As consumers, the choice is ours alone. We choose what we put into our bodies, whether we smoke or consume alcohol, what we wear, what type of vehicle we drive. It is our responsibility, as individuals, to become aware of and avoid harmful products. Not the governments, not industry. It is difficult however, to keep up with the ingredients and chemicals in the wide array of different products available and whether these ingredients might be harmful to us or to the environment. Especially with our lives being so busy. At what point do we as people start to ask questions about what is the cause of the incredible rise in cancer rates? Is climate change real and what is the cause? What choices do I have NOW to protect my family and to reduce my personal contribution to climate change?
One choice people are making is hemp. Industrial Hemp or, ‘Cannabis Sativa‘, is an amazingly versatile plant. The four main uses of hemp are; food, fuel, fiber and medicine. Hemp fibers are used in clothing, building materials, paper and many other products. The hemp seed is the most nutritious seed of of all the millions of edible plants in the world and is used to make many healthy, natural food products. Hemp seed oil is used in cosmetics and in plastics. The hemp plant is used in the making of biomass for our energy needs. The uses are endless! Perhaps the best feature of the hemp plant is that it is a totally renewable resource, needing no pesticides or herbicides. If more hemp was cultivated the effects on our health and that of our children and the climate would be significant and immediate!
Hemp is not new and has been grown and used around the world for thousands of years! It is important to differentiate the differences between industrial hemp, which will not get you ‘high’, and marijuana which will. This excerpt from the Canadian government’s “Fact Sheet on Regulations for the Commercial Cultivation of Industrial Hemp” perhaps says it best.
“Hemp usually refers to varieties of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that have a low content of delta-9 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and that are generally cultivated for fiber. Industrial hemp should not be confused with varieties of Cannabis with a high content of THC, which are referred to as marijuana.
While the leaves of hemp and marijuana look the same, one can easily tell from a distance that hemp is different from marijuana. Stands of fiber hemp are planted densely, at a rate of three to five hundred plants per square meter, with the majority of each plant comprised of thin stalks with no branches and relatively few leaves. In contrast, marijuana is planted one to two plants per square meter and is quite bushy, with lots of wide branching to promote flowers and buds. The distinction in the public mind between industrial hemp and psychoactive marijuana is key to the revival of a both proven and promising natural resource.”