For thousands of years hemp was used to make dozens of commercial products like paper, rope, canvas, and textiles.
Many years ago hemp was unjustly banned. However, hemp has recently been rediscoverd as a plant that has enormous environmental, economic, and commercial potential. What follows are some fascinating facts about hemp.
The potential of hemp for paper production is enormous. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, one acre of hemp can produce 4 times more paper than one acre of trees! All types of paper products can be produced from hemp: newsprint, computer paper, stationary, cardboard, envelopes, toilet paper, even tampons.
FACT: THERE IS NO TREE OR PLANT SPECIES ON EARTH CAPABLE OF PRODUCING AS MUCH PAPER PER ACRE AS HEMP! HEMP IS NUMBER ONE!
Paper production from hemp would eliminate the need to chop down BILLIONS of trees! MILLIONS of acres of forests and huge areas of wildlife habitat could be preserved.
Trees must grow for 20 to 50 years after planting before they can be harvested for commercial use. Within 4 months after it is planted, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall and it is ready for harvesting! Hemp can be grown on most farmland throughout the U.S, even in soil too poor to grow other agriculteral products. Forests require large tracts of land that are only available in few locations. Substituting hemp for trees would save forests and wildlife habitats and would eliminate erosion of topsoil due to logging. Reduction of topsoil erosion would also reduce pollution of lakes/rivers/streams.
Because fewer caustic and toxic chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees, hemp causes LESS POLLUTION!
Hemp can also be substituted for cotton to make textiles. Hemp fiber is 10 times stronger than cotton and can be used to make all types of clothing. Cotton grows only in warm climates and requires enormous amounts of water. Hemp requires little water and grows in all 50 states! There are now many stores in the U.S. that sell hemp-derived products such as clothing, paper, cheese, soap, ice cream, cosmetics, and hemp oil. Demand for these products is growing rapidly.
Hemp naturally repels weed growth and hemp has few insect enemies. This means hemp requires NO HERBICIDES and FEW or NO PESTICIDES!
Cotton requires enormous pesticide use. 50% of all pesticides used in the U.S. are used on cotton. Substituting hemp for cotton would drastically reduce pesticide usage!
Hemp produces twice as much fiber per acre as cotton! An area of land only 25 miles by 25 miles square (the size of a typical U.S. county) planted with hemp can produce enough fiber in one year to make 100 MILLION pair of denim jeans! A wide variety of clothing made from 100% hemp (pants, denim jeans, jackets, shoes, dresses, shorts, hats) is now available.
Building materials that substitute for wood can be made from hemp. These wood-like building materials are stronger than wood and can be manufactured cheaper than wood from trees. Using these hemp- derived building materials would reduce building costs and save even more trees!
Hemp seeds are a source of nutritious high-protien oil that can be used for human and animal consumption. Hemp oil is NOT intoxicating. Extracting protein from hemp is less expensive than extracting protein from soybeans. Hemp protein can be processed and flavored in any way soybean protein can. Hemp oil can also be used to make highly nutritious tofu, butter, cheese, salad oils, and other foods. Hemp oil can also be used to produce paint, varnish, ink, lubricating oils, and plastic susbstitues. Because 50% of the weight of a mature hemp plant is seeds, hemp could become a significant source for these products.
Most hemp-derived products are NONTOXIC, BIODEGRADABLE, and RENEWABLE!
Unlike virtually all hemp substitutes, growing hemp requires very little effort and very few resources. Most substitutes for hemp (sisal, kenaf, sugar cane) grow in limited geographical areas and none have the paper/fiber potential of hemp. Hemp can be grown in all 50 states!
Unlike many crops, hemp puts little strain on the soil and requires only moderate amounts of fertilizer. Less fertilizer use results in less runoff into waterways and groundwater; therefore, less water pollution.
Hemp produces more biomass than any plant that can be grown in the U.S. This biomass can be converted to fuel in the form of clean-burning alcohol, or no-sulphur man-made coal. Hemp has more potential as a clean and renewable energy source than any crop on earth! It is estimated that if hemp was widely grown in the U.S. for fuel/energy, it could supply 100% of all U.S. energy needs!
