Hemp Seed Oil. Typically, hemp plants are pollinated cannabis plants, which produce a much lower concentration of THC. 

What is THC?

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive property that the cannabis plant has, and is responsible for the head & body high that users experience when they use THC. 

Cannabis plants can produce large amounts of THC which is a compound that is illegal in many countries around the world. In comparison, industrial hemp plants contain no more than 0.2 % THC, making it a legal plant across many countries for a wide range of things.

Are All Hemp Plants Industrial Hemp? 

All Hemp Plants that are legally allowed to be grown come from the family of Cannabis Sativa L plants, which are industrial Hemp Plants. Industrial Hemp Plants contain less than 0.2% THC, which is generally considered the maximum THC permitted around the world. 

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Is Hemp Legal? 

Most countries around the world allow the growth, production and use of hemp plants for their multi-functional properties. Here in Australia, Hemp is a legal plant that people are allowed use! 

Can I Grow A Hemp Plant? 

The legalities around growing hemp plants vary depending on the country's laws. Generally speaking, in countries where hemp is legal the plants can be grown. In Australia, in order to grow a hemp plant, you must get a special license from the Australian government. 

Growing Hemp Plants in Australia

The growth of Hemp Plants in Australia is a relatively new prospect, but Hemp farms are becomingly increasingly popular throughout the country and across the world.

As mentioned earlier, everyone who wishes to grow Hemp Plants or start a Hemp Farm is Australia will need to get a special license issued by the Australian Government. Read below to find out the specific requirements on a state-by-state basis.  


3 different types of Hemp licenses can be issued in Queensland for growing hemp, which concerns your purpose for growing hemp. The 3 categories are ‘Grower’, ‘researcher’ and ‘seed handler’. 

Applicants are also required to not have been declared bankrupt or convicted of a serious offence within the last 10 years. 

New South Wales

New South Wales does allow the growth of hemp plants for the purpose of commercial, manufacturing or scientific purposes. There are certain conditions the applicant must be able to meet such as completing an application form, describing the purpose, defining the use and final destination, providing details of any drug-related offence you may have, describing and planning for the land, and providing identification and documentation for the plants. 

South Australia

Hemp licenses in South Australia are issued under 3 categories: a possession licese, cultivation license or processing license. South Australia requires that independent tests be done on crops, as they cannot come from plants that contain more than 0.5% THC. 


Victoria allows residents to apply for a license for growing hemp as long as the applicant can complete the following steps: The seeds must be from a plant containing less than 0.35% THC, and applicants need to provide a national police background check, credit report, and a business or research plan. 


Tasmania provides a range of different licenses which can be applied to grow hemp such as cultivation, manufacturing, supply or research purposes, or any mix of the aforementioned purposes. Applicants will also have to undergo a background check for themselves and all partners and provide information regarding the land. 

Western Australia

Applying for a hemp license in Western Australia is also permitted, and plants cannot contain more than 1% THC. To acquire a hemp license in Western Australia, applicants need to be over the age of 18, be a ‘fit and proper person of good character and repute’, hold the required qualifications and have the required resources.

What About Medicinal Cannabis in Australia? 

Australia made headlines around the world in 2016 when it legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Although federally legal, acquiring medical cannabis in Australia is not an easy fret. Currently, there are 2 products on the market - Sativex and Epidyolex. The requirements for obtaining medical cannabis vary from state to state. 

New South Wales: The NSW government permits the use of medicinal cannabis to treat debilitating or terminal diseases. 

Victoria: The first state to legalize medicinal cannabis, Victoria allows doctors to prescribe medical cannabis if they believe it is clinically appropriate, and approval is required from Commonwealth or state first. 

Queensland: Medicinal cannabis is more regularly prescribed in Queensland, and doctors are allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis as they see fit, without needing approval first. 

South Australia: South Australia's guidelines follow closely to Queensland, allowing doctors to prescribe medical cannabis where they believe it is clinically appropriate, although approval is often needed from the state except in the case of elderly or terminally ill patients. 

Western Australia: Western Australia also allows doctors to prescribe cannabis as they see fit, but approval is needed in all cases. 

