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In the past year I have done a lot of research and have written two articles on Industrial Hemp. The more that I read the more I learn about this misunderstood natural resource.

The main reason that Hemp was made illegal was because it got in the way of the profits of many huge industries. These industries included the oil, lumber and textile companies whose profits would be seriously jeopardized. These companies had a lot of political clout and they got their way and Hemp was lumped together with Marijuana and other "dangerous drugs" and made illegal in all forms.imageshemp gardeningdirections

Here are some more uses and facts regarding the Industrial Hemp plant.

The Oil Industry was the biggest foe of Hemp. It is one of the best resources for making Ethanol. Ethanol is derived from plant cellulose. The energy of the sun carbon dioxide and water are absorbed by the plant and produce oxygen and cellulose. The energy of the sun is captured in plant cells.

When ethanol is combusted, it releases energy, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is then absorbed by plants, along with water and sunlight, to create more oxygen and cellulose. It is a clean and sustainable cycle.

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Ethanol is by far the cleanest-burning liquid bio-alternative to gasoline. In one test, an unleaded gasoline automobile engine produced a thick, black carbon residue in its exhaust, while the tailpipe of a modified ethanol engine tested for the same 3,500 miles remained pristine and residue-free.

Hemp is ideal for plant based plastic production and that is why political pressure was exerted by the forestry industry and the Dupont corporation, which had just patented oil and coal based plastics production.

In 1941 Henry Ford developed a car body made from Hemp based plastics.

The plastic was much lighter than steel and could withstand ten times the impact without denting. The car was even fueled by clean-burning hemp-based ethanol fuel. Once again Henry Ford was a visionary and way ahead of his time.imagesCA9SKCF1 gardeningdirections

I have a belt made out of Hemp and it is over 40 years old. Once again the Dupont Company was the main force to oust Hemp because they produced nylon which was easily replaced by Hemp.

Hemp is the longest and strongest plant fiber. It is extremely abrasion and rot resistant and was the primary source of canvas, sail, rope, twine, and webbing fiber for hundreds of years before nylon was patented by DuPont in 1937.

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Hemp has been used for clothing, military uniforms, ship's rigging, shoes, parachute webbing, baggage, and much more. Columbus' ships were rigged fully in hemp. The U.S.S. Constitution, "Old Ironsides," was outfitted with over 40 tons of hemp rigging.

Because of it's many uses its cultivation was mandated by the early Colonial government. Taxes were paid to the Federal Government as legal tender. Also used to pay debts and just as good as money.

The length and strength of the hemp fiber enables it to be woven into natural advanced composites, which can then be fashioned into anything from fast food containers to skateboard decks to the body of a stealth fighter. This stuff has come a long way.

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Hemp can replace trees in many instances.

Hemp fiberboard is superior in strength and quality to the same product produced using trees. Fiber board and pressed board are bad because they can use immature trees to produce their product. This is a wasteful process that Hemp can replace and is environmentally friendly.

Hemp is an ideal rotation crop for farmers worldwide. It puts down a taproot twelve inches long in only thirty days, preventing topsoil erosion. Its water requirements are negligible, so it doesn't require much irrigation and will grow in arid regions. It matures from seed in only 120 days, so it doesn't need a long growing season. Hemp's soil nutrients concentrate in the plant's roots and leaves. After harvest, the roots remain and the leaves are returned to the fields. In this way, soil nutrients are preserved.

Hemp is also a beneficial crop for the Earth itself. It is very easy on the land. It doesn't need many nutrients, so it doesn't require chemical fertilizers. Hemp out competes other weeds, so it doesn't need herbicides to thrive. Even hemp strains that are 100 percent THC-free produce their own resins that make the crop naturally pest-free, so it doesn't require toxic chemical pesticides. Hemp actually leaves the soil in better condition than before it was planted.imageshemppic gardeningdirections

Hemp has gone from early man and now is used in the most modern of technologies in the Space Program. The future of Hemp has endless possibilities. It will continue to be used in many ways not even thought of yet.

Of all the sustainable sources for consumer products, hemp is uniquely suited to provide the widest variety of life's necessities and comforts. In this way, hemp is nature's gift to humanity.

Reference: SW & JL Roussel. From the San Diego Earth Times. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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