Hemp is a variant of cannabis that contains less than 1% of THC. THC is the type of cannabinoid that has the ability to produce psychedelic effect. Hemp has been used for different purposes including manufacturing of fabric, paper, fuel, wax etc. This variant of cannabis over the last years has been used for BJJ gis. One of the main characteristics of hemp fabric is that it is breathable and antimicrobial. Being a porous fabric, it is more comfortable to use for rolling in contrast to cotton. Also, one of its main selling points is that  it has the ability to fight off staph and other common problems that we encounter on the mats.

Hemp You Say? Not so fast.

Why Hemp?

In terms of cultivation, cotton requires 1400 gallons of water for every pound produced. In contrast to hemp, this requires only half of it. In terms of strength and reliability, hemp can grow faster and could be more durable in contrast to cotton. Also, hemp can be produced 200%-250% more fiber given the same land area. It also doesn’t require too many pesticides, and you could harvest hemp in a matter of 4 months. In short, it is economical, not to mention greener.

There are only a few countries all over the world that produce hemp fabrics used for gis. I personally had the opportunity to talk to a gi company owner, and he mentioned the hassle of getting it from China, including the price tag that it has.  Given the these factors, only a few companies make use of hemp material on their gis.

Spotting a Fake Hemp Gi

One of the premier brands that used hemp was Datsusara Gear. Built in 2007, they specialized mainly on MMA gears like bags. Since 2008s, they were able to develop hemp gis. They also worked hand in hand with brands like OTM with their line of hemp gis.

Recently, Christopher Odell from Datsusara released two videos that tackled how to spot a fake BJJ hemp gi.  They showcased gis from Datsusara Gear and Submission Fight Company, and Christopher Odell of Datsusara pointed out that definitely, SubmissionFC is using non-hemp material for their hemp gis, based on the burn test.

Also, they had the SubmissionFC gi tested and the result coincided with the burn test. In fact, more surprisingly, no trace of hemp was found on the gis.

Is Submission FC Aware?

After a stir regarding the fake hemp gis that they were selling, they finally admitted on their blog that they were actually selling fake hemp gis. They mentioned, however, that they were also victims in this whole mess putting the blame on the factory that supplied them with the supposed hemp gis.

According to them they are going to do the following:

1. Remove any hemp advertising
2. Source new tags with accurate labeling to replace current gi tags
3. Lab test all current and future products
4. Make sure previous customers are satisfied

Also, they mentioned that:
“If you have purchased any of our "hemp" gear within the past 12 months and are unsatisfied with the product, please email us with a copy of your receipt to cs@submissionfc.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.” 
Why would the Submission Fight Company test the content of their hemp gi too late in the game? They mentioned that they just tested it beginning of March, when they were selling gis for how long now? This simply shows that they do not have any idea what their product is if not for all these efforts made by guys from Datsusara Gear. Also, Christopher Odell warned the company twice in the forums about this scenario. One in March of 2013 and another in September of 2013.