Hemp is a related yet uniquely different cannabis plant that has literally thousands of uses. Unlike its close relative marijuana, hemp will not get you high and does not have any psychoactive properties. Instead, this highly versatile plant has been used by civilizations for centuries for products, health foods, fabrics and more.
Hemp May Be Cannabis, But It Is Not “Marijuana”
Known as cannabis sativa, it grows tall and long, and according to some historical accounts, it is one the earliest crops mankind was able to farm. Hemp produces less than 1% of THC, the active chemical in marijuana that gets users high. Instead it produces the non-psychoactive chemical CBD, which is highly effective in treating diseases like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. In fact, the CBD it produces blocks any THC it may have, making it impossible for someone to get high from using it.
Hemp may not be useful in getting high, but it has a plethora of other uses that make its restrictive use in the United States of America difficult to understand. Just last year (2014), President Barack Obama signed a federal law in order to remove the restrictions on farming hemp. Given the success of many hemp industries around the world, it only makes sense that more research into the usefulness of hemp should take place. Especially considering the fact that from 1797 to 1937 hemp was a popular American crop and textile that was praised by past US Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Hemp Yields More Fiber Per Acre Than Trees
So what’s the big deal about hemp anyway? Hemp is a very versatile renewable product that can be used to make holistic health products like hemp seed, flour, bread and oil, as well as fibers, cosmetics, construction materials, clothing, paper, medicine and so much more. In a nutshell, hemp is exactly what the US needs to help move toward a more green and socially responsible society.
Hemp is not only beneficial for yielding products; it has far reaching effects in society as a whole. Removing the restrictions on farmers to produce hemp will open up a brand new stream of income for farmers, create jobs, and reduce the need for Americans to purchase hemp materials elsewhere. The hemp industry could open up new opportunities for businesses and commodities in the US economy.
Hemp Can Be Used As Fuel For Vehicles and Help Our Economy As Well
Not only is it useful in producing other products, it is very cost effective to grow and requires no pesticides, very little water, and produces more per acre than cotton. Were it not for the war on drugs, hemp would be a household product. Even without cultivation, wild hemp grows plentifully throughout the US. If America began to substitute hemp fiberboard for timber used to produce our paper and cardboard, we could reduce the amount of trees we cut down and the negative impact it has on our forests and ecosystems in the wild.
Using hemp in our everyday lives, Americans would become less dependent on chemical-ridden items that harm our environment, and us as well as learn how to properly use it to reduce some of the harmful effects we’ve already caused.