What Does Hemp Biomass Actually Mean?

Many companies, when referring to the biomass actually mean ‘the dried hemp flower’.


Many companies, when referring to the biomass actually mean ‘the dried hemp flower’. That’s because they are trying to sell the hemp. However, that’s not the correct definition. Biomass in actually refers to the stalk and bud of hemp (after extraction). It is the non-food plant matter which is convertible into fuel hence, it is regarded as a renewable source of energy.

Biomass can come from corn and hemp stalk residue. Even wheat straws, seed hull, woody biomass, and coconut husks qualify to be called biomass. All of these are highly distinguished from hemp seed, hemp flower, and wheat kernels.

Lignocellulosic biomass which is basically the organic matter comprising of lignin, hemicellulose, biomass, and cellulose – is often used exchangeably with a wide range of plant-based material.

If you speak in terms of municipal solid waste streaming – the term ‘green waste’ or ‘biomass’ actually implies food residuals. So, in a way, it is colloquial with waste streams.

Biomass Subsequent Materials

A lot of companies and industrial hemp farms that sell biomass turn it into 3 subsequent materials:

  • Lignin (20% of the stalk)
  • Cellulose ( pulp and fiber)
  • Sugar (glucose and xylose are 2 major sugar forms extracted from the stalk)

These immediate subsequent materials form the very foundation for a plant-based economy. And each of these materials gives a jumping off point for the creation and formulation of tons of bio-products which are differentiated from products based on fossil. Hemp Industry, therefore, needs to be more specific when talking about the hemp plant and its major parts.

For instance, dried CBD bud is actually the dried bud fraction and flower part without the stalk and with a minimal stem. If we further go into details about cannabis plant, below are some major distinctions between different parts –

  1. THC-rich, pot, or marijuana rich varieties in contrast to Low THC / high CBD  cannabis products.
  2. 3 major fractions, namely – seeds, flowers, and stalk without roots.
  3. Products like seed oil, fiber, cannabinoid extract.

Below Examples Should Make Things Clear

Suppose there is a broker who wants to buy hemp cannabis for making CBD-rich products. He would write something like – “Need a ton per month supply of dried CBD flower; specifically with high CBD (at least 6%) and low THC (0.1-0.3%) strain.”

Somebody who grows hemp cannabis would state – “Available 5,000 pounds of supply every month for so and so period. 80% dry low-THC and high CBD. Grown in Michigan in organic soil. Auto-II and Cherry Wine cultivars also available for delivery in 300-pound polybags.”

A processor of hemp might have a request along the lines of – “Needing ten tons of dried hemp stalk for milling hemp pellets. Can accept fiber and cannabis seed varieties but cannabinoid cultivars like CBDs and marijuana-variety stalks are not acceptable. Delivery preferred in round bales but small square bales also accepted. The material should be free from grit and mold. It should be at least 85% dry.

The term biomass should ideally be referred to the non-medicinal, non-food parts of this plant; primarily stems, stalk, and leaves.

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