National Hemp Month: Celebrating Cultivation with Minerals
July is National Hemp Month, a time to celebrate one of the most versatile plants in the world. How can you observe the month? It’s simple: learn about this impressive plant, its many uses, and how it can be cultivated with help from minerals.
Cannabis versus Hemp versus Marijuana
Cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are different terms for plants in the Cannabaceae family. While many people clump them into the very same plant, they are botanical, cultural, and usage differences between the three.
- Cannabis: Cannabis refers to a genus of flowering plants that are members of the family Cannabaceae, which includes Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. “Cannabis” can refer to both hemp and marijuana products.
- Hemp: Hemp is a type of cannabis called Cannabis sativa L. It contains low levels of the phytocannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which cannabis and marijuana are known for. In the United States, for it to be classified as hemp, it has to be a Cannabis sativa L. plant containing 0.3% THC or less.
- Marijuana: Marijuana is considered a cousin of hemp, and it includes plants in the Cannabaceae family with high(er) levels of THC. In the cannabis industry, “cannabis” and “marijuana” are often used interchangeably, even though cannabis can also refer to hemp.
Why Celebrate National Hemp Month
A Versatile Plant
This versatile plant is the stronger natural fiber in the world with over 50,000 different uses from textiles to food and building materials to supplements. This certainly isn’t surprising when you learn every part of the plant is usable, including the roots, stalk, leaves, and seeds. Like minerals, many people come into contact with hemp every day, whether or not they know it. Popular hemp products include:
- CBD supplements
The Rise of CBD
Recently, hemp has come into the spotlight in the form of CBD (cannabidiol) oil. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD compounds from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of hemp plants. You may have also heard of hemp oil, which has little to no CBD content and is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds into a culinary oil.
cbdMD explains that CBD generally isn’t used to treat or cure a disease and is most often used to support your existing health and fitness routine. (However, there are some medical applications like the treatment of epilepsy that are verified with proper testing, evidence, and a doctor’s supervision.) It is frequently used to address the following:
- Chronic pain
- Animal wellness
Like all health products, it’s important to choose a reputable supplier and discuss options with your healthcare provider before starting a new treatment.
How You Can Grow More with Minerals
Perlite for Successful Hemp Cultivation
Perlite is formed by molten (magmatic) rock, also known as volcanic glass. When perlite ore is heated rapidly in industrial furnaces, the volcanic glass softens, causing entrapped water molecules to turn to steam and expand the perlite particles—much like popcorn. These expanded perlite particles are lightweight and insulated glass bubbles that can hold water and air.
- Helps increase cannabis root mass and overall yield.
- Retains water inbetween individual grains, in channels leading to the cores of the grains, and on the highly irregular surfaces of each particle.
- It allows you to feed your plant more by aiding in draining, which provides the opportunity to give your plant more nutrients
- It’s lightweight. Because of its light weight for easy transportation and mixing.
- It’s stable for indoor and outdoor use.
- It mixes easily with soil and other amendments.
- It’s sterile and chemically inert, promoting only the healthiest of root systems.
At Dicaperl, our perlite ore produces a large grade expanded product that is harder and more consistent, so when you open your bag, you can expect kernels—not dust. You’ll be happy, and your plants will be happy, too.
Vermiculite for Successful Cannabis Cultivation
Vermiculite is a hydrated magnesium aluminum sheet silicate mineral closely related to mica, and has all of the thermal and chemical resistance mica is known for. When subjected to heat, vermiculite expands and forms particles that are very productive in soil and soilless media mixes. It’s even great for growing cannabis hydroponically! Vermiculite’s benefits include:
- Acts as a magnet for nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, making it an especially valuable and time-saving addition for passive hydroponics systems.
- Effectively re-releases nutrients with cation-exchange capacity, releasing vital elements to the plant roots as required.
- The expanded particles create matrixes in the soil, improving aeration.
Diatomaceous Earth, a biologically generated form of Silica, has an abundance of benefits as a soil amendment:
Thanks to the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) there’s now another reason to consider natural diatomaceous earth as a soil conditioner. The silica content of diatomaceous earth is absorbed into plant tissue and helps improve plant structure and resistance to pests and disease. Since AAPFCO acknowledged silicon dioxide as a Beneficial Substance and subsequently published an approved method for testing soluble silicon, it’s important for growers to focus not on products with high SiO2 content, but the plant available or soluble silicon content. Diatomaceous Earth benefits include:
- Plant-available Silica (PAS)
- Increases plant health
- Does not decompose
- Reduces abiotic and biotic plant stressors
- Greater yields
Celebrate National Hemp Month with Dicalite’s Harvest Hero
For decades, Dicalite Management Group has been serving the horticultural industry with our multi-mineral offering to help soil blenders and commercial growers improve their growth. Recently, we have developed direct-to-consumer products with help from engineers, operations personnel, and agronomists to help home growers achieve great growth. Celebrate National Hemp month by trying out these products while growing:
- Harvest Hero Enhanced Perlite Mix: This breakthrough 3-in-1 patent-pending formula is perfect for cannabis, vegetables, and any other potted plants. The revolution mix consists of medium-grade perlite, essential nutrients, and diatomaceous earth. It prevents compaction, improves drainage, increases airflow, provides silica, and supports robust growth.
- Harvest Hero Perlite+ Silica: Use this natural soil substrate to improve plant growth and improve soil conditions for better plant mass. It prevents compaction, improves drainage, and increases airflow while also providing soluble silica which helps combat abiotic stress.
- Harvest Hero Hydroponic Perlite: This mix is a superior substrate designed specifically for hydroponic systems or can be used in containers and garden plants for robust and vigorous growth. It increases oxygen uptake, supports lush growth, and reduces water costs.
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Our blog offers insight and information about new and exciting uses for perlite, diatomaceous earth, and vermiculite deriving from years of research and application. From passive fire resistance to mineral depth filtration, by subscribing to our mailing list, you will receive the latest information surrounding the Dicalite, Dicaperl, and Specialty Vermiculite brands and products.