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
2. Hemp is not marijuana
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
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 environmentHemp 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
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.