Hemp is one of the most popular plants to be used for industrial purpose. Yet, its relation to cannabis has long been a subject of debate as to the legality of cultivation. Although in recorded history, its uses have been extensively recognized, its cultivation seems to have stalled for many years of its connection to the plant deemed illegal in political aspect.
Industrial hemp is different from the manila hemp, the source for abaca-derived products such as nylon ropes and manila paper and folder. However, its similarity in uses may have somewhat connected to the similarity in the name despite of different plant species. That would be one of the facts that you have to know about hemp.
Other 8 facts you need to know about hemp are mostly scientific but there also historical aspects such as:
1. Hemp was one of the primary materials in the production of schoolbooks until the 1880s.
In fact, the Encyclopedia Britannica used hemp for its iconic encyclopedia books for 150 years. The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp.
2. Hemp is more viable as a material for making paper than trees.
Why? It would take 20 years for the trees to be feasible to be used as a paper versus 4 months for industrial Hemp. One acre of hemp can produce those cellulose pulps as 4.1 acres of trees. So why not cultivate more of this plant.
3. The founding fathers of America, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Jefferson even smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.
4. Another founding father of America, Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, and it processed hemp.
5. Henry Ford is known as a car-maker. But did you know that he also manufactured car made of hemp. He even used hemp gasoline to power it. That materials was used in creating the first Model-T. Hemp plastic panels were sturdier and its impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel.
6. 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc., were made from hemp until the 1820s when another material was introduced, the cotton gin.
7. Hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa. That explains its connection with cannabis. However, it has higher concentrations of cannabidiol, a compound that has medical uses.
8. Because of cannabidiol, the seed of hemp, which is called hempseed is nutrient-rich for it contains vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. Hempseed is even considered a superfood.
9. Hemp was the first crop grown in many states in America. Medieval Europe engaged in hemp trade. Hemp farming in China began 5,000 years ago according to recorded history. Ancient Egypt engaged in hemp industrialization earlier than China.
10. Aside from being regarded a miracle plant, hemp was called a “billion dollar crop” in 1938. It had potential to become a billion-dollar business at that time.
Despite its low THC content, hemp’s connection with the cannabis plants still put this plant into obscurity compared with other plants with similar potency in nutritional benefits and industrial uses.
But we believe, with the legalization of cannabis, hemp would regain its stature.
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