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Facts about Industrial Hemp

Hemp drying in Haiti
Hemp drying in Haiti

I thought it might be fun to explore some interesting and thought provoking facts about industrial hemp since there isn’t too much going on right now in the world of current hemp news.
Hemp might be older than you think.
Hemp is among one of the oldest industries on the planet. If you were to go back in time 10,000 years, you would noticed at the very beginnings of pottery, hemp was being used. The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC. Older than any material that we use today.
Our Forefathers loved hemp.
US Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew their own hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic since the applications for the crop is virtually limitless. The federal government then subsidized hemp during WW2 and U.S. farmers grew approximately a million acres of hemp as part of that program.
Eat hemp and stay healthy. Seriously.
The hemp seed is extremely nutritious and possesses more fatty acids than any other source. It’s only solid competitor (protein wise) being the soy bean. High in B-vitamins, hemp seeds are a good source of dietary fiber. Taste great on salads and in milk shakes!
A great source of clean energy.
This one is important. According to the Department of Energy, hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. Furthermore, the hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into an array of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of bio-fuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power. One day some researchers believe we could sever our dependency on oil altogether because of industrial hemp.
Better paper than trees.
Save the forests? You bet. Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis, and can be used for every kind of paper and quality. Hemp paper production reduces wastewater contamination as well. The first paper created was made from industrial hemp, and was actually stronger and lasted longer than typical papers in that day. Hemp’s low lignin content reduces the need for acids used in pulping, and its creamy color lends itself to environmentally-friendly bleaching instead of harsh chlorine compounds. Industrial hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and doesn’t yellow over time when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper was discovered dating back more than 1,500 years. Hemp paper can also be recycled more times than wood-based paper.
Stronger, better, building material.
Industrial hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State University was found to be twice as strong as the wood based variety. There are no extra resins required due to the naturally-occurring lignin in the material.
Ideal for ‘going green’.
Eco-friendly hemp can replace most toxic petrochemical products. Research is ongoing currently to use industrial hemp in creating biodegradable plastic goods. Plant-based cellophane, recycled plastic mixed with hemp for injection-molded products, and resins made from the oil, to name just a few examples. Over two million cars on the road today have hemp composite parts for door panels, dashboards, luggage racks, etc. Not to mention an entire car was once build from industrial hemp, and ran exclusively on hemp biofuel.

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