There’s a lot of confusion and misrepresentations about marijuana and hemp. Here, we’ll try to provide some clarity.
The first thing you should know is, marijuana is hemp, but hemp is not necessarily marijuana. The varieties of hemp that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are the varieties we call marijuana. THC is the chemical which provides the “high” we associate with ingesting marijuana.
On the other hand, there are numerous strains of hemp that contain very little, if any THC at all. These are used to produce a variety of products.
There’s a high likelihood that the oil used to anoint various religious leaders back in the day, was hemp seed oil? Even back then, it was known for it’s healing properties.
Because it’s relatively easy to grow and will grow just about anywhere, without dangerous and costly pesticides, and without soil erosion it is actually quite a valuable plant. If we disregard the recreational and healing properties of the marijuana flower, and simply focus on the hemp stock, we have the answer to many of our ecological dilemmas.
The hemp stock can provide the raw material for paper, mitigating our deforestation problem. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, along with many others grew hemp and considered it an invaluable crop for the burgeoning country.
Instead of manufacturing and using petroleum based plastic bags that fill our landfills, hemp provides the raw material for a biodegradable cellophane.
Hemp based cellulose, is a biodegradable replacement for styrofoam.
The seeds from the hemp plant are a complete vegetarian, protein food which can be enjoyed by those of us wishing to improve our diet and our good health.
The hemp seeds may also be used as healthy feed for poultry and livestock.
Oil made from hemp has a 3:1 ratio of the essential fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 3. Both of which are essential for our healthy bodies. The best part is, hempseed oil has a better flavor than flaxseed oil!
Hempseed oil is also a biodiesel oil and is a renewable energy source with the potential to replace fossil fuels.
With all these benefits, you’d think farmers would have been encouraged to grow such a beneficial plant. Unfortunately, greed played an important role in undermining the value hemp could have on our society.
If you review the list of benefits above, you’ll see that some of the products that can be derived from the hemp stalk, would provide less expensive, renewable competition to a few major industries. Back in the early 1900’s wealthy, powerful men such as JD Rockefeller, William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Mellon, worked to suppress these benefits, and instead vilified the plant using racism to associate the plant with criminal activity. All the above mentioned men benefitted financially, by creating a fear of hemp, and eventually getting the plant outlawed, in 1937.
They used a known strategy of outlawing the natural source of potential products while monopolizing the synthetic version of those products, to insure their industries flourished, while depriving the public of a great resource.
All the above mentioned benefits do not include the health benefits of hemp, and marijuana. One thing we know for certain is, marijuana has been used for about 5000 years within nearly every culture as a means of mitigating adverse medical symptoms.
With our country finally awakening to the potential benefits marijuana or cannabidoil (CBD), offers, serious research is only now beginning to determine just how effective hemp’s CBD can be in relieving our symptoms, naturally!