Importance of Hemp: The Underrated Natural Resource

An article written by: Lee Sonogan

Image result for hemp

“Industrial hemp is a very useful plant. I challenged the attorney general to get rid of the criminal stigma associated with hemp so we can look at it in terms of how it might be useful.” – Jesse Ventura

It is almost mind boggling to know what the benefits of hemp can do. For thousands of years it has been used tp create products of all kinds. But for a long time it has been unjustly banned for use. And there has been a history of legality of industrial hemp that varies between countries. Hemp is commonly known to be associated with the drug cannabis. Coming from the same sativa plant, they are very different in its uses and components. The purpose of this article is to remove the stigma that hemp has and encourage people to have an understanding of the potential of this natural resource.

First I will explain the legal and scientific differences of hemp and cannabis. Your lungs will fail before your brain attains any high from smoking industrial hemp. So that eliminates any concerning dangers of the resource. While cannabis has high concentrations of the psychoactive component THC (terahydrocannabinol), hemp has very low concentrations of THC (<0.3%) while the high concentrations of CBD (cannabidiol) in it decreases or eliminates the psychoactive effects. In current times laws on growing CBD cannabis plants have been changing just like THC plants.

Countries that still ban hemp and cannabis for recreational, medical and cultivation use completely:
  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Armenia
  • Bahamas
  • Chad
  • China
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Fiji
  • Iceland
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • And many many more while other countries just plain do not enforce while they do have laws about it.

Let’s begin with the many positives/benefits of hemp. It has the potential to improve the environment, the economy, sustainability/quality of products, end poverty, create energy resources, and more to explain. We would not have to cut down an another tree if we all decided to mass produce hemp. Hemp fields grow ten or more times faster than a forest. Within 4 month of being planted. This process would avoid erosion of topsoil due to logging and save natural wildlife. Other then growing THC cannabis, hemp requires minimal care and is adaptable to grow in most climates. To really help out all our farmers, they should be able to grow it and process at their farms for other uses.

We can build cars with hemp. Please refer to the video below to watch about Henry Fords car made of hemp 3 times are durable compare to what we make cars out of today. Hemp has shown to be able to absorb toxic metals. It was used at the Chernobyl radioactive aftermath and was found to remove dangerous chemicals left in the soil better than any other plant. Hemp in a product in most products makes it non-toxic, rot-free, pest-free, mold free and also fire resistant. They are also completely biodegradable. Potentially products made with hemp could last up to 500 years.

Hemp is also very good for you health. In Australia last year they allowed CBD cannabis seed into some food products. The hemp seeds contain an oil that is rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Full of omega-3, protein, fibre, 6 fatty acids and more these minerals and vitamins are also found in breast milk. Compounds in hemp are comparable to meat, milk, eggs and soy. The seeds can also be turned into oil or flour. While food for humans it can also be turned into bio-fuel methane. Hemp can be blended with diesel fuel in any ratio or used alone.

Fun facts about hemp:
  • All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s.
  • It was legal to pay taxes with hemp in America from 1631 until the early 1800s.
  • The War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow’s export to England.
  • The word ‘canvas’ comes from the Middle English word “canevas” which comes from the Latin word cannabis.
  • 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc., were made from hemp until the 1820s, with the introduction of the cotton gin.
  • Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.
  • There have been strong testimonies online, where people have cured and survived cancer using only 70 grams of hemp. Myth or Not?
  • The word “marihuana” (now marijuana) was coined in the 1890s, but not used until the 1930s by the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics (replaced by the DEA) to refer to all forms of cannabis.

In conclusion, it is said that hemp has over 30,000 uses. That is 30,000 uses we are not using.  Hemp can replace plastic, fiberglass and other material in composite panels. If I had land I would grow hemp with the appropriate license and requirements. 1 acre of usable hemp fiber is equal to the usable fiber of 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton. With this logical understanding of hemp and how it could be used more, I believe the more it is used the better. If used maybe we could replace some environmental friendly methods we used today that some people do not like.

“Growing hemp as nature designed it is vital to our urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases and ensure the survival of our planet.” – Jack Herer

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