11 Things You Need To Know About Hemp

11 Things You Need To Know About Hemp

The forgotten material of our past is making a comeback
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Hemp is a widely misunderstood product. That misunderstanding limits the United States economy as well as the beneficial qualities that hemp could have in everyday products. In order to destigmatize hemp, the American public must become educated about it. The following are key facts about hemp, its history and its many uses.


1. Hemp has been used for thousands of years

The Columbia History of the World says that the oldest finding of human development is a small piece of hemp fabric from approximately 8,000 BC. Many US Presidents including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams all grew hemp. Hemp was a central product in early American lifestyle and was key to commerce and warfare. Hemp was so prominent throughout American history that the 1914 ten dollar bill was not only printed on hemp paper, but also the picture on the back displays farmers plowing hemp! Hemp has been used for thousands of years and it's usefulness has not ceased. Recent legislation, however, has limited the public's use of it.


2. Hemp is not marijuana


Hemp comes from the cannabis plant which has many different types that produces a variety of different things. Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is a product of the non-psychoactive strain of cannabis plant. Marijuana also comes from cannabis plants, but hemp and marijuana vary in genetics and are very clearly different in use and cultivation.


3. Hemp will not get you high


Hemp cannot get you high despite stemming from the same family as products of cannabis plants with high levels of THC in their chemical makeup. If one tried to smoke hemp in any form, the body would process the smoke faster than it would take to get high and would leave the smoker with a headache.

4. Hemp is illegal


Hemp seems like an innocent product, yet it is illegal. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act left the growth and sale of any and all cannabis products highly regulated. This law was enacted to prevent marijuana with high enough levels of THC to be sold, but, by technicality, also prevented hemp from being an easily accessible commercial product. To further the restrictions on hemp, in 1970 The Controlled Substances Act was passed. That act ruled that all forms of cannabis, including hemp, were to be labelled category 1 drugs and therefore illegal to grow in the United States.


5. You can still buy it in the U.S.


The ban upon hemp has caused the general American public to be unaware of the industrial uses of hemp, and has given it the bad-boy reputation as something related to marijuana. Fortunately for those who value hemp for it’s diverse uses, it can still be imported from countries outside of the United States as long as it has less than .3% THC in the material.

6. It can be used for a variety of goods

Hemp is a renewable and sustainable resource that could be used in the development in thousands of every day products. Its seeds and flowers are commonly used in food and self care products. While its stalks can be used to create clothing items, materials used in construction, biofuel and even paper. Hemp grows 10 times faster than trees and has over 10,000 uses!

7. Hemp is good for the environment

Hemp requires very little water to grow and no pesticides, making it extremely friendly to the environment. Not only that, but it is also an extremely useful rotation crop for farmers that nourishes the soil it was grown in for other plants to use in the next growing season.


8. Hemp is good for the economy

The retail value of all hemp products sold in the United States alone adds up to $620 million. Unfortunately, due to the legislature preventing hemp from being grown domestically, none of the money is added to the United States economy.

9. Hemp can be grown in a few states... with restrictions


Hemp won big in 2014, as the 2014 US Farm Bill stated that any state, as long as it passed its own individual legislation allowing it, can grow industrial hemp for research and development purposes. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia have already begun the process of reintroducing the growth of hemp to farmers and many other states are pursuing the ability to do the same.

10. Hemp is making a comeback


In 2015, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced to The House and Senate. The bill would potentially get rid of all previous federal bans on the growth of industrial hemp and remove it from the list of class 1 drugs.


11. Hemp is not as interesting as you once thought


Hemp is literally just the product of a plant. It isn't edgy, unless you count a product that is a distant cousin of marijuana as edgy. It has incredible value and should not be considered taboo, especially in a world where marijuana itself is becoming more and more socially acceptable. The future of hemp is limitless and the more hemp becomes less stigmatized among the general public, the more likely hemp will be available to help the industry and economy of the US.

Cover Image Credit: Leaf Science

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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