“The Hemp Plant, Humankind's Savior - 50,000 Uses and Counting”
Written By: Jeff Meints
The hemp plant was one of humankind's first cultivated plants and there is quite a lot to educate oneself about this greatly historical plant. With the help of the hemp plant we, as a society could eliminate smog from current fuels, create a cleaner energy source that can replace nuclear power, remove radioactive waste from the soil, and eliminate smog from our skies in more industrialized areas. The hemp plant could assist in eliminating non-biodegradable plastics and cars by reintroducing Henry Ford's 100 year old dream of building cars made from hemp with a plastic hemp car body that can withstand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting, weighs 1 thousand pounds less than steel, hence improving gas mileage, can run on a vegetable oil based all natural hemp fuel, and has a completely biodegradable body. Nationwide hemp production could eliminate deforestation by converting current paper to hemp paper which can be recycled up to 8 times where as our current wood pulp is only recyclable up to 3 times, and we could thrive from eating hemp seeds and feeding it to our animals and livestock.
Industrial hemp can make our future roads, highways and freeways from hemp based concrete, which lasts for centuries. Society can benefit from the hemp plant's attributes such as oxygen production, hemp's dense root structure, and hemp's nutrient and nitrogen production back into the soil. Chemicals in cannabis can be used in medicines and are estimated to treat around 250 diseases and illnesses, from which studies have shown inhibits the growth of cancer cells in rats, as well as a long list of other ailments. Finally, we could make an estimated 50,000 products ranging from building composites, cellophane, dynamite to shampoo, textiles, twine and yarn. If the US grew industrial hemp it could stop wars, save the environment, boost our economy, improve general health and well being, virtually end our reliance on any foreign entity, and save humankind from itself. But wait, wait, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
Studies have shown that hemp's biomass can be converted into energy and could replace nuclear power and our current fossil fuels.[Belle, Mika] Just by farming 6 percent of the US's acreage this could be achieved. "Hemp grown in biomass could fuel a trillion-dollar-per-year industry, while at the same time create more jobs, clean our air, and distribute wealth to our communities and away from centralized power monopolies." Hemp's biomass can be converted into gasoline, methanol, and methane at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy.
An article from Montana State University states, “When burned in a diesel engine, bio-diesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with a smell something akin to french-fries. Bio-diesel is 11 percent oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur, so instead of creating sulfur-based smog and acid rain as by-products, it produces 11 percent oxygen instead. Bio-diesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp.” The hemp grown through government farming and regulation is called “industrialized hemp” and contains no more than 0.03 percent THC content, which is not a high enough percentage for drug use. Canada, China, and England are examples of countries who have never prohibited, but instead have responsibly grown, produced, and thrived off of industrialized hemp [Hemp].
Imagine being able to dump our nuclear waste somewhere that wouldn't have any adverse effects on the surrounding environment. The hemp plant can help with that as well. A nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Russia had a meltdown April 1986 and experiments have shown that the hemp plant can help remove the toxicity in the soil. “There is an estimated 30,000 sites in the United States are estimated to be needing hazardous waste treatment” and the hemp plant is the answer to this terrible environmental issue.[The McGraw Hill Companies].
