SA’s Research by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) has found the optimum growth of Cannabis Sativa L will only occur under certain conditions.
Studies have shown hemp can be cultivated successfully in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
“Cannabis sativa L is an annual crop mainly grown for industrial use and is one of the oldest plants to be grown for food, oil, textile fibre and medicinal purposes,” the ARC’s Kwena Mokgohloa said.
“Industrial hemp is used to make over 25 000 consumer products from hemp apparel and accessories to house-wares and hemp seed oil cosmetics.
“Currently three main groups of hemp varieties are under cultivation primarily for fibre, seed and for medicinal and narcotic properties,” Mokgohloa said.
Medicine based on cannabinoids can also manage the symptoms of various debilitating conditions.
According to a study, “hemp is currently witnessing a revival, because of its rich repertoire of phytochemicals, its fibres and its agricultural features.”
A department of agriculture and fisheries study in 2012 found hemp was “one of the most important fibre crops both for South Africa and the rest of the world” and had been trying to “sort out” hemp legislation.