Hemp comes from a variety of the cannabis sativa plant. However, it is not to be confused with marijuana, which is also from the cannabis sativa plant. Hemp, also called industrial hemp, is grown purposefully for its fiber and its seeds. Hemp, unlike marijuana, has very low amounts of THC, the components that affect the human brain, thus making them high.
The hemp grows very tall in length so as to be able to give as much fiber as possible. The mature plants also harvest a lot of seeds. These are the two major uses of the hemp in the Himalayas.
Origin of Hemp
Hemp was first discovered in Asian regions that are now modern-day China and Taiwan. Records show hemp dates back to 8,000 BCE. Hemp seeds and oil was used as food in China. It continued to spread from Asia to Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
In 1606, hemp was introduced to North America and was grown and used for ropes, paper, and fuel. A draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on a hemp paper by Thomas Jefferson.
Hemp in Nepal
Hemp is largely grown in the Himalayas and Nepal because of its climate which is a mild, humid climate, that is the best when it comes to growing hemp. This plant has been in Nepal for centuries. Locals use the hemp fiber obtained from the hemp from Nepal to make bags, ropes, fishing nets, carry straps, sacks, and mats.
Fiber extraction was mostly done by hand. The plant which is harvested in the month of August is then dried and soaked in water for a couple of days. After which it is twisted, sun-dried, and then softened by beating and spun. After the spinning is done, the thread is then boiled in a mixture of water and wood ash, then it is washed severely. This process is time-consuming and very tiring. The end result of the product is a rough material that, in the present day, cannot be used for clothes.
Original hemp fiber from Nepal is now used by textile manufacturers in the area to make other hemp fiber products but not clothes. Clothing manufactures get more refined hemp fiber from regions of China. This is because even today in Nepal, hemp is still harvested and processed by hand.
Hemp is used to produce and manufacture a lot of products. Hemp products are known to be strong and durable. Some of the hemp products from Nepal that are made from the Himalayan hemp include;
1. Hemp Bags
The bags are made from original hemp yarn from Nepal. The bags come in different sizes and colors and can suit both male and female. The end product is a strong, durable yet very beautiful bag. The bags come in different designs too. For example, hemp waist bags, backpacks, slings or shoulder bags, passport bags, and even iPad bags.
2. Hemp Belts
Hemp fiber is known to be a good source of good, strong rope. It doesn’t come as a surprise that it can be woven into a belt too. Hemp belts from the Himalayan hemp are very strong, beautiful, and durable. They come in different sizes and are unisex.
Apart from fiber products, the Himalayan hemp is also known for its seed. The seeds are a source of oil that can be used for different purposes such as:
3. Himalayan Hemp Seed Oil
This oil is made from organic hemp seeds. It is rich in omega-3, omega-6 which are fatty acids, and Vitamin D. This natural oil has numerous benefits including helping with acne, scarring, eczema, psoriasis, and many other skin problems. It is much recommended because it does not clog the pores. As a beauty product, it can be used as a moisturizer. Be sure to have a smooth, soft, and supple skin when using it.
4. Himalayan Hemp Soap
This is yet another wonderful natural product from the Himalayas. The hemp soap is perfect for a well cleansed, hydrated, and soft skin. It is gentle and does not leave the skin dry. The soap is mostly mixed with other natural fragrances like vanilla, rose, or lavender just to give it a different scent. The soap is produced from the hemp seed and it contains all the nutrients found in the hemp seed.