Industrial hemp is the variety of Cannabis sativa that is non-psychoactive and can not be smoked. Like chillies, potatoes, or blue-gums, there are different varieties of Cannabis and industrial hemp is one of these. It is currently grown on 40 countries around the world.
The reason it has no effect if you try to smoke it, is because it contains almost no Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We liken this to ‘alcohol’ and marijuana contains high levels of THC that makes you high. An analogy for Malawians is thobwa vs chibuku, where one is alcoholic and the other is not.
Hemp has been traded for centuries and is one of the oldest crops known to man. It has only been illegal since the 1930’s due to its rivalry with cotton and synthetics, where its enemies associated it with its cousin crop marijuana. It’s strong fibre formed important parts of navy fleets, making ropes and sails and military grad e uniforms. Its seed makes very nutritious food and medicinal products.