Let me start by setting the record straight. HEMP and Marijuana are not one in the same. At best, they are first cousins from a family gene pool species known as cannabis. The key difference between the two is that marijuana will typically contain between 5% – 15% (delta-9 TetraHydroCannabinol) or THC for short. That’s the psychoactive hallucinogenic ingredient that makes you high when you smoke –“toke-toke-toke; take it to the head”- marijuana. There are practically no THC’s in Industrial Hemp, which registers at less than 1% THC. Smoke a Hemp joint, and you’ll probably end up with a throbbing headache. And – No munchies side effects whatsoever-
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Hemp has a deep and rich history with humans that extend back some 10,000 years or so. It happens to be one of the oldest industries known to mankind. During the 17th century American farmers in Connecticut, Virginia and Massachusetts were ordered…not requested…ORDERED by law to grow Indian hemp on their farmland. By the early parts of the 18th century you could actually receive a jail sentence, literally due time in jail if you were found guilty of NOT growing hemp on your land!!!
That’s not all my friend! For the first 200 years of our glorious country’s formation, colonial Americans could use hemp as a legal currency. They could even use hemp to pay their taxes! Talk about the Good Old Days!!!
So how is it that a country as powerful as the United States, who’s people are rich with knowledge, have freedoms to communicate openly; if not always wisely, and govern themselves for the betterment of humanity: how is it that we who hunger daily for the truth from the likes of Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart, and possess an unwavering desire for “Green” products and renewable resources for our planet; have allowed the Power Of Hemp to remain dormant?
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
Well, since you asked so nicely, I’ll tell you. You see, much like the powerful politicians of today who cast laws that often times harm the people; and unchecked news media that sensationalize first…and fact check later; it was even worse in the early and mid 1900’s. You generally had one source of information that everyone used. There wasn’t an ability to use “GOOGLE” to find the truth or Twitter and Facebook accounts from which you could at least ascertain an opinion. You TRUSTED your leaders to do their jobs, and to do the right things with your best interest at heart.
It was in the 1930’s that the U.S. government and the FOX NEWS media…. just kidding… FOX wasn’t born yet, began to disseminate outrageous lies to the American public about marijuana and the evils that would follow its use and abuse. They preached and published things like; (“Marijuana: The devil’s weed with roots in hell”, “Marijuana makes fiends of boys in 30 days”, “Reefer Madness”, etc.) Well needless to say all of that propaganda quickly led to a public outrage and the prohibition of Marijuana soon followed. All uses of it were banned in the United States under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Although some of the well-educated legislators fought to keep hemp separate from its evil twin by illustrating the differences, the feckless legislators were too large in numbers and deep in pockets, so hemp too was banned.
Even back then there were powerful lobbyist and special interest groups that wanted to suppress the truths regarding the “wonder-plant”. As is much the case in today’s society, when there is a chance for a few to make lots of money by spreading false truths; then so be it. Be damned the consequences of such a decision on the “47 percent” who scrape the bottom of the nation’s barrel to survive in some politician’s feeble minds.
The goal of the powerful individuals who primed and prodded their puppets to pass the hemp bill needed it to happen so that they could advance their new chemical and synthetic (nylon) fibers and plastics. They did what they needed to do in order to establish dominants for their competing products. Not to mention that the timber industry could really thrive once hemp was out of the way. You only have to think with your wallet to realize that hemp stood in the way of establishing the foundation for what are today’s billionaire clubs. So you see, that’s why hemp HAD TO GO!
They packaged hemp with Marijuana, enlisted the help of a few syndicated newspapers and purchasable town criers and viola. The seventy-fifth Congress held hearings and introduced the House Report #792 which became the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Hemp was only guilty by association with the cannabis family and the fact that it was too cheap for the average farmer to grow and thus making it impossible for corporations to make really big money.
SO JUST WHAT IS THIS HEMP THINGY?
Hemp is a fast growing, highly insect and disease resistant ecofriendly plant. Thus almost completely eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides to produce. Hemp doesn’t need a lot of space, nor does it need a lot of water like other plants to thrive. So you use less vital resources to produce your harvest while the density of the plants automatically choke out weeds and other stray vegetation. Industrial hemp can also be grown in a multitude of soil types. The average stalks can reach 15 – 17 feet tall in 70 – 90 days and be ready to have their bounty harvested. This growth cycle is similar to that of maize, or corn as we call it which takes 60 -100 days for harvest maturity in the proper climate.
Hemp, by far and away is the number one ecosystem friendly industrious producer on our great planet. A descent farmer could yield in the neighborhood of 10 tons per acre in approximately 3 – 4 months. Since this plant contains about 77% cellulose, which basically is the usable fibers in plants, it could replace our forest usage. Trees by contrast register around 60% cellulose and those 1,700 basis points in cellulose variance are a pretty big deal when making products.
In 1938 a Popular Mechanic’s article stated that hemp had the capability of creating over 25,000 different products by utilizing the oil, seed and fibers. That was well before we had access to the beautiful minds, technology and collaboration that we have today. Just think of the jobs and infrastructure that could be created by this one little plant today.
