What is hemp and why should you care?
Good questions. The answers are intricately tied to a decades-long “war on drugs” and a continued set of limitations on hemp today.
According to Wikipedia, hemp is one of the earliest known plants that humans cultivated. We know for sure that it’s been farmed since about 12,000 years ago, or 12 millennia.
History of Hemp
It can be traced back to China’s Neleolithic Age, and European use in the same period. Historians think that hemp really began to grow in popularity when some people started to smoke its seeds, causing a whirlwind of interest in the once-ordinary plant.
But hemp is not ordinary at all. Grown even by our nation’s esteemed first president, George Washington, it’s got a multitude of uses — from food, to health-boosting oil, to clothing, to paper, and even fuel.
Hemp milk, hemp seeds, and hemp oil all carry nutritional benefits, and clothes woven from hemp are especially durable.
Some kinds of CBD, or cannabidiol, are extracted from hemp, meaning that there’s no chance that the medicine could be psychoactive, or get you high.
In fact, you can even buy CBD hemp products — as long as there’s no cannabis sativa component to the substance — online in most places, without any kind of prescription.
Hemp can even power diesel engines with its oil. Basically, it could make a huge difference for the environment, and already, in many ways, is.
Progression of Cannabis Hemp
However, not many groups are promoting the use of “hempoline” yet. The thing is, it’s illegal to grow hemp in at least 10 states; back in 1970, the government decreed it uncool to cultivate this nonpsychoactive plant because it’s a close relative of weed.
A number of states have worked to reverse the out-of-date decision, but it’s a slow fight. Plus, some people believe that all hemp activists are working towards the end goal of legal cannabis. This isn’t true. They’re totally different things, and so are their differing purposes.
In a world where planting a tree is akin to building a new life, what could hemp do for us? Not only could this efficient plant give the natural world a boost, but it could also help people get healthier, get stronger, and get better at life.
What is hemp? It’s a gift from nature.