Tasmania: Obtaining medical cannabis in Tasmania is probably the hardest state. Patients must be referred by their doctor to a specialist, and specialists can then provide medical cannabis as long as other conventional treatments have been proven to not work. 

It is important to note that Australia does not currently provide subsidies for medical cannabis, so it must be paid for out of pocket. 

What Is Hemp Used For? 

The Hemp Plant has been becoming an increasingly popular news topic around the world for many years thanks to its multi-functional properties. Hemp plants are very eco-friendly plants that grow without the need for any herbicides or pesticides and have lower carbon emissions than other plants. 

Most popular uses of industrial hemp

  • Hemp Seed Oil: Probably one of the most well-known benefits of the hemp plant is its ability to be extracted into the oil. Hemp seed oil can be used for a wide range of things such as offering pain relieving benefits, enhanced sleep, and skincare issues such as acne and can even be beneficial for your hair!
  • Fabric: Hemp fabric can be used for textiles and clothes, and is significantly better than its counterparts, such as cotton. Hemp fabric is stronger, more absorbent, more durable and more insulating in comparison to other fabrics.
  • Bioplastic Hemp: Perhaps one of the biggest eco benefits of the Hemp plant is its bioplastic properties. Bioplastics are a form of sustainable plastic made from biodegradable materials. Bioplastic Hemp is made from the cellulose of the Hemp Plant without the need for petroleum.
  • Hemp Biofuel: One of the most exciting and new discoveries of the hemp plant is its ability to become a biofuel source. Biofuels are fuel sources that can be made from living matter, such as plants. Hemp can be used to make Hemp Biodiesel from the compressed hemp seed oil, and BioEthanol from the hemp plant stalks.
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Are There Benefits to Taking Hemp Seed Oil? 

The hemp plant has so many wonderful benefits, with new ones being discovered all the time. The most common use of Hemp Seed Oil is people taking it for its array of health benefits. Read on below to see why you can benefit from taking Hemp Seed Oil!

  • Skin Issues: Thanks to its comedogenic rating of zero, Hemp Seed oil is a very safe and effective oil to use for all skin types, without the worry or stress of having your pores clogged up. Skin issues such as acne, psoriasis and eczema are all common issues people would use hemp seed oil for. 
  • Reduction in Cardiovascular disease: Although more research is needed, so far there is much evidence to support Hemp Seed Oil’s benefit on the heart. Hemp seed oil is high in linoleic acid, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol, leading to a healthier heart and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Stress & sleep: Studies have shown that hemp seed oil can help settle the nervous system, which can reduce anxiety symptoms and nerves. Early research has shown that hemp seed oil can increase melatonin production (sleepy hormone), which may improve insomnia.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Hemp plants contain high amounts of Gamma-Linolenic acid, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, aiding in pain relief for diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowl Syndrom and Multiple Sclerosis.

Discover more of the Hemp Plant's benefits on WebMD - https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-hemp-seed-oil

Hemp Fabric- The History

Hemp fabric is one of the oldest forms of fabric that was used, dating back as far as 29000 years ago, the rise of hemp fabric is not a new trend. 

First accounts of hemp fabric date back to The Gravettian people (Spain and Russia), who used hemp fabric to make tarps and nets.

In Ancient Mesopotamia, evidence of hemp fabrics was found which dated back to 8000 BCE. 

During the 18th century, Russia had a booming hemp fabric economy and it was mostly used to make clothes, sails for ships and strong ropes. 

In the late 1900s, global illegalization dramatically changed the production of hemp fabrics around the world. Huge taxes were imposed on anyone who grew the plant, which led to a global decline of hemp fabric. 

Now, hemp is making head waves around the world as a reliable and economically sustainable fabric choice, and the hemp market is on its incline once again. 

If I Take Hemp Will it Show Up On A Drug Test? 

Routine drug tests such as in work or for driving will not screen for Hemp, rather they are screening for THC. Evidence supports the fact that using standard hemp products such as hemp seed oil, hemp seeds and hemp skincare products will not give you a positive THC result on a routine drug test.