As you may know, hemp has COUNTLESS health benefits. What you may not know is how useful hemp can be for our planet and economy! We are going to learn just how awesome hemp is.
Hemp was one of the first plants cultivated by humans. Among its well-known uses like food and medicine, hemp can also produce vital resources such as:
Fuel and more.
In order to understand how useful hemp can be, let’s talk about its history. Did you know when Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, the sails were made out of hemp? Was American society, as we know it today, developed because of hemp? In many ways, America was built on hemp! Even before that, Native Americans were using hemp for its variety of uses and recognized its healing powers. Since ancient times, this plant has been used as a medicine in China, Egypt, Greece and more.
Historically, the plant was used for things such as rope and cloth, making it a desired commodity as the American colonies were being established. Between the mid-1600s to early 1800s, hemp was considered a proper form of currency. Colonial governments even allowed colonists to pay taxes with hemp seeds and encouraged colonists to grow and cultivate hemp. Virginia passed a law that required all farms to grow it. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were even drafted on hemp paper. Where would we be without it?
Hemp was praised for centuries. In the early 1930s, big businesses and wealthy industrialists, such as Henry Aisling, began to realize that hemp threatened their livelihood as it could replace their most profitable industries including paper and fuel. Aisling was soon appointed as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He quickly drafted the Marihuana Tax Act which limited and eventually prohibited hemp’s cultivation and production.
The rich and powerful began to disseminate an anti-cannabis message linking the plant to violence, lower socio-economic groups and behavior expressed by those who went against conventional society. The Marihuana Tax Act was enacted, and people began to see the plant as evil. Cue the phrase “reefer madness.” Was the value of industrial hemp the reason cannabis was outlawed?
Today, the conversation of cannabis has taken a dramatic turn. People are realizing its potential once again. Although the plant is still classified in the Controlled Substance Act, much progress has been made specifically on a state level. The full potential of the plant has yet to be realized but we have learned how valuable crop hemp is. Hemp can save our planet and boost our economy.
Hemp can save trees
Trees take approximately 20 to 80 years to mature whereas hemp only takes four months. An acre of hemp can produce as much paper as four acres of trees. Since hemp can produce wood, paper, and building materials, fewer trees would be cut down. This could save our forests producing more oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide levels.
Hemp as an alternative to plastic
Plastic, taking 400 years to decompose, has created an environmental nightmare. Over 6 billion tons of plastic is lying around our planet. Hemp has the same capabilities and is biodegradable
Hemp as an alternative to construction material
Hemp based materials can be used to build houses, buildings, and cars. Hemp can be an alternative to concrete, steel, and wood – all which is stronger and more durable than its counterpart!
Photo credit: Critical Concrete
Hemp as fuel
Hemp can produce eco-friendly fuel that is sustainable. Hemp can produce two types of fuel: biodiesel and ethanol. Hemp is more efficient, more affordable and more sustainable than traditional fuel.
One can only wonder whether hemp, perhaps the most forbidden plant on earth throughout the 20th century was made illegal because of its many uses, low cost, and sustainability. Did things change once the plant’s more “medicinal” uses were discovered? Can hemp be a win-win for our environment and economy?
As a natural alternative to our most crucial resources, hemp can be the solution we need. You be the judge! Is this little plant able to spark big change? Do you think hemp is a win-win for our bodies, planet & economy? Share your thoughts! We would love to hear from you.