Look what “hydraulic fracking” did for North Dakota and the oil industry before we got the wonderful relief in gas prices and the industry began to falter. If you ask me, the prices came down because the booming industry in America gave pause to the foreign nations who depend on our generosity of purchasing their oil. But that’s another discussion. Although there were a tremendous amount of jobs and infrastructure during the boom, the dangers of fracking are well documented and observed. The biggest danger with hemp is perhaps an oil spill from a plant that is extracting the plant’s seeds for its oil for bio-diesel fuel conversion. You know what an oil spill from a Hemp bio-diesel conversion plant would be called??? It’s called FERTILIZER! I’ll tell you why later in this article.
Hemp is actually used in other countries of the world. Our Canadian neighbors have enjoyed and thrived using this wonder product. Today you can purchase Nutiva Organic Hempseed Oil from Canada on Amazon. One tablespoon will provide you with 500mg of Omega-6 GLA and 250mg of Omega-3 SDA along with other Omega supplements. You health freaks out there know what I’m talking about. I’ll provide additional alimentary factors later in the article. Other countries too enjoy the fruits of the hemp labor in industries such as fabric, food, bio-diesel fuel, paper, plastics, rope, building materials, molded panels, car components, wallpaper, acoustic baffling and much…much more.
At onetime in our not so distant past, 85 percent of all rope, twine, cordage, ship sails, canvas, cloth, shoes, rugs…etc. were made out of U.S. certified hemp fibers. Then, as I mentioned earlier, in 1935 along came a little startup company that is now one of the most rich and powerful chemical corporations in the world. It has been said that they, along with other cotton growing, tree farming, oil drilling cohorts, lobbied the government and “greased enough palms” to put the kibosh on the use of hemp fiber in favor of their newly discovered petrochemical (nylon) fibers. The rest, as we say, was HISTORY.
Hemp’s usage to make clothing creates nothing short of a Super Fabric! Get this. Un-dyed hemp fabric will not rot, shrink, stink nor will it fade in direct sunlight. It is naturally anti-microbial, anti-mildew, naturally UV resistant and readily takes on eco-safe plant-based dyes. You can blend hemp fibers with cotton, silk, bamboo, spandex and other natural and manmade fibers to make a wide variety of fabrics with various attractive properties. It is also an efficient insulator keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. Hello Under Armour, Nike, The North Face????
Are you starting to see a pattern here? If something that we consume daily by the mega-tons can be made to lasts longer, be cheaper to make and is more ecofriendly to the environment than what is dominantly used in our society today, there must be something wrong…. RIGHT? Not necessarily. The economy is hooked on a drug and frankly we’re all caught up in the viscous cycle. You’re darn right it’s NOT FAIR! But we can’t just be outraged, point our fingers and say that it’s their fault, those rich Wall Street one percenters. We’ll all pitch some tents and expect tomorrow to be different.
You’re a compassionate, understanding human being; right? Look at it through their rose colored, Armani, diamond encrusted glasses. If you were a major shareholder or Board member of a giant corporation employing thousands or millions of people with your inferior products, would you vote to change? Could you in good conscious shut down factories, layoff workers and allow some cheap wanna-be product to come in and demand a seat at the table? It’s bad for big businesses that thrive on our need to replace inferior and watered down products regularly, which has fed their need for greed for decades.
But that’s exactly why we HAVE to change! Doing the WRONG things, even for the seemingly right reasons has done nothing but keep all of us locked in a stalemate with our economic and civilization’s demise. Power and corruption doesn’t last in people…powerful and corrupted ideas do! Let us not be led into temptation, but deliver us from evil, as life is not for long, but to be longed for. Stay thirsty my friend.
Talk about Long-lasting
I recently read an article that stated somewhere in Sichuan China they found a 2000-year-old hemp-rope toupee. My man’s secondary hair was still kicking it. I guess they use to feel the need to “strut their stuff” back then as well. Some people believe that it was the use of hemp in the rigging of the parachute that saved the life of George Bush Sr. when he hurled himself from his burning plane.
Hemp has a whole bastion of fantastic fabric properties. From the softening of the material after each wash; to the minuscule fabric degradation you see year after year even with constant use. When compared to cotton it comes out way ahead, and yet our nation refuses to do the right thing. Hemp is a much safer crop to grow than cotton. Cotton has the propensity to damage the soil and needs an abundance of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides to produce usable fibers. Cotton occupies about 1% of our country’s farmland and yet uses over 50% of all pesticides. Not to mention that it uses some of the most toxic and hazardous chemicals available today. 1 acre of hemp will produce as much usable fibers as 3 acres of cotton.
“Just The Facts Ma’am!”
Did I happen to mention that hemp is also flame retardant, it’s 4 times more water absorbent than cotton, 3 times the tensile strength of cotton and many times more durable than cotton. So what the heck is it with the choice to use cotton over hemp? It’s the very same reason that we don’t see more 60+ mpg automobiles on the road today. Industry hasn’t told us that we want/need it yet, so only a few of us branch out on our own to enjoy now what will be the inevitable future.
