What is Hemp?


What is Hemp?

What is Hemp?

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How is Hemp Different than Marijuana?

The Cannabis plant has 2 classifications, Indica and Sativa.

Marijuana can be either Indica or Sativa.

Hemp is part of the Cannabis Sativa plant family.

Think of Cannabis Sativa as a mom, that has 2 children; one of them is an artist, a creative, a visionary, one that sees opportunities and makes change happen. The other one is practical, pragmatic, resourceful, and strong.

The creative one offers power through her flower - what we call marijuana.  Used for medical and recreational purposes.

While the other, hemp, flourishes in industrial use for its seeds, and from its stalk, we get fibers and hemp hurd for building materials.

Both mighty, both essential, both served humanity for centuries.

So are they both cannabis?

Yes, they are both from the Cannabis Sativa plant species. However, they are separate strains, and therefore have different properties.

Hemp contains less than .3% of the psychoactive compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is not smokeable, and cannot make you high. Hemp contains higher Cannabidiol (CBD) a compound with a wide range of medical and health applications.


What's ALL the hype about?

What's ALL the hype about?

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Hemp can be used as a base and ingredient in tens of thousands of products that we use daily. It is a biodegradable alternative to many of the synthetics that have become standard inputs in a majority of products that surround us and we use on a regular basis (polyester, plastic, etc.)

What we yield from 4 acres of timber to make paper, we can get from 1 acre of hemp. Timber takes a whole generation to grow back, whereas hemp takes 6 months. At the current rate of deforestation, National Geographic says, the world’s forests could disappear in a 100 years.

Hemp’s long fibers (bast) are strong dependable materials for the textiles and paper industries, in addition to cordage and industrial ropes.

Short fibers from the woody core of the plant (hurd) are best for building materials (hempcrete) and other non-woven items (e.g. insulation)

Cotton uses 25% of all global agricultural pesticides, hemp grows with almost none; providing a safer environment for farmers, and a chemical free product for consumers.

Hemp takes in more CO2 than it puts out and can help address rising gas emissions contributing to climate change. “During photosynthesis, hemp removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to form carbohydrates that are used to build the structure of the plant.” - Hemp Meds.

Reputable car makers BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz  have already begun integrating hemp bioplastic into manufacturing side panels and interiors of their cars.   

Hemp seeds also do the body good as a generous source of protein, essential fatty acids, and nutrients.

What part of the plant can we use?

Almost every part of the plant can be utilized for different uses.

Using the Stalk we can make paper products, industrial textiles; molded parts ( e.g. 3D printing) carpeting, fine fabrics, building materials, Insulation, acrylics, etc.

From the seeds, we can manufacture Industrial coatings, oil paints, solvents, varnishes. Also from the seeds, we get foods - Hemp seed hearts, Hemp protein powder, Hemp seed oil, as well as a range of personal products such as soaps and lotions.

The roots provide remedies for conditions such as epilepsy, joint pain, arthritis, eczema, and fibromyalgia, etc.

Hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds.

Why haven't I heard of it?

Why haven't I heard of it?

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Hemp’s industrial uses (and production) began to diminish at the heart of the industrial revolution in the 19th century.  

Processing hemp was hard manual labor. It would take whole families' every effort just to barely make ends meet.

The cotton Gin was patented in 1793,  and from 1800 onward, the amount of raw cotton yielded doubled each decade. A more accessible substitute was born.

In the 1800s, industry was gaining power – Monopolisation from fossil fuel, paper interests, synthetic materials and other crops, led Hemp’s production to decline.

By the 1920s we see a shift in power to giant corporations and the need for mass production. Gasoline and petroleum industry exports became big business in America. The lumber and logging industry grew and took shape in response to demand for building materials and paper. Health hazards were invisible to the economic benefits of technological advances and raw material substitutes.

Resurging hemp now that technology did exist, would have severely threatened the petrochemical industry, the timber industry, the paper industry, the chemical industry, and other synthetic manufacturers such as plastic.  

And so a group of industry tycoons changed the name, and launched a smear campaign starting with Reefer Madness and followed by a series of print propaganda.

In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act was passed. The licensing and tax regulations made cannabis cultivation nearly impossible for American farmers.

The following year, we have the first cannabis criminals in a wave of indictments.

Cannabis was still Federally legal. In 1942  during WWII the Japanese cut-off supplies of manilla hemp from the Philippines. The US Department of Agriculture launched a Hemp for Victory campaign to educate US farmers on the history, uses, cultivation, and harvesting of hemp and encourage them to grow it.

It remained legal until a case in 1969 between Prof Timothy Leary, a clinical psychologist, and the US supreme court. He was arrested under the tax act. He appealed, claiming the Act was ruled to be unconstitutional as a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

He won, repealing the tax act, and instead, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 criminalizing cannabis (The whole family) - and listing it as a schedule 1 narcotic, up there with heroin.

