We love hemp. Its offerings are truly abundant and range from medicinal (CBD) to functional (fiber, textiles, building materials). The question we are often asked is: If hemp is so great, why does it have such a criminal past?
Hemp was criminalized as a result of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. The push to criminalize hemp was thanks to the Du Pont family, Andrew Mellon, William Randolph Hearst along with Harry Anslinger, chair of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. There is a favorable case to argue that the men viewed hemp as a threat to their interests in the growing newspaper and timber trades, which funny enough was found to be not true. Hemp lacks the cellulose content to be a real treat to the paper industry. Most of hemp’s fiber content is found in the stalk, which is used in textile manufacturing.
Growing industrial hemp is easy, efficient, and environmentally friendly. One acre of hemp can produce the same amount of fiber as three acres of cotton. Hemp requires minimal to no pesticides, little fertilizer, and it is a great rotation crop because it suppresses weeds and some major soil-borne pathogens.
The Farm Bill of 2014 legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. Farmers all over the United States started to grow industrial hemp legally for the first time since the 1930’s! Now hemp’s functional goods are found all over the market place. A couple of our favorites include Patagonia’s Hemp Utility Apron or Jungmaven’s Hemp Bedding and Sheet Sets.
Hemp’s medicinal properties can be found in both the seeds and the whole plant. Hemp seeds are used as a powerful protein that contain all 20 amino acids and all 9 of the essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce. They have a great 3:1 balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are high in GLA. The seeds, when pressed, produce hemp seed oil which is also rich in fatty acids and minerals. Hemp seed oil is nutty, dark green, great for cooking as well as applying directly onto the skin.
Hemp oil that is extract from the whole plant is rich in terpenes and cannabinoids such as CBD. The benefits of CBD are plenty as discussed throughout the web pages of Cordial Organics. As we have written in our prior post, How to Read CBD Product Labels, be sure any CBD products you purchase have clear labeling that is easy to read and communicates the what, how much, and where of the product. Do not hesitate to write us if you have any questions or concerns.
Interestingly, a US Government study looked at the genotypes of 43 hemp samples and 81 marijuana samples. The study identified a consistent difference between hemp and marijuana: Hemp is genetically more similar to Cannabis indica and marijuana to Cannabis sativa.
Hemp, you have come a long way since deemed a criminal crop. Follow us on Instagram to celebrate Hemp History Week in early June annually.