When we collectively demand something, then businesses will supply it. Because there are so few suppliers at the moment for hemp, the charge for the retailers to produce products touting hemp’s beneficial factors are cost prohibitive at the moment. Although I bet if the Kardashians wore hemp-based products, the whole wide world would change to hemp overnight. Love’em or hate’em, that’s a powerful family empire Kris Kardashian-Jenner has created and that I admire.
But we can change all of that. Not the Kardashians, sticks with me on the hemp issue here will ya? We have the power of 10 generations before us. With our ability to congeal, focus and commit ourselves to a cause: we all can once again be a part of a thriving Hemp Nation!
DID SOMEONE SAY GREEN?
Need more convincing? Get this! We all talk about saving the forests and preserving trees and yet the average American uses about 750 pounds of paper each year. Much of it wasted down the toilets as excess tissue and wiping down countertops and dirty faces with paper towels. Don’t look around; I’m talking about you. That adds up to about 190 billion pounds of paper being used each and every year in the United States. It takes 4 acres of trees to match the paper production capabilities of just 1 acre of Hemp. Not to mention the fact that the hemp can be harvested every season, whereas it takes on average 15 – 20 years to grow a tree from sapling to harvest size.
Hemp paper is stronger, acid free and costs about half as much to process as it does tree paper. Wood based paper can be recycled about 2 times before it really starts to lose its integrity. Hemp paper on the other hand can be recycled as much as 10 times before you need to introduce additional virgin fibers to equal the same consistency.
The King James Bible (17th C.) originally was printed on hemp-based papers. So were the first two drafts of our very own Declaration of Independence in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson. Hemp stalks can be used to produce fiberboard, insulation, carpet, cement blocks, concrete, stucco, mortar and a substitute for fiberglass. Hemp oil is extracted from the hemp seeds and can be used to produce plastics, oil based paints, varnishes, inks, solvents, lubricants, putty and various coatings.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, the hemp seed is edible. Of the 3 million plus edible plants that grow on Earth, no other plant source can compare to the pure nutritional value of hempseeds. Hempseeds are an excellent 3:1 ratio balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which promote cardiovascular health. They are also extremely high in gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid found in borage oil and egg yolks that has been proven naturally to balance hormones. Scientist have documented 7 of the most highly health benefits of Hemp:
- Control inflammation and strengthen the immune system
- Fiber and heart health
- Reduce muscle contractions and regulate body temperature
- Alleviate Arthritis and Rheumatism
- Promotes healthy hair, skin and nails
- Promotes regular bowel movements
- Reduces the risk of several deadly Cancers
DRIVING MISS HEMP
About 14 years ago, some industrious engineers took a Mercedes Benz station wagon and converted the diesel engine to run on Industrial hemp bio-diesel. This vehicle was then driven some 13,000 miles while touring some 50 cities in North America. It was powered solely by 600 gallons of hemp bio-diesel fuel, which is made from the stalk of the hemp plant. The exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide were reduced by 47%. Now, understand that this was an example done 14 years ago, in technology terms that would put you back in the 1960’s. Using a Mercedes Benz Station Wagon, which is a very large and very heavy automobile. Imagine the mileage in a smaller, lighter more technologically advanced car of today.
Bio-diesel made from hemp degrades 85 – 88 percent in water in about 28 days. No EPA clean up issues for a spill or closing a fuel station. Any CO2 released from burning hemp as fuel matches the CO2 the plant had beneficially taken from the environment wile growing, creating what is called a closed carbon cycle that would definitely slow down the effects of global climate change.
So again I ask you.
O brother & sister, Where Art Thou Hemp?
It awaits our group effort to join forces and protect what is right; versus holding onto what has been wrong oh so many years. The politicians need to hear our roar and obey our wishes. Because politicians are genuinely interested in people, not that this is always a virtue: because fleas are genuinely interested in dogs and that doesn’t always work in the dog’s favor.
All jokes aside. We need to conserve water…like yesterday. Allowing hemp to again become a fabric in our society will benefit ALL of us in a material way and help to preserve our future. Have you seen what’s happening in California with the drought and water concerns?
You there, in your snug, comfortable home in Kentucky. Yeah you! Thanks for reading the article, but if you don’t think that you will be impacted where you live by what’s going on way over there in California, think again. We will all suffer along with Californians as they control the lion share of our fruit and vegetable production and there will indeed be other states that will soon join in their misery regarding the drought. It has been said that water will become the next oil and I for one see it coming as well.
So I say to you, connect with and be a part of the movement to encourage our legislatures to “JUST DO RIGHT!”. This is OUR life, this is OUR world! No one expects more for himself or herself than they deserve, but everyone has to stop accepting less than RIGHT! Don’t leave this Earth without at least trying your best to make it a better place, now and forever more.
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