Henry Ford had a dream of “cars made from the soil” and created the first bio-fueled car and also, a car made from hemp. The body of the car was made out of veggie-plastics made from flax, wheat, hemp, and spruce pulp.[Davis, Richard M] As an experiment, Ford struck the door with an ax in the dead of winter and it didn't leave a dent. The material was “ten times” stronger than steel and yet one-third the weight, hence saving on gas mileage. “Popular Mechanics Magazine, Vol. 76, No. 6, December,1941. Title: Auto Body Made of Plastics Resists Denting Under Hard Blows.“[Carver, George Washington] Henry Ford's dream was saving American lives, human lives. The car was completely bio-degradable and so with that Henry Ford achieved his dream of “a car made from the soil.”[Malmo-Levine, David] Fords cars were in my definition: the poor person's car. A car you could sustain on your own, distilling your own alcohol, or hemp and creating your own fuel in your own backyard while saving your family thousands of dollars per year. Hemp oil was even used, as grease to lubricate parts within the car's engine. [Malmo-Levine, David]
Ford's dream materialized before me, as I learned how he made a car grown from the soil, a car made out of and run off of hemp, and a plastic that is scientifically documented to be ten times stronger than steel and one thousand pounds less in weight. If this were our implemented into current day driving would be like bumper cars and getting into a crash might no longer be such an intensive insurance matter. If all the cars on the road were made with hemp the injuries and deaths would become considerably less. Industrial Hemp must again become our main crop producer and be used in the making of every single car produced in America. The hemp plant could saves millions of American lives. “Car accidents involving other moving vehicles accounted for the large majority of accident deaths in California in 2004 with 1,336 deaths due to collisions with other vehicles. This accounts for about 35% of all fatal car wrecks throughout the state. Telephone poles, palm trees, street signs and other stationary objects accounted for another 1,072 auto accident deaths in 2004.” [Resource 4 Accidents]
Despite Industrial Hemp having 50,000 uses, Dupont, Rockefeller, Hearst, Mellon and their constituents cornered the industrial and medicinal market with political propaganda. Dupont created Nylon, owned General Motors and was “one of the top ten U.S. based petroleum and natural gas producers and refiners.”[DuPont] Rockefeller owned Standard Oil and was soon known as the “richest man in modern history.”[Rockefeller] This is a political science paper and can be viewed at one of my Blogs here at http://marijuana-tax-act-1937.blogspot.com/. But lets not get off topic, so big business and capitalistic politics thrived and outlawed the hemp plant that had sustained the United States of America, since the days of our founding fathers and all for someone else's selfish monopolistic goals.[Malmo-Levine, David] Henry Ford achieved his dream, but he was denied any true public recognition and any further industrial hemp progression. Every citizen of America was denied Henry Ford's hemp dream of a car made from the soil.
In 100 BC, hemp paper was invented in China using hemp and mulberry. Since 100 AD, when the Romans wrote a guide to farming hemp it has since been farmed all over the known world. From the Germans, Franks, Vikings, Chinese (who have never prohibited the use of hemp all-throughout history), English, Canadians, Egyptians, and even Americans all grew, produced, and thrived off of hemp. In 1150 AD, Muslims created the first paper mill and for the next 700 years hemp paper was what most civilizations wrote upon.[Schaffer, C.] Civilizations around the world and for example; during the Napaleonic Era, ship’s sails, ropes, and sailor’s clothing were made from hemp.
Hemp paper can be recycled up to eight times while the current pulp wood fiber can only be recycled three times. By farming hemp throughout the United States and even the world it could assist in reducing deforestation by 50 percent, or more.[Hemphasis] George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were two examples of historical spokespersons for growing hemp and in 1619 the Virginia Company made hemp cultivation mandatory, which increased commerce with England and helped the American economy thrive. Our Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper and our first American Flag was made out of hemp. [Schaffer, C.] These historical economical and industrial concepts and examples can easily be applied to present day.
