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What Is Hemp Good For?

Issuing time:2018-04-18 09:42

Hemp Nutrition Facts

A controversial crop that’s been alternatelydemonized and defended for at least 80 years, hemp has run the proverbialgauntlet in the US due to political factions, special interests, and downrightsuspicion.

Nevertheless, every bit of this ancientplant is useful and valuable, and not just for rope, but for textiles, autoparts, cosmetics, dynamite, supplements, food, and medicine. In ancient China,hemp seed was regarded as food for the lower classes, and in Europe, a peanutbutter-like spread was made from the seeds, in both cases with the hullsintact.


Today, you’ll find nutty-tasting (hull-less)hemp seeds and their oils baked in breads, cookies, and cakes, blended insmoothies, or tossed into quinoa and pasta dishes, burgers, pizza, vegetablessautés, soups, salads, oatmeal, yogurt, trail mix, and salad dressings. It’s aniche market, with a growing number of specialty outlets due to a growingunderstanding of this food’s nutritional benefits.


Cultivated in at least 30 countries,monikers for the hemp plant often allude to its origin or use, such as Manilahemp (abacá, Musa textilis), sisal hemp (Agave sisalana), Indian hemp(Apocynumcannabinum) and New Zealand hemp (Phormiumtenax). Worldwide, hemp seedproduction alone has soared from around 33,000 metric tons in the late ’90s tomore than 100,000 metric tons annually between 2005 and 2011.


By 1938, Popular Mechanics called hemp the“Billion Dollar Crop,”1 praising its potential to produce 25,000 differentproducts, as high as $192 billion in today’s market and capable of producingfour times the paper per acre than trees. Farmers from the Midwest to the Eastcoast harvested more than 150,000 acres for the war’s Hemp for Victory Program,implemented by the USDA from 1942 through 1946, but rumblings by thecompetition had already started.

It’s not just the debate about medicalmarijuana. Part of the confusion is that some people assume hemp and marijuanaare one in the same, especially since in explicably, they share the scientificname Cannabis sativa. But the word is not the thing. While they both belong tothe same plant species, they’re two distinct varieties.

Cannabis Sativa-This annual herb in theCannabaceae family has been cultivated for centuries for use as an industrialfiber, seed oil, food, drug, medicine, and spiritual tool. Mostly used for itslong fibers, each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on thepurpose of its use.

Cannabis Indica – The annual plant of theCannabaceae family is considered a species of the genus Cannabis, but separatefrom Cannabis sativa, and originating in the Hindu Kush Mountains and suitedfor cultivation in temperate climates. Used to induce sleep, the plant isdescribed as relatively short and conical with dense branches and short, broadleaves, while Cannabis sativa is tall with fewer branches and long, narrowleaves.

Cannabis Ruderalis – Thought to be acannabis species originating in central Asia, it flowers earlier, is muchsmaller, and can withstand much harsher climates than either Cannabis indica orCannabis sativa. This species purportedly buds based on age rather than changesin length of daylight, known as auto-flowering. It’s used primarily for foodproduction, such as hemp seeds and hemp seed oil.

Perhaps the most important differencebetween hemp and marijuana is that marijuana – no pun intended – has a highdelta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content, or THC, which supplies the sought-afterpsychotropic effect, but it’s low in cannabidiol content, or CBD, which hasmedicinal properties. Hemp is just the opposite, being typically high in CBDand low in THC, meaning it’s not going to get anybody stoned. In fact, clinicalstudies show that CBD blocks the effect of THC in the nervous system. Both THCand CBD contain cannabinoid, but it’s the amount that needs to examined,because CBD is currently a Schedule 1 controlled substance. That means that atpresent, there’s currently no permissible medical protocol in the US.

But recent activity in Washington haslegislators in every aisle waving banners for hemp. So far, 20 states havestepped up to encourage industrial hemp production.5 On February 7, 2014, the2013 Farm Bill6 was signed into law, legitimizing industrial hemp as distinct,and authorizing university and State departments of agriculture (where it’slegal) for research or pilot programs. On January 8, 2015, The Industrial HempFarming Act of 2015, S. 134, was introduced in the U.S. Senate.



1http://www.fihpr.org/blog/billion-dollar-crop-popular-mechanics-1938Foundation for Industrial Hemp Production and Research

2https://books.google.com/books?id=zwgAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=popular+mechanics+1938+hemp+billion+dollar+crop&source=bl&ots=-2Ln28p2Y6&sig=PzpBB3ZBHzhTQ5vLzWk7hfQPC6o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pxkpVeiyFc-2ogTu4YHIBQ&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=popular%20mechani&f=falseWhateverHappened to Hemp? Vegetarian Times

3http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/us-missing-out-on-agricultural-millions-because-the-dea-cant-distinguish-hemp-from-pot.htmlUS Missing Out On Agricultural Millions Because The DEA Can't Distinguish HempFrom Pot

4http://relegalize.info/hemp/definitions.shtml Industrial Hemp: Definitions

5http://www.ncsl.org/research/agriculture-and-rural-development/state-industrial-hemp-statutes.aspxState Industrial Hemp Statutes

6http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/Industrial%20Hemp%20Farming%20Act%20of%202015.pdfA Bill To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp fromthe definition of marihuana


8http://www.leafscience.com/2014/02/23/5-must-know-facts-cannabidiol-cbd/5 Must-Know Facts About Cannabidiol (CBD)

9http://www.fao.org/fsnforum/sites/default/files/discussions/contributions/Hempseed_as_a_nutritional_resource-_An_overview_2.pdfHempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview

10http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129115155.htmHempseed oil packed with health-promoting compounds, study finds

11http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19449825Evaluation of the DNA damaging potential of cannabis cigarette smoke by thedetermination of acetaldehyde derived N2-ethyl-2'-deoxyguanosine adducts.

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