Saturday, March 29, 2008

To the rescue

Hemp is a term that covers all varieties of Cannabis Sativa...'Industrial' hemp is the form that is used to make numerous positive products that might even save the planet...

Industrial Hemp can be grown to partly replace our use of wood pulp, thus saving millions of trees. Thomas Jefferson wrote the draft for the Declaration of Independence upon was once widely cultivated, until canvas and burlap sacks ( made with Jute) were introduced in the early 20th century, and the chemical lobby decided to go with the oil industry to produce plastics.

Hemp has myriad beneficial uses: paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, health food, biofuels, clothing, etc.
Hemp cultivation replaces nutrients into the ground, and prevents topsoil erosion. Hemp produces abundant oxygen, and is fast growing.

Hemp can be used for pet litter, added to bird seed, used for cordage of varying tensile strength, mulch, oil-based paints, and added to cement to increase its bonding ability.

As a food, hemp leaves can be used for salads, the seeds can be ground into meal, the oil from the seeds can be used for non-frying food uses ( hemp ice cream and milk, etc). The oil from hemp contains omega fatty acids and amino acids necessary for human life. Cosmetics using hemp oil are superior to petroleum based ones, as they will not clog pores.

Obstacles to massive hemp cultivation: many countries produce certain amounts of hemp every year, but not enough is being put out on the market. Why? Even though the US does make some hemp, resistance comes from several industries- the makers of synthetic fibers, the wood pulp industry, petrochemical and pharmochemical illogical moralists falsely imagine that Hemp would contain too much of the psychoactive ingredient of Marijuana (THC). Hemp that is used in industry contains very small trace amounts of THC- humans could never in a practical sense get high off of it.
Some resistance stems from the initial cost of setting up the processing plants needed to manufacture hemp fiber, plus the new bleach free process that some wood pulp businesses now use to make paper products has slightly lessened the demand for more eco-friendly wood products- but no matter how environmentally sensitive and improved the method of tree-to-pulp and paper methods used, they are really no comparison to the potential benefit of using hemp (and its hibiscus cousin, Kenaf) for the procurement of paper products.

Industrial Hemp: botanical messiah

If the world were to implement a crash course to cultivate Hemp, the pressure upon the rainforest's would lessen, and the global environment might stabilize.


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