Hemp (Cannabis sativa) Guide

Hemp (from Old English hænep) refers to low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), industrial strains of Marijuana (Cannabis sativa). Of the approximately 2000 cannabis strains known, about 90% contain only low-grade THC and are most useful for their fiber, seeds and medicinal oils.

Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known and is the single most useful plant on our planet. It is a versatile and sustainable resource that can provide us with our basic needs, while also offering solutions to many of our planet's most important issues.

Up until the 1930s hemp was widely used to produce many products including paper, oil, clothing, rope, sails and medicine. However during the 1930s competing industries got together to have the hemp plant prohibited so that their products would have a monopoly. They achieved this by launching a sinister reefer madness campaign against hemp, exploiting racist stereotypes and middle-class fears and portraying hemp as a dangerous drug. Their campaign was such a success that the hemp plant eventually became prohibited throughout most of the world.

Due to the tireless campaigning of hemp activists around the world, the truth about hemp has eventually come out and the hemp plant has slowly become legal to cultivate again (under strict conditions) in many countries. Hemp is currently legally cultivated in Spain, China, Japan, Korea, France, the Netherlands, North Africa, Ireland and New Zealand, where it is used to produce paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, construction, body products, health food and bio-fuel.

In order to grow, trade in, or process industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in New Zealand, an individual, body corporate, or partnership needs to be licensed under the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Regulations 2006. To apply for a license click here.

In our online hemp store we showcase the best of both New Zealand and imported hemp products as they become available. We currently stock hemp foods, hemp oil, hemp protein powder, hemp hair-care products, hemp body-care products, hemp liquid and bar soaps, hemp lip balms, hemp dietary supplements and hemp clothing. Besides hemp products we also have an extensive selection of hemp books covering everything from cultivation to cooking. By purchasing hemp products you are helping to grow the hemp industry in New Zealand, which in turn is helping to change the perception of hemp, both in New Zealand and worldwide.