Some History about Hemp
Clothing, healing and feeding the people for millennia
The criminalisation of hemp (and as such, cannabis) is, without doubt, one of the biggest crimes against humanity. Due to the unrelenting propaganda campaign waged against it that began in earnest during the 1930’s & 40’s, citing cannabis as a deadly substance capable of transforming the most mild-mannered of first time users into homicidal knife-wielding maniacs, there is still, to this day, much confusion, controversy and fear attached to this miraculous plant.
Although as you will soon see, it is no exaggeration to claim that this one plant holds the potential to resolve many of the problems and challenges facing us as a species; from plastic pollution to cancer, from regenerating our corroded soils to fuelling our vehicles, there really is no end to the benefits this versatile and invaluable plant can bring us all.
Firstly, to clear up any confusion over the many names given to it, Hemp and Cannabis, are actually products of the same genus – the cannabis plant – but bred and grown with different goals in mind, as both have disparate yet unique and versatile properties.
What we know as cannabis, is a strain of Cannabis Sativa bred for its potent, resinous glands (known as trichomes). These trichomes are rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid compound in cannabis that creates the infamous ‘high’. The adopted street name, marijuana, was actually part of a racial slur campaign. To engender maximum fear from the US citizens cannabis was claimed to be the Mexicans’ drug of choice, giving them a crazed appetite for American women and crime, at the time the two most popular Mexican names were Maria and Juan… I’m sure you can guess the rest!
Hemp on the other hand is the non-psychoactive yet extremely useful and versatile material product of the cannabis plant, bred and grown for its myriad of industrial uses. It is extremely fibrous and leggy and very low in THC, rendering it non-psychoactive and thus, legal.
Only products made from industrial hemp containing less than 0.2% THC) are legal to sell, buy or consume in the UK and the majority of Europe.
Its potential uses are endless. Literally 50,000+ known hemp products have been cited; from skin care to ropes; from varnishes to plastic; et al. This plant holds unparalleled potential to breathe the economic life back into towns, cities and entire countries through its many and varied uses.
Just a cursory glance through the annals of history reveals that not only has hemp been a staple crop, crucial to countless economies across the globe for millennia, but it has also been a much-valued medicinal treatment commonplace in hospitals and doctors’ surgeries up until only 70 years ago, when industrial giants with deep financial interests and agendas waged a war to have cannabis eradicated from our culture in the name of profit.
Thanks to the recent mass-dissemination of knowledge and digital access to archives, it is now clear to see that hemp was demonised, alongside cannabis, in the wider War on Drugs; more so than any other compound, however, cannabis was banned solely for reasons of profit. Not only did the larger pharmaceutical companies stand to lose billions, but industries as diverse as alcohol, paper, tobacco and oil all have vested interests in preventing or, as the pendulum swings, limiting the uses of the cannabis plant.
It provides a better, cleaner & cheaper fuel than oil; as a fibrous quick growing plant it outshines wood pulp as the ideal source for paper; it can be made into non-toxic plastic; we can build houses from hempcrete which are eco-friendly, antimicrobial, fireproof and even suck CO2 from the air; Henry Ford’s first car was made from hemp, while Tesla and other companies have reintroduced it because it is stronger than steel yet light and cheap.
What else… canvases, cling film, food supplements, animal feed, insulation, batteries & capacitors, flour, clothing… there are thousands of uses and potential industries that do not hurt the environment and can replace the many products that do. Best of all hemp grows quickly and anywhere, and as it grows it remediates and rebuilds the soil, so it is a perfect crop for farmers that are witnessing (and participating) in the enormous and widespread loss of soil integrity due to the barbaric industrial farming techniques forced upon them… the potential that this one plant has to heal the people, heal the land and rebuild local economies is truly limitless.
We aim to assist in any way possible in spreading awareness of this miraculous plant and to help dispel the myths and disinformation that have been associated with it in less enlightened times.