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Hemp Facts

Hemp Facts

1) Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. 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.

2) Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic. The federal government subsidized hemp during the Second World War and US farmers grew about a million acres of hemp as part of that program. 

3) Hemp Seed is far more nutritious than even soybean, contains more essential fatty acids than any other source, is second to soybeans in complete protein (but is more digestible by humans), is high in vitamin E, and is 35% dietary fiber. Hemp Seed does not contain THC.

4) The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers which are among the Earth’s longest natural soft fibers and are also rich in cellulose; the cellulose and hemicellulose in its inner woody core are called hurds. Hemp stalk contains no THC. Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more insulative than cotton fiber. 

5) According to the Department of Energy and Dr. Brooks Kelly, Hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power. 

6) Hemp grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Almost half of the agricultural chemicals used on U.S. crops are applied to cotton. Hemp is an excellent rotation crop and also used as a weed suppressor, and in soil remediation projects. 

7) Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis, and can be used for every quality of paper. Hemp paper manufacturing can reduce waste-water contamination. Hemp’s low lignin content reduces the need for acids used in pulping, and it’s creamy color lends itself to environmentally friendly bleaching instead of harsh chlorine compounds. Less bleaching results in less dioxi and fewer chemical by-products. 

8) Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does not yellow with age when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been found. It can also be recycled more times. 

9) Hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State University was found to be twice as strong as wood-based fiberboard. 

10) Eco-friendly hemp can replace most toxic petro-chemical products. Research is being done to use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic products: plant-based cellophane, recycled plastic mixed with hemp for injection-molded products, and resins made from the oil, to name just a very few examples. The auto industry is using hemp matting to replace fiberglass in composites. 

Twenty five countries currently grow Industrial Hemp – Low THC varieties of Cannabis: Canada is the latest addition, with thousands of commercial acres grown in 1998. The United States has not granted a hemp permit in 40 years.

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