What is Hemp?
Hemp is a type of cannabis that is used and bred for its fibrous stalks and potential industrial products over any psychoactive or medical use. It is one of the oldest domesticated crops and contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive compound that is found more abundantly in other types of cannabis.
Hemp is a powerhouse when it comes to commercial farming applications, producing higher yields than trees, corn, beef and even crude oil. It grows quickly and in dense numbers without the need for pesticides and can yield multiple harvests in a single year. The plants can also rejuvenate over-farmed land, preventing soil erosion and can remove toxins from soil, making the land safe for farming or habitation. The success of the human race has been connected to hemp for thousands of years and without it, as is the case now, we struggle to replace it as a source of industrial materials.
WHAT IT OFFERS
Hemp is used for making paper, rope, clothing and its seeds are used for making oil. Hemp is a superior raw material for making paper products because it grows fast and produces more usable material.
Hemp can also be used to make biofuels more cheaply and with less environmental impact than more common crops like corn and beets. With recent applications including lubricants and building materials, hemp’s applications are too numerous to list and more are discovered or rather uncovered every day.
Hemp has been farmed for thousands of years for its fibrous stalks, its seeds and was a staple for consumer and industrial goods in India, China, Turkey and Pakistan.
Hemp was aggressively farmed by the founders of the United States and for a time its production was mandated by law. Hemp was widely grown throughout the world until the 1930’s when it was made illegal.
Hemp is currently regulated by the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, which states that it is exempt from “marihuana” laws and it (cannabis sativa L., the scientific term for hemp) can be farmed as long as it contains only 0.03% THC. Before this was enacted, hemp was illegal for nearly 100 years based on dubious claims of contributing to the decline of morality and safety within the United States.
The tide is turning. A majority of Americans think cannabis should be legal and our laws, state by state, are starting to accomplish this. But millions are still denied access, or languish in prisons, due to antiquated laws that hurt rather than help us.
Do your part to help these fellow citizens and show the world how cannabis should be managed, with education, understanding and compassion:
- Support reform legislation efforts by the Senate
- Ask your Congressional Representative to join the Cannabis Caucus
- Support Veterans’ access to Medical Marijuana