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cannabis sativa seed production

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Cannabis plants are categorized by their chemical phenotype or “chemotype,” based on the overall amount of psychoactive THC produced and on the ratio of THC to CBD.

Bast fibres

Hemp seed has historically been harvested for the oil that can be crushed from it for use in culinaries and manufactures such as soaps, paints, lubricants and cosmetics. In addition, hemp has been grown as a medicinal plant, and investigations into the uses of hemp as a therapeutic and medicinal plant continue ( Polezak et al., 2018; Zielonka et al., 2019; Makowiecka and Wielgus, 2014 ). More details are provided in the chapter 12 . vol. 2.

Hemp ( Cannabis sativa ) has been widely cultivated as a source of bast fibres and/or seeds. The plant is native to India and Persia, but over the last 6000 years, it has been cultivated in nearly all temperate and tropical countries of the world and is likely to be one of the oldest non-food crops known ( Vavilov and Dorofeyev, 1926; Schultes, 1970 ). Historically, hemp fibres were used for the production of rope, cordage, fabrics and paper, and the debris of such industries is a significant source of archaeological evidence of hemp production. For example, in the British Isles, hemp fibres were widely used in the production of ship's rigging and sail cloth from 800 AD and retting sites used to identify the locations of production ( Schofielda and Wallerb, 2005 ). During the 18th and 19th centuries hemp had a significant commercial role in Europe for the production of ropes and textiles.

Because hemp oil contains a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids, 278 the double bonds that provide such unsaturation may be degraded because of oxidation by exposure to air, light, and/or elevated temperatures. At temperatures above 200 °C, undesirable trans-fatty acids are gradually formed, which may lead to the formation of aldehydes, causing the oil to become rancid. As a result, it is generally recommended that hemp oil should not be used for frying or baking, but preferably should be consumed cold. 273,275 However, results obtained by Molleken and Theimer, 277 who subjected hemp oil to a series of heat treatments before analyzing the fatty acid composition, showed that the stability of hemp oil is much better than generally assumed: trans-fatty acids were not formed under normal cooking conditions, and heated native hemp oils were quite stable under high-temperature conditions (up to 250 °C), presumably because of the presence of significant amounts of the antioxidant γ-tocopherol. In general, extra addition of tocopherols is recommended as preservative for hemp oil. 279

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Project : EU research project

MULTIHEMP: Multipurpose hemp for industrial bioproducts and biomass

Interest in hemp as a multi-purpose crop is growing worldwide and for the first time in 2015 it was cultivated in Europe on more than 20.000 ha as a dual-purpose crop, for the seeds and for the fibre. In the present study, fibre and seed productivity of 14 commercial cultivars were tested in four contrasting European environments (Latvia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy). At full flowering, the stem yield ranged from 3.7 Mg ha -1 to 22.7 Mg ha -1 , the bast fibre content ranged from 21% to 43%, and the bast fibre yield ranged from 1.3 Mg ha -1 to 7.4 Mg ha -1 . When harvesting was postponed from full flowering until seed maturity, the stem yield of monoecious cultivars significantly increased but in dioecious cultivars it decreased at all tested sites, except for Italy. Only the early cultivars Fedora 17 and Markant produced seed in the most northern location Latvia. The seed yield ranged from 0.3 Mg ha -1 to 2.4 Mg ha -1 in Italy, France and the Czech Republic. The cultivar effect on stem and seed yield was mainly determined by the genetic variation in time of flowering. Stem yield at full flowering was strictly related to the duration of the vegetative phase while seed yield was lowest in the late flowering cultivar. The late cultivar CS is suitable for stem and fibre production as it had the highest stem yield at full flowering in all locations. Both Fedora 17 and Futura 75 are candidate cultivars for dual-purpose production in Italy, France and the Czech Republic, with Fedora 17 being more suitable for seed production and Futura 75 for fibre production.The application of modelling to design production strategies for dual-purpose hemp is promising. However, accurate parameterisation is needed based on large data sets and diverse genetic background.

T1 – Comparing hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivars for dual-purpose production under contrasting environments

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