Hemp: The Green Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Hemp is a wonderful plant that you might have heard of but pay little attention to. In fact, the ladies might know the wonders of hemp better than most.

To ensure everyone is up to speed on what this plant is and the circumstances surrounding it, let’s address that information right now. Hemp is a fibrous plant that has many industrial, agricultural, and health benefits. It is a part of the cannabis family, also known as marijuana. This is the core of the issue with hemp, it is lumped into the same category as drugs when in fact it is not possible to get “high” from ingesting hemp and consuming the plant will not cause a person to fail a drug test. This means that hemp was made illegal to grow in 1938, however it is legal the import it from other countries. This oddly makes very little sense.

The history of hemp has long been documented. The Declaration of Independence was originally drafted on hemp paper, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp and exchanged hemp seeds at Christmas, and there has even been times where the federal government mandated that farmers grow hemp in order to make ropes and sails for the navy, and uniforms for the military. It was one of the cash crops that helped the colonies get their economic starts in this country.

So what are the perks of hemp? For starters, it is the main ingredient in one of the best all-natural lotions out there. It rejuvenates, moisturizes, has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps maintain healthy skin; and since the plant is so easy to grow, it has the ability to also be far cheaper than body care products. It contains both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are essential to ensuring a healthy body. Hemp is also found in shampoo, hair and skin cream, soap, and cosmetics. There are plenty of women out there right now that can attest to the greatness of hemp lotion and wouldn’t mind these products being more abundant and costing a lot less.

Hemp-seed is one of the most sustainable foods in the world and can be used to make a wide variety of nutritious meals. It is packed with protein, iron, and Vitamin E which are all essential components to a healthy body. Easily digested and providing a boost to the immune system, hemp-seed is a vital component to a healthy life-style. Products include cooking oil, flour, seasoning, protein bars, nuts, butter, jams and jellies, milk, cereal, and many others.

The industrial uses for hemp are vast. Products such as paper, insulation, plastics, paint, sealants, carpet, clothing, jewelry, rope, fuel, composites, and many, many more can be made with hemp. Looking towards the future of bio-fuels, hemp is in a solid position to overtake this market due to its efficiency and low cost.

Agricultural benefits are abound when it comes to hemp. Not only can this plant be grown in just about any region in almost every type of soil, but more of this plant can be grown on an acre of land than any other and grows very quickly. If farmers were allowed to grow hemp, many struggling farm communities would have a new cash crop to lift their economic conditions and would also help repair the soil used for farming. Hemp is a natural soil aerator and water purifier, and is the best crop for soil rotation, strengthening the land and putting nutrients back into it so that erosion doesn’t occur, promoting sustainable farming. A major perk of growing hemp is that little to no pesticides are needed due to the plant’s durability and it is a natural weed killer since its foliage makes it very hard for unwanted weeds to grow. This plant can also provide livestock feed and bedding, helping to reduce to cost of agriculture while expanding its productivity.

Every year millions are spent by governments to have national guard troops trek into wooded areas to destroy naturally growing hemp plants, mistaking them for marijuana plants. Not only is this a waste of money and man-power, but by having this plant be illegal simply for its association with the cannabis family and nothing else we are losing out on a highly profitable industry worth millions and potentially billions of dollars. This doesn’t even take into account all of the associated industries hemp re-legalization would help. It begs the question, why are we standing idly by as the rest of the world profits from this amazing and highly useful plant?

Have a look at this short documentary made by the US Department of Agriculture in 1942 encouraging farmers to grow hemp called Hemp for Victory.

By: Stephen Carter

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