Industrial Hemp in Today’s Environment: Uses of Cannabis sativa in History and Today’s Prohibition

Hemp and delta 8 flower cart is the fiber grown from the annual herb Cannabis sativa. Traditionally, it was grown for rope-making throughout Europe, China, India and Russia. It is one of the earliest known cultivated plants. The oldest printed paper still in existence dates to 770 AD, made entirely of hemp and the oldest textile fragment dates to 8000 BC found in Turkey.

Industrial Uses of Hemp

The plant grows to 15 feet, but the fibres used for rope-making are 3 to 6 feet long. Hemp is favored for its strength and durability, perfect for rigging on ships. Flax has similar qualities and is often incorporated in rope-making. Hemp has many industrial uses that include paper-making, textiles, plastics, fuel and health food.

Hemp for Health

As a health food, the seed contains all the essential fatty acids and amino acids the body needs. Its uses in foods are numerous. The seeds can be eaten raw, added to baked goods, cereals and waffles – even ice cream.

Hemp and the Environment

Hemp is important to a green environment because it does not need pesticides or herbicides to grow into a healthy plant. It has characteristics that control erosion of the topsoil and it produces oxygen having a positive affect on the environment. Hemp can actually replace some environmentally harmful products in the industries of cosmetics and plastics which use petroleum and break down slowly in landfill sites.

Legal Cultivation of Hemp

Canada and the European Union issue licenses for the growing of hemp. For these purposes it is known as industrial hemp. Canada, France and China are major producers of industrial hemp. The United States is the only industrialized nation to keep it on their ban list and there is a growing argument to change this, especially since there are more hemp-based products imported into the USA than any other country. The US government has yet to distinguish between non-narcotic industrial hemp and marijuana.

Hemp in US History

Hemp has a long history of use in the United States. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper as well the the Constitution. In the ’40s Henry Ford used hemp-based plastic in the body of his automobiles and those same cars were fueled with hemp-based ethanol. The U.S.S. Constitution used 40 tons of rigging made from hemp and in 1942, the United States had a “Hemp for Victory” campaign, promoting hemp’s multitude of uses.

Until the Dupont Factory began to produce nylon, hemp was used in canvas, sail, rope, webbing and twine – all manufactured in the USA.

Prohibition of Hemp

Today, the US Department of Justice believes the prohibition on hemp should remain. The fear, according to law enforcement is that narcotic hemp will be grown in the fields along with industrial hemp. However, there is a marked difference between the two and cross-pollination would likely make it impossible.

According to the naysayers, it’s a green product that could put a lot of non-green industries out of business making the prohibition about economy rather than a war on drugs. There are a number of environmental groups who want to bring the cultivation of industrial hemp back to the US.

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