“Hemp seeds contain beneficial omega fatty acids and amino acids, more than any other source.” The seeds can be used in a number of food dishes in baking, prepared as tea, any type of food like ice cream, and milk. Cultures all over the world have consumed hemp seeds in times of famine to prevent starvation which has saved millions of lives.[Saunders, Clare] The nutritional facts astounding, for example; hemp seeds contains 20 percent complete and highly digest-able protein.[Earth Friendly Network] Canadian Hemp seed exports surged 300 percent a few years back and China, and other eastern countries have to this day never prohibited hemps cultivation and use it extensively. [Hemp]
“Only 1 acre of hemp is said to produce more oxygen than 25 acres of current forest.” [Bryon, Alan D.] Theoretically, if our cities had greenhouses on top of all the office buildings, like in Los Angeles, filled with hemp then the massive output of oxygen would be a massive intake of carbon dioxide. This in turn should make our cities skies once again blue, healthy and smog free. Methane is one of the main producers of green house gases and one of the many major causes for dramatic global climate change. [Hopwood, Nick, and Jordan Cohen] Therefore, our farmers can grow hemp in our cow pastures, so the hemp plants can have first hand absorption of methane gases via cow farts, and burps. The cows can also eat directly from the hemp plants around them, which would eliminate the need to use hormones and steroids, due to hemp's nutritional facts.[Earth Friendly Network]
Hemp has a superior connection with the earth compared to other plants. When you plant hemp in an area that is infested with Canadian Thwack Grass, or Canadian Thistle Grass, the hemp plant's dense root structure will smother out these invasive weeds and make that land again arable.[West, D.P.] Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Congress back when the colonies were first founded that requested that the government grow hemp instead of tobacco.[Hemp] Tobacco drains all nitrogen and nutrients from the soil, which leaves the land less arable, or harder to farm upon. Hemp restores nutrients and nitrogen back into the soil. [Davis, Richard M.] Another attribute is that hemp is drought and disease resistance, which gives hemp the added advantage of being able to be grown in even the most dry to wet climates and has little-to-no need for pesticides, because the hemp plant is highly resistant to plant diseases, illnesses, and pests. Hemp's dense root structure helps prevent mudslides, erosion, and natural catastrophes. The hemp plant is one of the only plants that can be harvested year-around in states like California, or Florida for example, due to the harsh climates in those regions.[Davis, Richard M.]
In France there are bridges centuries old made out of a mixture of hemp and lime. This process is called Iso'Chanvre and is another great example of possible industrial innovations regarding the hemp plant.[Rawganique] Society could build roads and bridges that wouldn't require continuous repairs and wouldn’t require endless tax payer dollars each year. Clothes, pottery, shoes, jewelry, shampoos, pies and so much more can be made from hemp and no part of the plant would go unused. From hemp’s roots, stems, leaves, and even what might be considered waste from the hemp plant can be produced into any of the estimated 50,000 products.
Our current education doesn’t teach us that Columbus sailed across the Atlantic with the rope on his ships, the caulking and rigging, and yes the sails, all were made from hemp.[Schaffer, C.] There was also no mention in our history books of the endless crates of hemp seeds Columbus and the other ships brought with them. Not only did they survive by eating the hemp seeds, but they planted the seeds in America and overtime, hemp now creates an estimated 50,000 products.[Carver, George Washington] The hemp plant's most common product is it's fiber, especially the bast fibers which are extremely strong and durable.
Hemp can also be used in building composite material such as beams, studs, fire resistant building materials, fiberboard and even such things as paint, varnish, ink and carpet. There seems to be a consensus that hemp building composite materials are stronger, more durable and flexible than our currently used wood pulp composite building material. “In 1935, two years before being outlawed, 116 million pounds of hemp seed were used in the United States to produce paint and varnish.”[Robbins Pet Care] Is there anything hemp can't be made out of? Hemp wood composite is fire durable, which would benefit those who lived in fire sensitive areas.
Regarding marijuana: You can avoid the whole problem of growing hemps psychoactive counterpart cannabis aka marijuana by growing the plants in a controlled environment and exposing the female plants to male plants. When the female plants are pollinated by the male plants their (THC) or Tetra-hydra-cannibanol level begins to drop. The longer the plants are held in these pollinating and harsh conditions, the THC level will continue to drop and you can maintain the THC percentage to stay below 0.03 percent making it impossible to use the plant as a drug.[Innvista] If other countries can responsibly produce and cultivate hemp for industrial uses then there is no reason why America cannot responsibly produce and cultivate the hemp plant too. Unless we aren't a responsible nation?
