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Hemp the Wonder Crop

An opportunity for humanity suppressed

1 acre of hemp that takes six months to grow can be used to produce as much paper as it takes 4 acres of trees which take 50 years to grow

1 acre of hemp that takes less than six months to grow can be used to produce as much paper as it takes 4 acres of trees which takes 50 years to grow

For tens of thousands of years, hemp has been used all around the world in a wide range of products from foods, medicines, rope, clothing and even plastics. It is a very versatile crop that grows almost anywhere and it even improves the soil in which it grows.

It was widely used throughout the world to the 1930s when the oil industry was beginning to boom and they discovered that they could make plastics from oil. But hemp oil is also being used to make plastics and other industrial products which threaten the profits of the oil industry.

About the same time laws were being introduced to limit the use of heroin and other drugs including cannabis which is hemp's psychoactive cousin. So the oil industry lobbied government to make cannabis illegal and because hemp is a closely related plant without the THC content of cannabis, it was also banished putting thousands of farmers out of work. But this helped to transform the economy to its reliance on oil extracted from the earth.

What hemp can be used for circa 1930s

Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp are both members of the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique biochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) zero psychoactive effects. The legality of industrial hemp varies widely between countries. Some governments regulate the concentration of THC and permit hemp that's bred with an especially low THC content.

Undoubtedly hemp is one of the most useful plants known to humanity. It can be used as a food, medicine, stock food, paper, rope, clothing, building material, making biodegradable plastics and many other things.

Growing hemp is one of the most sensible options for all economies and yet its production is severely restricted due to its outward similarity with cannabis. That's the official reason the main reason is that it competes with and almost makes the oil industry redundant.

We must remember that it is the oil or petrochemical industry that is contributing to the destruction of our planet and hemp products could replace oil and reduce land-use not to mention pollution.  We must also remember that crops like cotton which is responsible for about a quarter of the world's agricultural chemical use and significant genetic modification whereas hemp that can also be used for making clothing requires little fertiliser and no pesticide use.

References:
Hemp Basics
Ways hemp can change the world
Relegalize hemp site
Ocean plastic soup
Comparing hemp paper to tree paper
Hemp plastics
Hemp Plastic website
Those behind banning hemp
How hemp as a cash crop can help our economy
The industries behind banning hemp
The decoricator machine

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