You have likely heard about the struggle between states and the federal government regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp. But, did you know that hemp barely has any resemblance to the marijuana plant for which it is associated? They both come from the same species of cannabis plant, but the hemp variety has absolutely no psychoactive properties.
Hemp does however, have a great deal of value as a sustainable crop offering seeds, oil, fiber, and so much more. Hemp can be used to make textiles, clothing, paper, many building materials and even food. What industrial hemp can be used for is incredible in its scope and mind-blowing due to the fact that currently (according to federal law) it is illegal to grow it in the United States.
Therefore, all the goodness associated with this crop must be purchased from overseas. It’s sad because it only has a 12 to 14 week growing cycle, and only one acre of hemp could replace 4.1 acres of trees for fiber pulp used in making paper. Thankfully, you can still use hemp and benefit from its wonderful healthful properties in your own life by purchasing hemp products as they become available.
History of Hemp
Hemp can be used to make food, fuel and fiber. It grows easily, super fast, and is considered a highly sustainable crop. It is, in fact, one of the oldest crops known to man with records indicating that cultivation of hemp is more than 10,000 years old. Coming a little closer to our own lifetimes, hemp was once legal tender in the USA to use for paying taxes. Hemp cultivation was crucial during World War II with hemp farmers being exempt from military service.
Hemp can be used for many different things throughout history:
- Food Products
- Bio Fuel Products
- Beauty Products
- Car Fuel
- Toilet Paper
- Jewelry and much more…
Currently, it is illegal to grow hemp in the U.S. because during the Hoover administration certain people believed hemp was a danger to their private enterprises. So they did what people often do; they spent a lot of money on an educational campaign and lobbying efforts to outlaw hemp cultivation in the U.S. by linking it to the high THC marijuana variety of cannabis, and noting that marijuana growers could hide their crops among industrial hemp since the plants resemble one another quite a bit.
Unfortunately, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t permit the growth of industrial hemp, although some states are starting to legalize it anyway. Time will tell whether or not hemp will eventually be grown legally in the U.S., as it currently is in the rest of the industrialized world. Regardless of legality and politics, no one can deny the benefits of hemp and the products that come from hemp. Hemp is a safe and sustainable product full of benefits for humans, nature and society.
Benefits of Hemp as Food
In spite of the dicey history of the plant, there are many environmental benefits associated with the ease and speed in which it grows. It could replace many textiles, paper products, building materials and fuels that are currently bad for the environment. There are many different products you can derive from industrial hemp, and food is among one of the most exciting, due to the many health benefits being discovered.
• High in Plant Based Protein – The slow moving protein provided by hemp helps keep blood sugar under control and aids in keeping you more satisfied after a meal.
• High in Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids – Due to the pollution in our oceans, finding a plant based source of important Omega fatty acids is essential. These fatty acids reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, maintain bone health and regulate metabolism.
• Contains Essential Amino Acids – The building blocks of all your muscles, cells, tissues and organs need to have enough essential amino acids available to help ward off age-related mental diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Known to be one of the most, if not the most, nutritional and beneficial seeds on the planet, hemp is a good source of protein, amino acids, omega fatty acids, as well as magnesium, potassium and fiber. It also has many of the vitamins that your body needs to function and stay healthy.