|Posted by Arkhenatan on August 22, 2006 at 10:14 AM|
First used by humans sinced the paleolithic age, it's first recorded use dates back to the 16th century BC, when the Ancient Egyptians used it to make
cord and cosmetics!
It's seeds contain omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids in the most optimum proportions of all sources, vitamin E (as with most seeds),
and is a good first class protein source (high levels of essential amino acids-as in meat, spirulina, quinoa and soya beans)
It is the longest and strongest fibre in the plant kingdom. Before the mid 1800s most ships were rigged with hemp rope and hemp sails.
A 44 gun warship, like America's old iron sides, took over 60 tons of hemp rigging, including an anchor cable over 2 feet in circumference
also the oakham that sealed the ships boards and the sailors clothing were made from hemp as were the uniforms of soldiers and flags
the wagons of pioneer days were covered with hemp canvas, the word canvas which comes from the word cannabis, Which is found in ancient sumerian and
babylonian languages, 6000 years ago. America's founding fathers, including George Washington, were keen growers of hemp! Thomas Jefferson was
probably the first hemp activist, who encouraged farmers to grow hemp instead of tobacco.
It can replace all paper and press board for making houses, and petroleum for fuel, with hardly any pollution.
Hemp has been the major paper making material most of the time since paper was discoverd in China.
The first paper ever to be printed on, in China, in about AD 770, was 100% hemp.
By the sixteenth century hemp was the material of choice for European paper makers, they made it into the finest and longest lasting paper ever made,
including the guttenberg and King James Bibles and many other famous works, America's declaration of independance was also first printed on hemp paper
Most paper of this period was made from recycled hemp canvas and old rags made from various fibres. The world consumes hundreds of thousands of tons of
paper each year. To meet these demands, hundreds of thousands of acres of forest are cut down each year, forests which take around 150 years to mature.
Hemp stalks produce the best quality art paper, Wood pulp is used to make paper not because it's suitable but simply because it's cheap and is a by
product of the logging industry, but the available cellulose is only something like 30% and is really not very good and also has to be processed with
all sorts of toxic chemicals.
Hemp on the other hand is over 77% cellulose and is an ideal material for paper making.
Since the invention of the wood paper process, paper quality has deteriorated and so has the environment. The water that comes out of the pulp plant
and pulp process, has large quantities of chemicals that are potentially toxic to marine organsims that live in the bay.
Those toxins include dioxins and chloroform, and a whole suite of other chlorinated organic compounds, over 2000 have been identified.
The UK licensed commercial hemp in 1993.
Hemp is pretty resistant to diseases and doesn't require pesticides, or even much fertiliser, and is one of the few plants in the world that contains
fibres of very high quality.
hemp also prevents soil degradation as, whilst growing, it's long tap root binds the soil together.and in the past was used to repair land after soil
erosion. It is a natural weed suppressant because of the way it grows, on tall skinny stalks with a thick canopy of leaves up above, which just prevents
anything underneath it from being able to grow. It's nutrients are concentrated in the roots, leaves and flower head, and if you grow hemp for fibre you
only remove the stalk, while the roots remain in the ground, with the leaves and the flowers being returned to the soil to replenish it's nutrients.
So think of the implications for Africa!
You're only removing cellulose and water if you use hemp for paper or textiles
In Australia wood is sold for 70-80 dolars a ton, hemp fetches at least 400 dollars a ton.
A hemp plant takes only four months to mature compared to 20 years for a tree!
An acre of hemp yields 4 times as much pulp as an acre of wood, on a sustained yield basis, not only that but it also grows almost anywhere like a weed
including many parts of Asia and Africa where people are suffering with malnutrition and poverty!
It can be used for carpet backings, can produce material with all the characteristics of natural linen and even produce material indistiguishable from
silk. Hemp is undoubtably the most durable of the natural fibres, testing of 3 years of very hard wash and wear, don't make the slightest impression on
hemp fibre, it softens but doesn't weaken.
In terms of yield per acre, hemp out produces cotton by 200%, or perhaps even more under ideal conditions
Cotton is highly dependant on pesticides on all stages of production and is the heaviest user of pesticides, using 25% of of the world's pesticides and
requiring considerably more processing than hemp, and because of the heavy use of pesticides you also have to take into account the health costs of the
workers. So you see We have a major problem which isn't even recognised because of the business implications.
With the pesticide, cotton, pharmaceutical and national health industries, all benefitting from cotton farming.
The technology is different for processing hemp, so will take quite a lot to set up for the textile industry, but when you consider how easy and
inexpensive it is to grow, because you don't have to pour money into pesticides or repairing the humans farming it, unlike cotton, and when you consider
the pretty glaring costs of cotton, you realise that hemp is a highly more beneficial product even in the short term. Not only that but hemp is more
absorbant than cotton and has three times the tensile strength!
Prior to 1937, 70-90 per cent of the world rope trade was from hemp. Trees are fibres, and when you take a Douglas fir tree, the longest fibre is 3/4 of
an inch, wheras hemp fibres are feet long. Medium density fibre board made from hemp is 2-3 times stronger boards than that made of wood. You can even
make the body of a stealth bomber from it!
good for bio degradable food packaging, providing, edible containers with no toxicity, which if thrown out on a land-fill site would, could even be used
for fertiliser. Hemp is 40% high quality oil, a combustable oil, a simple process now allows it to be made into a relatively clean substitute for diesel
fuel, a substitute for oil and non toxic paint, also good for cosmetics, and can even be made into Ice-cream! Check out the recipe here: http://www.nutiva.com/nutrition/recipes/icecream.php
Hemp is probably the most economical, ethological, easiest way to grow protein, and is totally drug-free.
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of death in this country from poisoning, it accounts for more deaths anually than all drug overdoses combined.
Over history it would be hard to predict how many people died from gasolene that didn't know what killed them, it is a poison spreading material, because
it is distilled with benzene, hexene, x/zylene, and tolene which are all known carcinogenic materials.
Normal drinking alcohol also called ethanol, is the cleanest of all liquid fuels, and can be brewed from fast growing plants like hemp.
Hemp fabric even offers natural protection against the sun, blocking up to 95% of harmful UV rays, is used as horse bedding by the Royal Mews stables at
Buckingham Palace and has strong anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.