Hemp is the common name for cannabis and is the English term used when this annual herb is grown for non-drug purposes. These include industrial purposes for which cultivation licenses may be issued in the European Union (EU). When grown for industrial purposes hemp is often called industrial hemp, and a common product is fibre for use in a variety of different ways. Fuel is often a by-product of hemp cultivation.
Hemp may be grown also for food (the edible seeds), though in the UK Defra (the UK's Department for the Environment, Food and the Rural Affairs) will not issue cultivation licenses for this purpose, treating it as a non-food crop, though the seed appears on the UK market as a food product.
In the UK hemp seed and fibre have always been perfectly legal products. Cultivation for non drug purposes was however completely prohibited from 1928 until circa 1998, when Home Office industrial-purpose licenses became available under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Industrial strains intended for legal use within the EU are bred to comply with regulations limiting THC content to 0.2%. (THC content is a measure of the herb's drug potential and can reach 25% or more in drug strains).
Read more about this topic: Cannabis Laws
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