Hemp Plant Anatomy

The hemp plant is one of the most versatile plants on the entire planet. It’s multipurpose, with each part available for some kind of use. It has a long history as well. One that starts in Asia before making its way to North American where our forefathers found great use for it. 

Hemp is what we use to make full-spectrum CBD oil. It’s a very tall plant, and creates a great “screening” grass to give wildlife a feeling of security when slipping through open spaces. Hemp plant anatomy is composed of the seeds, which take root, propel a stalk upward, and deliver flowers and leaves. And every aspect can be used for something. It’s no wonder hemp has been cultivated for some ten thousand years. 

Hemp Plant Anatomy

When it comes to plants, we can’t think of another that’s as cool as hemp. Or as prolific in its uses. The hemp plant is known to have 25,000 diverse uses. Twenty five thousand! From seeds to stalks and leaves, let’s dive into a hemp plant’s anatomy to find out exactly why it’s so amazing and diverse.

Hemp Seeds

Life does not happen without a seed. This is where the hemp plant’s anatomy begins. For within the seed is the root, a thin endosperm, and two cotyledons, the ingredients to produce the first leaves. 

Known as a super food, hemp seeds are one of the most important parts of the plant's anatomy.

Known as a super food, hemp seeds are one of the most important parts of the plant's anatomy.

The hemp seeds are also super nutritional. Much in the way that folks eat flax seed, hemp seeds are considered a superfood that can sustain all of our dietary needs without any other supplements. You’ll find athletes, elderly people, and health-conscious eaters, eating hemp seeds, which provide the essential fatty acids - Omega 3 and Omega 6 - that boosts immunity and controls that feared enemy known as cholesterol. 

From a health perspective, they are also a good source of Vitamins B and E as well as minerals like calcium, iron, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Not only are these minerals good for the body, they are also essential for soil. The hemp plant turned back into the soil can provide vital nutrition that is taken away each time crops (of any kind) are harvested.

Hemp seeds are a fuel alternative. Hemp biofuel created from hemp seeds is the only alternative fuel to pass the EPA’s Tier 1 Health Effects Testing under the Clean Air Act. 

Hemp plant anatomy is so versatile that putting the entire back into the soil is extremely beneficial for farmers.

Hemp plant anatomy is so versatile that putting the entire back into the soil is extremely beneficial for farmers.

Hemp Roots

The medicinal qualities of hemp roots were discovered and used in ancient China. Known for its ability to remove harmful toxins from the body thanks to an organic molecule called glycoside, it quickly became a part of everyday healing as it made its way around the world. From reducing fevers to staunching excessive bleeding, the hemp root provides a natural alternative to the influx western medicine our society seems so heavily dependent upon. Consistent use of full-spectrum hemp oil can help relieve cramps, inflammation of the joints and muscles, gout, and even digestive problems. 

Hemp Stalks

A hemp plant’s stalk is its backbone. It’s the support system that drives upward from the ground and takes the leaves and flowers to their places in the sun. It’s the stalk that keeps the plant upright and alive through high winds and torrential downpours. Perhaps most importantly, the stalk transfers moisture and nutrients, as well as sugars and starches (photosynthesis), from the roots to the leaves. 

The center of the hemp stalk is where you’ll find a layer of woody, thick-walled cells called the cambium that produce the fibers we use in clothes, shoes, rope, etc.

The center of the hemp stalk is where you’ll find a layer of woody, thick-walled cells called the cambium that produce the fibers we use in clothes, shoes, rope, etc.

Halfway between the roots and leaves, the stalk is hollow. Toward each end it becomes a bit thicker. It’s there in the center of the hemp stalk, where you’ll find a layer of woody, thick-walled cells called the cambium. It’s the cambium cells that mature to produce the parts of the stalk that are used as the fibers that have literally helped create the fabric of many societies. For centuries these fibers have been used to make clothes, rope, shoes, and much more. 

It’s been fun to see a lot of clothing companies come full circle with the materials they use to build apparel. Hemp fibers are extremely durable while a lot of synthetic materials wear out quickly. The “rediscovery” of hemp in clothing is allowing many manufacturers to turn back to this incredible plant that produces stronger, more durable clothing.

Hemp Leaves & Flowers

Hemp leaves look a lot like marijuana leaves. The distinguishing feature, however, is their long, skinny shape. From the leaves and flowers we find more than 80 different compounds, including the lauded cannabidiol (CBD). While CBD is a component of marijuana (actually one of 113 identified), it does not cause the same “high” you’d typically get from the plant. That’s because industrial hemp is a strain of the Cannabis Sativa species that is characterized by extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

From the leaves and flowers we find more than 80 different compounds, including the lauded cannabidiol (CBD).

From the leaves and flowers we find more than 80 different compounds, including the lauded cannabidiol (CBD).

Essential oils can also be distilled from the hemp leaf. And they are a great source of nutrition because they contain powerful antioxidants, like polyphenols, for example, which help reduce aging of the skin. The leaves, like the seeds, also contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that our bodies so rely upon. 

So, you can see why the hemp plant is making such a strong comeback around the world. Recognizing its sheer diversity led American farmers to grow more than half a million acres this past year with that number looking to increase in the years to come. More jobs have been created thanks to both the hemp and cannabis industries. With age-old laws changing, it will be interesting to see what part the hemp plant will play in our economy in the coming years.

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