For the past 80+ years, federal law did not differentiate hemp from other cannabis plants. President Obama’s 2014 Farm bill legalized industrial hemp cultivation, harvesting, and processing for research purposes. All programs run through Academic institutions and with the government’s oversight. Commercial uses limited and permitted only for research purposes through this program.

Finally, in the recently passed Farm bill, December 2018, hemp is treated like a plant again, similar to other agricultural commodities (in many ways.) This is a huge win for US farmers, who due to hemp’s accessibility, short harvesting cycle, and rising demand for sustainable material, growing hemp can give every farmer a cash crop.


Hemp's History

Hemp's History

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Before mastering synthetics, humanity relied on hemp for centuries.

Hemp rope dating back to 26,900 BC was found in Czechoslovakia in 1997.

From 2600 BC Cannabis has been cultivated in China for food, medicine, and hemp fibers commonly used for bow strings and cloths.

Cannabis spread west and in 768 AD King Charles the Great encourages growing hemp throughout his empire. Which served useful as many people survived on hemp and water during the dark ages. Hemp is high in protein can be made into a meal similar to porridge.

During the Viking Age of Scandinavian history 793- 1066 AD, hemp was used to arm their ships from the roaring seas and vital for their exploration; hemp fiber is two to three times as strong as jute or sisal. This makes hemp excellent for cordage, ropes and natural carpeting.

In 1455, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press and the Bible was the first great book printed in Western Europe from movable metal type. It was printed on a blend of hemp paper.

When Christopher Columbus set out on his voyage to cross the Atlantic, 80 tons of hemp helped bring his ships to America.  

1619, the Jamestown Colony in Virginia passed a law requiring farmers in the territory to plant hemp - “ordering” all farmers to “make tryal of (grow) Indian hemp seed.” It is the New World's first cannabis legislation.

From 1680 to the 1800s you could actually pay your taxes with hemp!

Cannabis was used as medicine for more than 100 illnesses and diseases in the US.

By the 1820s , 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, bed sheets, were made from hemp.

And all school books were made from hemp or flax paper.  Which is ironic, because Cannabis was removed from all textbooks, and is not even mentioned in National textile museum.

why do we need hemp back?

why do we need hemp back?

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A plethora of global problems jeopardizes the wellness of humans and the environment we live in and have been on the rise over the past decades.  Scientific studies and relevant journalism are linking global illness and environmental threats to synthetic pollutants.


Plastic pollution has become a hot topic on national and international agendas of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and numerous governments, particularly over the past 5 years. If plastic production isn’t addressed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.” EarthDay.org

Plastics enter our ecosystems through product waste and disposal. Whether the products are old monitors and cell phones, or single-use plastics like water bottles and straws, they have nowhere to go when their useful life ends. 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since it is not biodegradable, it will stay there for hundreds of years, or break into smaller, and tinier pieces (microplastics) and enter our soil, water, and food. Trash islands in the Pacific are a testament to the sheer quantity of plastic waste that we “dispose” of, and has no place to go, so it stays there and is killing marine life. “There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way” - EarthDay.org

Hemp can be made into bioplastic. Hurd from the stalk is ground down to powder and compressed. Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built from hemp plastic and created to run on hemp fuel. The car had hemp plastic panels - with impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel. (Popular Mechanics) It didn’t gain popularity as the rise in fossil fuels had already taken form.

Hemp plastic is competitive in pricing, performance, and environmental impact.  It can be used to create products, their components, and their packaging.

Hemp fiber is a biodegradable, non-toxic fiber, it can be woven into textiles and used in a wide range of commercial applications, and blended with a variety of other fibers. It can also be used for insulating our buildings and homes.  A common cause of structural damage, such as wood rotting or mold, is due to lack of breathability of building materials, which lead to damp environments. Hemp absorbs up to 20% of its weight in moisture without impacting its performance or causing it to deteriorate.


Overwhelming increases in Carbon Dioxide emissions are directly linked to increasing temperatures on earth, and the resulting climate effects from such increases. CO2 emissions have increased by about 90% since 1970.

The rise in emissions is due to our collective regular production and disposal practices burning fossil fuels. Burning of coal, natural gas, and oil, solid waste, trees, and wood products threaten our well-being as a race and our quality of life. During the combustion process, carbon mixes with oxygen and creates even more carbon dioxide than would have naturally been present in the atmosphere.

Forestry and Agriculture account for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity and heat production contributes to 25% of these emissions. Manufacturing of cement leads to CO2 emissions. Hempcrete can be used in commercial and residential construction projects as a natural compostable material to substitute cement. Hemp fiber is a quality insulator for our buildings and homes, too.

A range of natural ingredients is available to substitute synthetic materials commonly used to make daily items we use. Bamboo, Shea, flax, clay, fiber and butter sources, and other green building materials are effective options that exist in the market. And have seen a rise in demand over the past several years. Each of these plants substitutes an element, whereas, with Hemp, from 1 plant, we can address a range of global impending catastrophes impacting our collective human welfare, and threaten life as we know it, on earth.

Industrial Hemp can do what other plants can do, and better. It’s versatile and can make 12,000 + products from its different parts.