Hemp is the industrial term for the Cannabis sativa L plant. Commonly confused with its sister plant marijuana (originally marihuana), industrial hemp contains no or extremely little Tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC), the psychoactive that gives the high when smoked.
Industrial hemp is not grown to produce the flowers of the female plants (the buds that are smoked). The resin glands on the female buds aren’t given the opportunity to grow, thus taking away the primary component in the plant that gives you the high. Industrial hemp also has a higher concentration on Cannabidiols (CBD) that has a negative effect on the THC if it were smoked. Cannabis sativa is commonly harvested and used for industrial/commercial purposes whereas Cannabis Indica (another member of the Cannabis sativa family) it’s grown for its high THC content.
Like many other plants such as cotton, flax or jute, hemp is grown and harvested for many purposes. Unlike cotton, flax or jute the hemp plant is far more versatile and none of the plant goes to waste. The fibres of the plant can be used to make clothing, thread, twine, and rope. The seeds can be used for cooking along with the oil extracted from the hemp seed which can also be used for cooking or even engine lubrication. The biomass of the hemp plant can be used for fuel and even the left overs of the plant can be used as mulch or pet bedding. All of this can be achieved while replenishing the soil that the hemp grows in and help the environment with no or minimal pesticide use. Just imagine, the very machines that harvest the hemp could be running on hemp fuel, its engines lubricated with hemp seed oil, and a majority of its exterior and interior built from hemp also. Henry Fords hemp car built in 1941 is a great example of this.
Key to Diagram of Cannabis Sativa L. Plant
- Top of male plant in flower.
- Top of the female plant in flower.
- Leaflet from a large leaf.
- Portion of a staminate in florescence, with buds and mature male flower.
- Female flowers, with stigmas protruding from hairy bract.
- Fruit enclosed in persistent hairy bract.
- Fruit, lateral view.
- Fruit, end view.
- Glandular hair with multicellular stalk.
- Glandular hair with short, one-celled invisible stalk.
- Non glandular hair containing a cystolith.
Hemps possibilities are endless, and if we all work together we can help reverse global warming, the poisoning of our soils and water ways, and the mass deforestation of our oldest forests all with hemp.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Seed Oil is extracted from the seed produced by the (THC free) Cannabis sativa L. plant. Containing good amounts of: Omega 3,6 & 9, Vitamins; A, B1, B2, B3,B6, B9, B12, C, D& E and Minerals such as, Copper,Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, Chlorophyll, & Fibre. All of these ingredients are readily absorbed into the skin promoting internal and external wellbeing. This amazing natural oil is so versatile and has many health benefits.
Hempseed oil is the perfect remedy for those who suffer with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin or dandruff. Some of the best vitamins for repairing damaged skin are vitamins; A, B3, C, & E which are all there naturally in the hemp seed oil. Hempseed oil penetrates deep into the skin taking along with it its vitamins and minerals.
Many countries around the world still use hemp seed oil today for; cooking (frying,baking or in a salad dressing), take a daily dose for an all-round wellbeing,or a daily moisturiser for the skin. Unfortunately due to out dated Australian& New Zealand food standards (FSANZ) hemp foods (seeds and oil) cannot be sold for human consumption. Australia and New Zealand are the only two places left in the world where hemp foods are still illegal to sell for human consumption.
Hemp seeds are harvested from the flower of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that contains no, or very, very little THC (the psychoactive that gives the high).Hemp as been considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants, with its seeds rich in essential amino acids making it an ideal protein source. Australia,China and Europe are amongst some of the countries that have used hemp seed as famine food up until as recently as World War II.
- Hemp seeds are full of fibre and help clean the digestive system. (gluten free too, so no upset tummies)
- The only own plant food source to contain vitamin D3 (a bone building vitamin we got from our sun)
- Hemp seeds are among the highest in PUFA’S (Polyunsaturated Fat Acids) like omega 3 & 6
- Almost no cholesterol
- Food source of antioxidants (Vitamin E)
- Minerals such as; Iron, Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc.
What’s even more amazing is the globulin edestin found in hemp protein. It resembles closely the globulin found in our blood plasma. It’s easily absorbed and digested by the human body and vital to maintaining a healthy immune system.
The hemp seeds can be ground down into hemp flour for baking or a protein powder. Like other nuts/seeds it can also be turned into hemp milk that is highly nutritious. You can eat the hulled seeds on their own, toss them through a salad or used in deserts or baking. The possibilities are endless when it comes to hemp!
There are many plants that are used for fibres, oils, and biomass but hemp seems to be far superior in many ways. If we used hemp in replacement of wood paper, plastics,and biomass (fuel) we could greatly diminish our excessive output of CO2,greatly reduce toxins and chemicals put into our soil and waterways, and help reverse the environmental damage caused by pollution and deforestation. From growing, to harvesting and manufacturing, hemp is an ecological marvel.
Hemp is easy to grow, requires no or very little pesticides or herbicides, and can grow in almost any clim ate or soil. It permanently removes CO2 from the air and puts most of what it absorbs back in to the soil to replenish it. Reaching 20 feet or more in a single growing season(approx. 110 days), hemp is a perfect rotation crop for farmers to help and keep their soil healthy between harvesting and sowing.
In an annual rotation over a 20 year period one acre of cannabis hemp would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees according to the 1916, USDA Bulletin No. 404. Choosing hemp paper over wood paper would dramatically help deforestation. We wouldn’t have to wait decades for the trees to grow and this would also help our planet replenish its top soil (the “skin” of our planet)that we require to grow our food in. Decades of fallen leaves, twigs and other organic matter is what creates our Earths top soil and it’s not something we can get back quick and easily once gone. Growing hemp in replacement of wood for paper would also help reduce the need for bleaches and other toxic chemicals to make paper, further helping eroded soils and our poisoned waterways.
Pulp isn’t the only part of the plant that can be utilised, the whole plant can. From the seeds, strong fibre, the hurd (the woody inner core), and the leaves not a single part of this plant is wasted unlike other plants.
Hemp fibre is one of the strongest fibres on the planet. The hemp fibre bundles are up to15 feet long while plants like cotton only produce fibres approximately three-quarters of an inch in length. In comparison to one another, hemp has up to 8 times the tensile strength and four times the durability of cotton. Hemp fabric is antibacterial, fast absorbing and drying and is the perfect fibre for clothing. Hemp fabric wears in not out, and gets softer the more you wash and wear it. Even more importantly growing hemp for fibre requires no pesticides or herbicides unlike cotton which is reportedly responsible for up to 26% of the world’s pesticide use.
On top of the list of hemps amazing environmental attributes is hemp fuel (biomass).Virtually any organic matter or plants biomass can be converted to fuel, known as biofuels. The burning of fossil fuels is what produces CO2 (carbon dioxide)and puts this harmful toxin into our atmosphere. Hemp fuel would be incredibly beneficial to our environment and atmosphere as through photosynthesis, hemp would convert water and the carbon into oxygen. We would essentially be recycling the gases and reversing the primary cause of global warming. The plants biomass can be used for fuel, hemp seed oil for engine lubrication, and fibre for fibreglass and upholstery. Yes, almost an entire car can be made from and to run on hemp. Not only will hemp help clean up our atmosphere we would be harvesting a new source of fuel every year rather than depleting fossil fuels that cannot replenish itself as quickly as we are depleting them.