Hemp Information Sheet

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is an herb up to 2m tall with ridged and pubescent stem. Atipules filiform; leaves 3-11 foliate, upper ones one-foliate; leaflets sessile, narrowly lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, long, acuminate, serrate; upper surface of the leaflets scabrid, lower surface addressed and pubescent. 

Hemp grows in almost any conditions, needs no fertilizers or pesticides, and flourishes in difficult terrain. It grows well at high altitude and on marginal land from 200 to 2700m, actually replenishing the soil with vital nutrients. Its roots bind the soil together, helping to prevent soil loss and landslides on fragile slopes.

Farmers have grown hemp on their land for generations; they have knowledge about harvesting and spinning the yarn, using the traditional “tooth-and-spindle” method. The farmers can sell hemp yarn and cloth for a cash income.

Hemp is an ideal biomass fuel with high cellulose content. Hemp can be compacted into burnable briquettes to fuel stoves and heat homes. Using renewable hemp fuel would save both firewood and the labour involved in collecting it.

Traditionally, the fiber obtained from the bark of Hemp has been used for a variety of woven product, namely clothes (Bhangra, east-coat), bags, sacks, tablecloths, porter strap, blanket etc. and are marketed in Kathmandu and are also exported to foreign countries like USA and Japan.  Beside this its leaves and sap are used as a painkiller and sedative, while the roots make medicine for burns and other wounds. Roasted hemp seeds, a traditional hilly snack, contain a host of essential nutrients – a useful addition to an often poor diet.