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Thread: hemp revealed
02-28-2006, 12:14 PM #1
Hemp - Revealed
It's sad how asparagus is misunderstood. And brussel sprouts? They never get the respect they deserve. But perhaps the most misunderstood member of the vegetable family is hemp. You know, it's the fabric that Betsy Ross made the first American flag from and the crop that our first President, George Washington grew. But hemp has gotten a bad rap due to its more well known and notorious cousin, marijuana.
Hemp, in my humble opinion, is very possibly the solution to several world problems including deforestation, starvation and pollution. It flourishes in a variety of conditions and is incredibly disease resistant. Hemp requires fewer pesticides and herbicides than conventionally grown cotton. Hemp stalk contains some of the softest fibers found on Earth. It's rich in cellulose, making its fiber longer, and stronger, more absorbent and better insulating than cotton fibers. Hemp is the oldest cultivated fiber plant in the world.
Less than 1% THC
Hemp, or Cannabis sativa L, contains less than 1% THC - the component of marijuana that can cause psychoactive effects on the human brain. Over 600,000 acres of hemp are grown worldwide with no misuse problem. According to David West, PhD, "The THC levels in industrial hemp are so low that no one could ever get high from smoking it. Moreover, hemp contains a relatively high percentage of another cannabinoid, CBD, which actually blocks the marijuana high. Hemp, it turns out, is not only not marijuana; it could be called 'anti-marijuana'."
Here are a few of the over 25,000 uses of industrial hemp:
Hemp seed oil contains the highest amount of fatty acids in the plant kingdom. It's highly nutritious and the by-product of hemp seed oil production is high quality protein seed cake - perfect for use in cakes, breads, casseroles, etc.
Hemp seed protein is one of the finest, most complete and well assimilated vegetable proteins. You'll find it a lot in high quality nutrition/energy bars.
The usable fiber in one acre of hemp is equivalent to 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton.
Plantation grown trees felled to make paper take 7 years to grow, while hemp can be cultivated in only 100 days and yields 4 times more paper over a 20 year period.
Hemp paper can be recycled 7 times - wood pulp only 4.
Hemp particleboard may be up to 2 times stronger than wood particleboard and holds nails better.
Until 1883, 75-90% of all paper in the world was made from hemp fiber and used to make books, bibles, maps, paper money, stocks and bonds, newspapers, etc. including the original copies of the Declaration of Independence.
Hemp clothing is soft, durable and breathes.
Almost any product made from wood, cotton or petroleum (including plastic) can be made from hemp.
Did you know that in 1941 Henry Ford built a plastic car made of fiber from hemp and wheat straw? Hemp plastic is biodegradable while synthetic plastic is not.
One acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees, making hemp a logical replacement material for pressed board and concrete construction molds.
Throughout history, hemp has been used for carpet backing. It has the potential to make strong, fire resistant and rot resistant carpet - eliminating the poisonous fumes of synthetic carpet once ignited as well as eliminating chemical sensitivities in affected individuals.
Opposition Still Exists
Despite the amazing applications of hemp including historical and modern use, opposition is still strong. Opponents of hemp production claim that hemp fields will be used to hide marijuana plants, however, this is unlikely as cross-pollination between hemp and marijuana plants would significantly reduce marijuana's potency. Other countries have caught on. Our enlightened friends in Canada legalized industrial hemp production in 1998 and set a limit of 0.3% THC content that may be present in the plants and require that all seeds be certified for THC content.
So, what the heck are we waiting for?
For State and Federal legislators to educate themselves, come to their senses, take action and make hemp production happen. So far, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia have all passed initial laws to, at a minimum, conduct research on the cultivation of industrial hemp. At least it's a start.
What can you do?
Buy hemp. You'll find it available in everyday products such as backpacks, wallets, clothing, paper, personal care products and of course, hemp seed oil. Buying hemp sends a message.
Educate yourself - remember that knowledge is power. Pass that knowledge on to friends and family.
And lastly, the next time a friend asks if you smoked your hemp backpack lately simply laugh and spin the tale of Betsy Ross being so stoned while sewing the first American flag that she accidentally sewed on 15 stars instead of 13 and how George Washington wandered in while taking a break to snack (again) while tending his hemp fields and told her she had 3 stars too many. It took Thomas Jefferson to set things straight. Your friends will get the hint.
03-06-2006, 08:47 PM #2
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thanks. I use hemp products when I can. I particularly like the smell of hemp shampoos.
03-06-2006, 09:59 PM #3
Hemp lotion is my favorite. The brand that I use smells wonderful, like a combination of bananas and something else tropical that I can't quite put my finger (or nose ) on. I usually put it into a different bottle when I get home from the salon because it has a big ugly marijuana leaf on the front of the bottle .
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03-07-2006, 11:09 AM #4
Haha- the hemp lotion I have is the same way. I don't really care about the leaf on the bottle though- I just started using it in hopes that it would help DD's skin. Since the bath tub has been out of commission for about a month while the plumber tries to get it under control, she hasn't been able to have her vinegar baths. So I had to search out a new alternative, and I'm not a big fan of petroleum products, so I found the hemp lotion, and it smells fabulous, too. Seems to be working well.