Hemp, Will an Ancient Plant Make a Comeback?

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Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HEMP

“Dad, did you share a Facebook post that Aunt Jan is opening a store selling hemp and cannabinoids?”

By his Cheshire cat grin, I could tell he was thinking the psychoactive chemicals in Marijuana.

My initial reaction was similar. Until recently, I had thought that hemp and marijuana were synonymous. Never considered any nuanced differences between the plants.

His aunt, a business executive for a non-profit organization in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a middle-aged mother of two adult sons and not your typical illegal drugs trafficker. Forget Margo Martindale’s character, Mags Bennet from the TV series Justified. That is not her.

What compelled this woman to step out and to start a leading-edge business selling hemp and its derivative cannabidiol (CBD)? Love and personal experience.

Love? She is helping her eldest son who is passionate about the many potential benefits that hemp offers.

Personal experience? She has found relief from chronic joint pain without the dangers of using opioids and other pain relievers. Using the CBD Body Butter has eased her suffering from the pain.

So what is cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) and how is it different from its famous cousin the cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?

“CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, the cannabinoid second only to THC when it comes to average volume. Recently, research has shown CBD to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety properties without the psychoactive effects (the “high” or “stoned” feeling) that THC provides.” ~ https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/whats-the-deal-with-these-high-cbd-strains

My son and I had the same misconception that so many others have. They are unaware of the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana. They assume that marijuana and hemp are one and the same.

“Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses.[6] Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.[6] The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit only hemp that is bred with an especially low THC content.” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

IGNORANCE ABOUT HEMP’S HISTORY

Hemp is not something new that just popped up on a sub-cultural market in that last century. Nor was solely used by “Pot Heads”.

Hemp’s long history of practical, diverse uses are well documented and date back thousands of years:

* “ Hemp was probably the earliest plant cultivated for textile fiber. Archaeologists found a remnant of hemp cloth in ancient Mesopotamia (currently Iran and Iraq) which dates back to 8,000 BC.”
* “In the Lu Shi, a Chinese work of the Sung dynasty (500 AD).”
* “we find reference to the Emperor Shen Nung (28th century BC) who taught his people to cultivate hemp for cloth.”
* “It is believed that hemp made it to Europe in approximately 1,200 BC.”
* “China appears to have the longest continuous history of Hemp cultivation (over 6000 years).”
* “France has cultivated Hemp for at least 700 years to the present day.”

~ http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v13/2/history.html

You might be thinking that since the quotes are referring to ancient cultures, it is not relevant for today. We live in a modern, civilized, America that is fully aware of the dangers of hemp.

As recent as the 17th and 18th centuries it was illegal not to grow hemp here in America.

“17th Century America, farmers in Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut were ordered by law to grow Indian hemp. By the early 18th century, a person could be sentenced to jail if they weren’t growing hemp on their land! Hemp was considered to be legal tender. For over 200 years in colonial America, hemp was currency that one could use to pay their taxes with! (Don’t try that today, kids!)”

HEMP WAS MALIGNED FOR FILTHY LUCRE

If hemp is this wonder crop that has so many uses, why is it illegal?

And, Why all the confusion?

During the1930s, hemp processing had a major technological breakthrough. This made hemp much cheaper to process. This breakthrough scared the competition.

“The main crisis for Hemp arose in America during the 1930’s due to propaganda created from companies with vested interest from the new petroleum-based synthetic textile companies and the large and powerful newspaper / lumber barons who saw hemp as the biggest threat to their businesses. The 1930s coalesce, unsurprisingly, with the DuPont patenting their new “plastic fiber”. By the 1930s, new machinery, which separated the fiber from the rest of the plant, was available and affordable. These innovations simplified the harvesting and production, making it more cost-effective. Manufacturers were also interested in byproducts such as the seed oil for paint and lacquer, and hurds for paper. According to the February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics (written early 1937), hemp was then on the verge of becoming “the billion-dollar crop.” However, in September 1937, the United States government, under the influence of the lobbying of synthetic textile companies (like DuPont) and several other powerful groups who saw hemp as a big threat to their businesses, proposed prohibitive tax laws, and levied an occupational excise tax upon hemp dealers. Later that year hemp production was banned altogether. The Canadian government, following the American lead, prohibited production under the Opium and Narcotics Act on August 1, 1938.” ~ http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v13/2/history.html

WHY IT IS TIME FOR HEMP’S COMEBACK.

Hemp offers many benefits:

* as a food source.~ https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-health-benefits-of-hemp-seeds
* as medicine. ~https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/10/27/hemp-health-benefits.aspx

Hemp has many industrial uses:

“This term is often used to refer only to Cannabis strains cultivated for industrial (non-drug) use. Industrial hemp has many uses, including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel. It is one of the fastest growing biomasses known and one of the earliest domesticated plants known.”~https://hempethics.weebly.com/what-is-industrial-hemp.html

IS HEMP A BACK DOOR TO GET MARIJUANA LEGALIZED?

Perhaps for some, it is. The scope of this article is not to argue for or against the legalization of marijuana. That is a whole other issue. The purpose is to consider and revive the use of a viable plant, hemp, that has many many diverse benefits and practical uses.

CONCLUSION

This article briefly discusses the difference between CBD and THC, the history of hemp’s uses world wide, and the benefits that hemp can offer today.

If interested, the links in the article will provide more information.

You can also, contact the owner through a contact form at the bottom of the home page. https://www.gohempandcbd.com/

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