Hemp has dozens of proven medicinal uses. It's more effective, less toxic, and less expensive than alternative synthetic medicines currently used. A recent poll revealed that over 50% of U.S. physicians would prescribe it to their patients if it was legally available. People who suffer from arthritis, AIDS, rheumatism, leukimia, multiple sclerosis, cancer, glauocoma, and other ailments can benefit from hemp as medicine. But because of our insane laws, people in need of this medicine are denied it. Hemp is classified by the U.S. government along with marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medicinal value, a classification that is absolutely ludicrous!
Hemp for rope, lubricating oil, shoe material, and other materials was in such short supply during World War II that the U.S. government temporarily re-legalized hemp so U.S. farmers could grow it for the war effort. Hemp helped us win World War II! Hemp was a common crop that was grown legally in the U.S. for commercial use until 1937.
Hemp was NOT banned because it was a harmful drug. Hemp was banned because it was a competitive threat to the wood products industry and newly developed synthetic fibers that were patentable, and therefore more profitable than hemp. Corporations that profited from the demise of hemp propagated a smear campaign against hemp by lumping it together with marijuana and claiming that marijuana use was a major drug problem (it was not) and that marijuana use caused people to become extremely violent - another falsehood. Unfortunately, these false claims went unchallenged and Congress outlawed marijuana and hemp in 1937. Unfortunately, millions of Americans still believe the lies spread about marijuana/hemp.
On the eve of marijuana/hemp prohibition in the U.S., two articles about hemp appeared in major U.S. magazines. They were:
"The Most Profitable And Desireable Crop That Can Be Grown" From: Mechanical Engineering, February 26, 1937
"New Billion Dollar Crop" From: Popular Mechanics, February 1938
These articles reveal that hemp was on the verge of becoming a super crop because of new hemp processing technologies that were recently developed. Unfortunately, the potential of hemp was never reaped because of marijuana prohibition.
Hemp is legally grown for commercial use throughout much of Europe, India, China, Russia, Ukraine. In 1994 the Canadian government approved one experimental hemp field - its first legal hemp crop in 40 years. By 1995, there were 11 government-approved hemp fields in Canada! If the U.S. does not legalize hemp for commercial use, a significant economic and environmental opportunity will be lost and the benefits will be reaped only by our economic competitors.
Literally millions of wild hemp plants grow throughout the entire Midwest today. Wild hemp, like hemp grown for commercial use, is USELESS as an intoxicant. It makes no sense to ban growing a plant that has enormous economic and environmental potential, grows naturally by the millions, and is impossible to exterminate.
U.S. Presidents and founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, used hemp products, and were hemp advocates. Today's political leaders, as well as the public that favors marijuana/hemp prohibition, would treat George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with disdain, brand them criminals and throw them in prison!
FACT: NO TREE OR PLANT SPECIES ON EARTH HAS THE COMMERCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL POTENTIAL OF HEMP. OVER 30,000 KNOWN PRODUCTS CAN BE PRODUCED FROM HEMP!
"Make the most of the hemp seed, sow it everywhere." ~ George Washington, first president of the U.S. and hemp advocate.
HEAL THE SEPARATION
Written by CGA/R. West. Published by Warner Chappell Music
Time was when we lay together
But that was long before the fall
I feel the same way now as ever
Somehow the both of us were wrong
We have to heal the seperation
We need to know the hour is right
For us to heal the deep divide
And I can feel the affirmation
So real the revelation
To heal the seperation
Tide and time will shape the changes
That many moons will see bestowed
Stronger than we can imagine
Stranger than we can suppose
Heal the separation
End the prohibition, make it happen
Time to put things right to synergize to reunite
Remember who we are and where we come from
Undo the damage done the change has got to come
Be now as then as one.
Hemp is a fast-growing and versitile crop - yet growing it is banned in this country due to restrictive and misinformed 'drug laws'. This article illustrates what an important crop hemp could once again become if it's cultivation were to be encouraged.