A budding trade: Industrial cannabis is booming in China

Hemp stocks reach an all-time high
The Economist (UK)
Thursday, April 4, 2019

The hemp plant has a history in China. It was probably twisted into the world’s first rope there around 2,800BC. Since its cooler sister, marijuana, became legal for recreational use in Canada and many American states, industrial-use hemp—a variety of cannabis that contains trivial amounts of weed’s mind-altering substance, THC—is flourishing in a country that until a few years ago banned its cultivation outright. China grows nearly half the world’s legal hemp. In 2018 sales, mostly of textile fibre made from the plant’s stalk, totalled $1.2bn. Now global demand for its seeds, leaves and flowers is surging. Packed with fulsome fatty acids, seeds go into snacks and oil. Leaves and flowers contain cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound that reduces anxiety and inflammation.