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I have a confession to make. It’s embarrassing but going back a few years, I was quite suspicious of anything Hemp. I was of course, void of any real knowledge, had plenty of preconceived ideas and assumptions. I thought that anyone who had anything to do with hemp, smoked it and wanted to grow it to be able to smoke it. So very ignorant and stupid was I. So I know better now, much better. I had no idea about Hemp and what a brilliant plant it is.

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Here’s a little of what I have learnt about Hemp.
Hemp and Marijuana are both – Cannabis Sativa L.  Hemp contains only about 0.3% – 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids) which is the psychoactive ingredient. Marijuana is what’s used for drugs and it has THC levels of 10% or more THC. Hemp, apart from having extremely low levels of THC also contains CBD (Cannabidiol ) which in fact is the anti psychoactive ingredients that works against any THC. In other words, Hemp cannot be used as a drug.
Marijuana and Hemp, look and grow very differently. Hemp is very tall and stalky as high as 25 feet so you can’t hide the small and very bushy Marijuana plants in a Hemp plantation. Actually, a Hemp farmer doesn’t want to be any where near a Marijuana plantation because it will cross pollinate. It will inhibit new seeds and the crop will not perform the following year.Hemp fibre is the longest, strongest and most durable of all natural fibres. Hemp cultivation requires no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. Grown in rotation with other crops such as corn and legumes, hemp farming is completely sustainable. Hemp produces four times as much fibre per acre as pine trees. Hemp tree-free paper can be recycled up to seven times, compared with three times for pine-pulp based papers. Hemp is easy to grow, and actually conditions soil where it grows. The seed and seed-oil are high in protein, essential fatty and amino acids, and vitamins. Hemp would be an ideal source of biomass for fuel, and hemp Ethanol burns very cleanly.
Hemp and humanity have been linked for over 10,000 years. Hemp was our first agricultural crop, and remained the planet’s largest crop and most important industry until late last century. Most of the non-Western world never stopped growing hemp, and today hemp for commercial use is grown mostly by China, Hungary, England, Canada,France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, India and throughout Asia. Hemp is also grown in Australia but it is against the law to consume the seeds or the oil which makes no sense to me.

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MORE ABOUT HEMP

  • Until 1883, more than three quarters of the world’s paper was made from Hemp fibre.
  • The first Levi jeans were made of Hemp.
  • In Elizabethan times, farmers were fined for not growing Hemp;
  • A Hemp crop produces nearly four times as much raw fibre as an equivalent-sized tree plantation.
  • Trees take approximately 20 years to mature. Hemp takes 4 months;
  • Hemp fibre needs no pesticides;
  • Hemp needs no herbicides because it grows too quickly for any weed to compete;
  • Hemp paper does not need chlorine bleach, which pollutes rivers near wood-pulp paper mills;
  • Hemp paper is stronger, finer and longer-lasting than wood-based papers;
  • Hemp paper is used for bank notes and archival papers;
  • The earliest-known woven fabric was apparently of Hemp, which began to be worked approximately 8,000-7,000 BC.
  • For more than a thousand years before the time of Christ until 1883 AD, Cannabis/Hemp was our planet’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry for thousands of products and enterprises, producing the overall majority of the earth’s fibre, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense and medicines, as well as being a primary source of protein for humans and animals alike
  • The word ‘linen’, until the early 1800s meant any fine fabrics made from Hemp or flax.
  • Cannabis oil was mentioned by name in the Bible. Apparently, etymologists at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, confirmed that ‘kineboisin’ (also spelled ‘kannabosm”) referred to cannabis used in a holy ointment. N.B. King James mistranslated the word as ‘calamus’ in his version.
  • Hempseed oil is said to burn the brightest of all lamp oils, and has been used since the days of Abraham. Scythians used to purify and cleanse themselves with Hemp oil, which made their skin “shining and clean”
  • Further, hemp fibre has been found to be a lighter, stronger alternative to fibreglass.
  • Hemp offers a valuable and sustainable fuel of the future, “growing oil wells”. Hemp has an output equivalent to around 1000 gallons of methanol per acre year (10 tons Biomass/acre, each yielding 100 gal. methanol/ton). Methanol used today is mainly made from natural gas, a fossil fuel. Methanol is currently being studied as a primary fuel for automobiles.
  • Henry Ford dreamed that someday automobiles would be grown from the soil. The Ford motor company, after years of research produced an automobile with a plastic body. Its tough body used a mixture of 70% cellulose fibres from Hemp. The plastic withstood blows 10 times as great as steel could without denting! Its weight was also 2/3 that of a regular car, producing better economy. Henry Ford was forced to use petroleum due to Hemp prohibition. His plans to fuel his fleet of automotive vehicles with plant-power also failed due to Alcohol prohibition.
  • Hemp grain does not contain the anti-nutrient trypsin inhibitors as found in soy milk.
  • Hemp contains 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
    A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
  • Eating hemp seeds is said to aid people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. Hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.
  • Hemp is nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
  • A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
  • A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
  • A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
  • The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
  • More about Hemp another time.
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