Archaeologists have found evidence linking hemp and its psychoactive counterpart marijuana back to 8,000 BC when agriculture and hemp textile industries began in Europe and Asia [Medical Cannabis]. By 3725 BC, Shen Nung Pen Ts'ao of China wrote of cannabis in the world's first medical text and Ts'ao declared cannabis as “a superior herb.”[Schaffer, C.] Cannabis sativa have been used for medicinal purposes for 4,800 years and has been prescribed for over 250 illnesses and diseases, for example: Asthma, insomnia, often used to treat pain in childbirth, migraines, used for AIDS and Cancer patients allowing them to have an appetite, glaucoma, relieves anorexia in Alzheimer's patients, mental health, it can be used as suppositories for relieving the pain of hemorrhoids, and depression are just a few examples of the many conditions that cannabis alleviates.[Medical Cannabis] Recent studies in Italy have shown that a chemical found in marijuana, inhibits the growth of cancer cells in rats. THC pills, or Marinol, synthetic THC, are made with the ingredients necessary for the specific treatment of those disease, or illness, but some patients cannot swallow these pills, due to their condition and that is when smoking the plant is applied. There are countless other examples of marijuana’s beneficial medicinal properties, but here are two final and thought provoking examples to contemplate over: Medicinal marijuana is used to treat alcohol addiction and other drugs such as heroin and is used to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in war veterans.
With the facts and knowledge acquired, it is apparent that hemp is humankind's savior and that hemp must be re-implemented into our countries way of life. General George Washington stated, “Grow it everywhere, hemp is greatly viable for winning the war and sustaining a future fantastic for America.”
Are we at war with nature, or perhaps is nature at war with us? Hemp is grown by almost every civilized country and hemp benefits those countries economies and their countries citizen’s health. To not take the scientific approach in making the decision to legalize and produce industrial hemp is dooming humankind to more needless sufferings and perhaps even another Ice Age. Our current dramatic, devastatingly, unpredictable weather breaks records each year and these violent weather patterns are the first signs of nature's end means. If the icebergs of the world melt, the sea level will raise by 20 feet, or more and force extinction upon millions of animal and plant species, and kill and displace millions of human beings worldwide. The Philippines, Hawaii, Florida and countless other countries, cities and homes will all be underwater if this were to occur.[Climatecrisis.net] Can you imagine watching the sunset with your child and as the low tide rolls out it reveals the rooftops of houses now underwater.
Only by the legalization of Industrial Hemp and its removal from Schedule 1 of The Controlled Substance Act, can we start working immediately towards the one thing that can save humankind from itself.[110th Congress] America would have a cleaner fuel and energy source, we would dispose of nuclear waste more efficiently, we'd create cars that could reduce traffic fatalities and are completely biodegradable, we'd have a paper product that can be recycled up to 8 times, instead of just 3 times, we'd reduce deforestation by 50 percent nationwide and eventually, worldwide, we'd have an endless supply of food products, livestock bedding, livestock feed and the benefits of the endless nutritional facts backing hemp. imagine roads, freeways and highways that wouldn't require monthly repairs and endless taxpayer dollars, preventing landslides and improving our farming industry by using hem, as a crop rotator, having an estimated 50,000 industrial bio-degradable products, and regarding medicinal marijuana, having over 250 medicinal uses that could ease the suffering of so many people who simply can’t afford the proper care, or treatment.
The facts and history of hemp show boldly how important it is to humankind that we should all support hemps production and usage for our countries economical and health related benefits. With the debate of global warming over and as I like to call it, “dramatic global climate change” fast approaching we need someone, or something to save us from humankind's destination. There are many facts and products that haven’t been discussed here and there is so much more relating to the history and benefits of the hemp plant for humankind. Only with relentless and patient education and constant communication can society overcome the propaganda and misperception surrounding the hemp plant. These fallacies have masked the history and extraordinary uses and benefits of the hemp plant. We, as a society, must continue learning and teaching others about the hemp plant and we must always network what we learn to others. If you've learned something from reading this article that you hadn't known before you can help by spreading this knowledge of hemp to anyone and everyone. Can you imagine the gold mine waiting in everyone's backyards, or empty fields, or, those thousands of acres of unused land nationwide, or along the sides of our freeways and highways?
The hemp plant is humankind's savior and the more society knows, the sooner we can put into action what we have learned and the better off our future generations will be. There are an estimated 50,000 industrial uses that can benefit every aspect of our daily lives from this one humble and misunderstood plant, and the facts can't be denied any longer. I think I see a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.
So remember to Seek the facts, Confront the truth, and Pass it on.