Global: Hemp: The Oldest and Most Productive Crop
By Paul Stanford, CRRH
It's time to restore hemp, the oldest & most productive crop. Hemp, also known as marijuana, has been cultivated for over 12,000 years. Hemp, by every measure, makes more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant. An acre of hemp on an annual basis produces 300 gallons of seed oil, 3 tons of high protein hempseed meal, 10 tons of bast fiber for canvas, rope lace and linen, 25 tons of hurd fiber for paper and building materials, and, from its leaves and biomass, ethanol for fuel too. The reason hemp, or marijuana, was prohibited in the 20th century was to suppress hemp fuel and fiber production.
Hemp produces more fiber than any other plant. There are two types of fiber in a marijuana stalk or stem, the bast fiber, which is the outer bark, and the hurd fiber, or the inner woody core. According to the US Department of Agriculture's Bulletin 404, a waste product from making canvas, rope,lace and linen from hemp bast fiber, this hemp hurd fiber alone, makes over 4 times more paper than trees. Hemp paper is acid free, for a long shelf life, and produced without toxic chemicals. According to Washington State University's Wood Sciences Lab, hemp fiber board is stronger than steel.
Hemp fuel and fiber are inexpensive to make and naturally decentralized. Small groups of people created the marijuana myth so they could profit from the expensive, capital intensive petrochemical alternatives that dominate our political process and economy today. Hemp will decentralize our economic system and return wealth and control to the majority.
Hemp seeds make biodiesel fuel. Hemp biomass makes ethanol. Hemp makes more biofuel than any other plant. When we allow farmers to grow hemp for its best fuel attributes, regardless of THC content, we will realign our whole economic system by replacing fossil fuel with biofuel.
Hemp seeds produce more oil and protein than any other plant per land area cultivated. Hemp protein and oil are rich in the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that our brain and cardiovascular system need, Omega 3 & 6, in the perfect ratio for optimal human health. Hemp protein has all 8 amino acids, again, in just the right balance to meet humans' nutritional needs.
Per acre, according to a study published in the Notre Dame University journal, The American Midland Naturalist, wild hemp here in the USA produces 8,500 pounds of seed per acre. This study is called: An Ecological Study of Naturalized Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in East-Central Illinois, by Alan Haney and Benjamin B. Kutscheid at the University of Indiana at Urbana, Department of Biology.
After you press the seeds, you get over 300 gallons of oil and 6,000 pounds of high protein hemp meal. That is 6 barrels of oil produced per acre, which is extremely healthy while fresh, and 3 tons of food per acre. This oil production rate is three times more productive than the next most productive seed oil crops: soybeans, sunflower seeds and canola, which produce 100 to 115 gallons of oil per acre. Hempseed oil will be the most productive source of biodiesel fuel when legalized, and it is also a nontoxic resource for plastics and other synthesized products.
There is a lot of confusion about the difference between hemp, cannabis and marijuana. Hemp, cannabis or marijuana all are scientifically denoted by the Latin term, cannabis sativa; hemp, cannabis or marijuana are all the same plant species, cannabis sativa. According to US law, hemp is the stalks, stems and sterilized seeds of cannabis sativa, and marijuana is the leaves, flowers and viable seeds of cannabis sativa. Male or female cannabis has no differentiation by law or science, beyond gender. Of course, you can't get any cannabis or hemp seeds except via female flowers. Just as there are different varieties of corn, there are different varieties of cannabis. The varieties of cannabis that are over-regulated but legal in Canada & Europe are those that produce less than 0.3 percent THC. Since most THC is in the flowers, this low THC variety is a patented French variety which has been specifically bred to have very few flowering sites, thus little THC. Unfortunately, this patented French 'low THC but legal in Canada & Europe' variety also, conversely, produces very little seed compared to varieties of cannabis with more flowering sites, and thus more THC. The seeds of cannabis produce the most productive and nutritious vegetable oil and protein for humans on our planet.
Indica varieties of cannabis are just different varieties of the same species, cannabis sativa. Cannabis is not a genus, it is a species.
Cannabis & hemp were renamed marijuana in the early part of the 20th Century in a misinformation campaign designed by and to benefit the petrochemical pharmaceutical military industrial transnational corporate elite fascist ruling class. Cannabis prohibition has always been about money, power and the centralization of economic and political control.
It is difficult to fathom how one plant can produce more fuel, fiber, food and medicine than any other plant, and how we can all be relatively ignorant of this fact. And that this plant is illegal across the world. But cannabis prohibition was sold based upon racist lies to benefit the petrochemical robber barons and their proxy successor corporate oligarchs who rule the world today. Ending cannabis prohibition is the solution for many environmental and social issues. Drugs are a smokescreen. We don't need to fight wars for oil because our farmers can produce a superior product. It is really an issue of economic and social justice. Please work for and support global cannabis freedom: restore hemp!