Industrial hemp, or cannabis sativa L., is a relatively fast growing annual herb; it can grow up to 4 meters high in only 3 months.1 It has a wide array of end uses and is one of the oldest known fiber crops in the world. It can grow in most temperate and sub-tropical climates. The term “hemp” refers to the industrial use of the stalk and seed. Its fiber is used for textiles, paper, and natural composites, and the seeds are used for food or pressed for oil.
Depending on the desired products and relevant properties, seeds are bred differently, sown at different densities, and crops are harvested at different times during the growth stage.2
For high fiber yields, seeds are sown only a few centimeters apart to produce tall, quick growing, and straight stocks with full covering leaf canopies. In addition, the harvest happens early on in the plant development cycle in order to obtain fine and flexible fiber suitable for textile applications.