Difference Between Hemp And Weed
Hemp is a domesticated crop which is known for its multiple uses for textiles, cordage and paper for several thousand years. It belongs to the cannabis family but differs from other members of the family in versatility. It also has distinct genetic and chemical composition.
Hemp is a renewable source for raw materials and it can be used in numerous products. You can use its seeds and flowers in health foods and organic body care products. With its fibers and stalks, you can make better quality of clothing, paper and construction materials.
Hemp contains a high quantity of cellulose which makes it versatile. It can be used in making strong thread, rope and string. Building materials, car parts and even ballistic materials are also produced from hemp. Hemp fibers can be used in making stronger and warmer fabrics.
Hemp has a number of medicinal properties that can be used in treating various ailments. Hemp produces an ingredient called CBD which is non-psychoactive in nature. According to studies, CBD is effective in treating a particular type of arthritis. It also helps in treating various other ailments. In ancient times, Chinese physicians were known to use cannabis as anesthetic agent.
Hemp substantially detoxifies the soil and effectively prevents soil erosion. After harvesting is over, even the leftovers act as useful nutrients and melts down in the soil. Hemp can be cultivated without much water and no pesticides, which makes it highly eco-friendly.
Weeds are unwanted plants in a particular place designed by man, such as a garden, a park or a lawn where some plants are carefully cultivated. You can not botanically define a weed because while a plant may be unwanted in one place, it may be wanted in another.
Moreover, any plant that grows aggressively and disperses widely in different places in spite of climatic diversity is also called a weed. It is like an invader occupying a new habitat and quickly adapting itself to new settings.
On soil damaged by environmental disturbances, good, ‘wanted’ crops and pastures can not grow. There are weeds which take advantage of this condition and grow rapidly. The type of weed that grows on the damaged soil is determined by the nature of the habitat and the damage.
- Uses –
Many people use the term “weed” in negative sense but many weeds are rich in properties that are used for various purposes. The dandelion, for instance, is edible and food and medicine are made with its leaves and roots. In many parts of Asia, burdock is used to make soup.
The presence of some weeds in certain habitats prevents the pest insects from locating their food in good crops. They act as shield and help to protect crops from invasion of the harmful pests.
Some weeds also act as ground cover that reduces loss of soil moisture and checks erosion. Weeds such as dandelions improve soil fertility by bringing up calcium and nitrogen from the depths of the soil.
Some other species of weeds break up hardpan in the cultivated land and help crops have deeper roots. In gardens, some originally weedy plants are bred for their flowers and foliage which are regarded as garden-worthy. Tenacity, wildness and close connection to nature are the positive features of the weeds that have won appreciation from horticulturists.
However, in spite of usefulness, some weed species are defined as ‘noxious’ as their overgrowth may harm the native crop plants as well as the livestock.
It is therefore advisable to develop a well-planned weed control system to prevent the growth of harmful weeds on the one hand and utilize its benefits to the maximum possible extent on the other.
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