I have a confession to make. It’s embarrassing but going back a few years, I was quite suspicious of anything Hemp. I was of course, void of any real knowledge, had plenty of preconceived ideas and assumptions. I thought that anyone who had anything to do with hemp, smoked it and wanted to grow it to be able to smoke it. So very ignorant and stupid was I. So I know better now, much better. I had no idea about Hemp and what a brilliant plant it is.
Here’s a little of what I have learnt about Hemp.
Hemp and Marijuana are both – Cannabis Sativa L. Hemp contains only about 0.3% – 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids) which is the psychoactive ingredient. Marijuana is what’s used for drugs and it has THC levels of 10% or more THC. Hemp, apart from having extremely low levels of THC also contains CBD (Cannabidiol ) which in fact is the anti psychoactive ingredients that works against any THC. In other words, Hemp cannot be used as a drug.
Marijuana and Hemp, look and grow very differently. Hemp is very tall and stalky as high as 25 feet so you can’t hide the small and very bushy Marijuana plants in a Hemp plantation. Actually, a Hemp farmer doesn’t want to be any where near a Marijuana plantation because it will cross pollinate. It will inhibit new seeds and the crop will not perform the following year.Hemp fibre is the longest, strongest and most durable of all natural fibres. Hemp cultivation requires no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. Grown in rotation with other crops such as corn and legumes, hemp farming is completely sustainable. Hemp produces four times as much fibre per acre as pine trees. Hemp tree-free paper can be recycled up to seven times, compared with three times for pine-pulp based papers. Hemp is easy to grow, and actually conditions soil where it grows. The seed and seed-oil are high in protein, essential fatty and amino acids, and vitamins. Hemp would be an ideal source of biomass for fuel, and hemp Ethanol burns very cleanly.
Hemp and humanity have been linked for over 10,000 years. Hemp was our first agricultural crop, and remained the planet’s largest crop and most important industry until late last century. Most of the non-Western world never stopped growing hemp, and today hemp for commercial use is grown mostly by China, Hungary, England, Canada,France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, India and throughout Asia. Hemp is also grown in Australia but it is against the law to consume the seeds or the oil which makes no sense to me.