Despite a global prohibition still largely restricting the cultivation of cannabis, some scientists are still revolutionizing industries through engineering hemp buildings, supercapacitors, and more.
Preceding the 1900’s, cannabis was once one of the most significant crops for mankind. It was only in the past century when men forbid its cultivation, grinding cannabis production and all of its subsidiary parts to a halt.
The plant is rooted deep in humanity’s history and was likely the earliest cultivated plant for its textile fiber. Despite many countries’ recent regressions revoking the laws in which made cannabis illegal in the first place, it is largely recognized as a plant with no other use other than “getting people high”.
But cannabis is not one sole entity. It is rather a collection of a family of plants consisting of sativas, indicas, and ruderalis. Cannabis Sativa and indica plants are renowned for their psychoactive effects, but there is a variety of Cannabis Sativa which is grown specifically for its derived products.
The plant in question, otherwise known as hemp – or industrial hemp – is the seed or fibrous part of the Cannabis Sativa, whereas the flower of the plant is legally regarded as marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp does not possess a significant amount of psychoactive chemicals and as such, cannot be used to get “high”.
Hemp in space sounds like a science fiction dream. It will soon to be an exciting new reality thanks to a partnership of terrestrial firms hoping to learn about the effects of microgravity on the crop.
Space Tango, a start-up business from the heart of Kentucky seeks to harvest hemp in space. Co-founder and chairman, Kris Kimel, wants to lean about how the biology and quality of the crop will develop without the influence of gravity. The goal is to see if the medicinal value of cannabinoids prospers on this new frontier and to offer unique CBD products to the public.
Anavii Market is partnering with Space Tango on their journey into this new frontier. Anavii Market is an online CBD marketplace that seeks to improve quality reliability in the industry. Their goal is to provide a trusted source of CBD to the public.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT GROWING HEMP IN SPACE
Prior to Space Tango, Kimel was the founder and president of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), “which is where this notion of looking into space and microgravity kind of germinated.” As his interest grew, he left the company and moved over to Space Tango full time.
After nearly a decade of research on this new frontier, Kimel tells us there’s still so little they know and so much to learn when it comes to how plants develop in a gravity stress-free environment. Since hemp has had such little research within the last century and only recently has had its doors opened to scientists, Space Tango remains optimistic in breaking through new discoveries.
Kimel and his team are aware that principle biological systems (i.e. cells, organisms) become scrambled grown without gravity. In turn, this “opens up new pathways, new understandings, of those systems that you’d never see on earth.” Prior to their experiments with hemp, they’ve developed medical implants which can only be manufactured in space.
Hemp likes living in Indiana, a Purdue agronomist told a committee of legislators examining ways to turn the plant into a Hoosier industry.
But Statehouse leaders haven’t been so sure they want to live with hemp.
Recent efforts to expand hemp production into private business have been met with skepticism, although many Indiana farmers are hoping to turn the green leafy plant into commodities ranging from salad toppings to auto parts.
Currently, hemp can be grown only for research at a farm operated by Purdue University.
“The Purdue hemp research group feels Indiana can be a leader,” Ronald Turco, department head of agronomy at Purdue, said.
“Indiana is well positioned for growing hemp in climate soils that support the crop. Most importantly we have an existing industry that needs vibrancy.”
He addressed the first meeting of the Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. Seven of 14 members attended the Monday session in Lafayette.
The committee’s task is to determine how the state should regulate hemp production. The committee report is due by early November.
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