Agricultural hemp is everywhere. It is grown all over the world and put to use in a phenomenal number of ways! Since the mid-thirties it was restricted/banned in the U.S., about the time cotton took over the fabric industry. Europeans, Chinese, Australians and Canadians have prospered in the hemp industry…exporting to the U.S. is quite profitable. A general acceptance of industrial hemp is beginning to emerge in the United States. The 2017 Industrial Hemp Act is being reviewed in Congress. Originating in Asia and the Middle East, then being put to use in Europe, hemp has an ancient history. This website hopes to give the visitor a better understanding of what is industrial hemp and all its applications, its background and where it is at today. Welcome to this vast universe all-things-hemp!
It All Starts with a Hemp Seed!
As with any agricultural crop, it all starts with a seed and in the case of hemp…a clean field. In Canada, the farmer chooses from a variety of 12 seeds with different attributes, but what they all have in common is they are all Non GMO. With the right conditions (not too much water) the hemp plant begins to emerge in 4 to 7 days and 120 days to reach maturity. It is legal to plant and cultivate hemp there, but Canadian laws regulate the seeds. For example, if you grow hemp you cannot save the seeds your crop produced and use them for the next years’ planting. Each year the farmer has to purchase the regulated seeds. Canadian hemp farmers are licensed and must provide GPS coordinates of their hemp fields. In the United States, there is not sweeping federal approval for hemp cultivation, yet a number of states have begun to allow it. Hopefully, as things change in the U.S., hemp seed will be protected from genetic modification. Right now in 2017, hemp is a very pure, clean food product that leads to good things without being re-engineered;(I wonder what Monsanto/Bayer is thinking in that regard). Another nice quality is that hemp does not require pesticide or fungicide so it therefore not much processing or toxicity.
Growing Hemp from Seed takes Courage.
It takes vision, faith and persistence to start growing hemp from seed. It is such a great crop for so many reasons, but it is not without challenges. For many, U.S. laws have simply forbid it with some recent exceptions. Once allowed, even locating the seed to sow, keeping off the birds, going through the “retting” process in order to bring it to proper harvest, can all be difficult. Yet it is worth it for many farmers who hope it to be the next cash crop.
Industrial Hemp Farms Introduce a Beneficial Crop.
Once sewn, hemp is good for the soil. This encourages more people to start their own industrial hemp farms. It’s considered a beneficial crop as it grows thickly…weeds cannot take root. Practically no pesticide, fungicide, weed-killer or fertilizer is needed. Grown in rotation with other crops like barley and rye…they follow the hemp usually without needing weed killer themselves.Click here to buy quality hemp products
What Industrial Hemp Provides the Consumer: A Brief Summary
So vast is the potential that this list is a mere suggestion of current and future applications.
- Hempcrete and insulation: with fiber stronger than steel a bio composite is made with a lime binder and the woody center of the hemp stalk.
- Car/Tracker Parts: already being done at various manufacturing plants.
- Ropes and Sails: used by The Navy over hundreds of years.
- Textiles: In twined to form a cotton blend or on its own.
- Paper: Used throughout history.
- Aircraft Components and Body Armor: again attesting to the strength and flexibility of the fiber.
- Energy: Currently being researched for extensive bio fuel applications.
- Dynamite: a reverse building material
Food (seeds and oil)
- Hemphearts, as the hulled seeds are called, are nutritional superfood nuts.
- Healthy snack varieties made with the seeds roasted.
- Hemp milk, shelved among other popular nut milks.
- Hemp tofu, a way to avoid the soy protein usually used in tofu.
Heart healthy hemp is a complete protein, having all the amino acids including arginine known to relax and dilate blood vessels. Hemphearts have the right balance of Omega 3 & 6 (3:1) Essential Fatty Acids as well as Vitamin E, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorus.
Beneficial Hemp is “Green and Good”.
After all, it is grown and not mined. It pulls carbon from the atmosphere both while it grows and once it becomes an insular wall component. It is not toxic as a building material or bio fuel. Hemp enriches the soil and prevents weeds. It is a crop that ultimately benefits those who grow it and those who use it; a boost to the economy and our overall health.
Is Agricultural Hemp Legal in the United States?
Agricultural hemp is legal to use, but not necessarily to grow. There are limited programs in many states often linked to educational research. Soon this may be far less restricted in the entire country. For years the U.S. has been importing it from the UK and Canada. Anti-drug laws of 1937 equated agricultural hemp to its psychoactive cousin – making them both off-limits. They are both the same general plant species: Cannabis Sativa, yet they are genetically distinct in use and chemical content. Agricultural hemp has less than .03 THC. These days a growing movement recognizes it would be, at the very least, a great economic boost for this country to allow cultivation of industrial hemp.
The conclusion is that it is beneficial to include hemp in our diets and support the industry. Other organic hemp food products include hemp tofu, hemp ice cream, hemp protein powder, hemp oil etc and the countless recipes that are before us.
Thank you for visiting this website. Your interest and comments are greatly appreciated! I am always learning.