A variety of different types of cannabis plants exist around the world, one such type of cannabis plant is known as hemp. hemp may often be confused with marijuana because they are both forms of cannabis but the two plants have different makeups and are used for different purposes. For example, hemp is used to create CBD tincture and other CBD products.
Hemp has been a popular plant around the world and it wasn’t until 1937 that hemp production in the United States decreased significantly.
Recently hemp has seen a resurgence in the United States with the legalization of marijuana in a good number of states, the popularity of high-quality CBD oil, and the 2018 farm bill which legalized hemp, what you may not realize is that hemp has been used around the world for ages, it may even have been one of the first crops that man harvested. This is just one of many facts that you may encounter when it comes to marijuana, we are going to take a look at some of the other fun facts about hemp that you might be interested in.
Hemp and U.S. History
During the Colonial and Early Republic eras are the government required citizens to grow hemp in a number of areas. Most notable among those who grew hemp were President George Washington and President Thomas Jefferson, they also strongly supported the growth of hemp with George Washington having written a letter to one of his field managers stating that hemp should be treated as the most important part of his farmland.
The original constitution of the United States was written on hemp paper, Benjamin Franklin produced hemp paper with his own paper mill, and it’s believed that the first US flag was made with hemp. As you can see hemp has played a role throughout US history, it wasn’t until later in history that hemp became illegal via the Marijuana tax act that was passed in the 1930s and made marijuana and hemp growing illegal.
Hemp Can Help Clean Soil
During several studies, hemp has been found to be able to help clean soils that are rich in heavy metals and thus make higher-quality soil available for farming. Your immediate concern when you hear of hemp being grown on soil that contains heavy metal is the absorption of that metal, the truth is that hemp is able to actually absorb the majority of the heavy metals into the roots with very little of it getting into the fibers and aboveground portion of the plant. Because the majority of the heavy metals do not rise above the ground, the hemp does not become tainted from being able to be used.
A great example of him being used to helping clean up ground soil in the real world is after the Chernobyl disaster, Soviet leaders wanted to be able to clean up the contaminated ground that had high levels of heavy metal so that the area could return to a more natural state quicker. They did this via a process known as phytoremediation where plants are used to stabilize the nutrients in the soil and reduce groundwater contaminants such as heavy metals. Hemp was used during this disaster because it has been found to be one of the best plants for phytoremediation in the case of the Chernobyl disaster, hemp was found to have helped restore soils to a more usable level.
With all the damage that has been done to the environment around the world, we need to have a way to help clean the soil, and with all the research that has been done into hemp, there is a great possibility that it could help us do exactly that, help to clean contaminated soil around the world.
Hemp as Fuel
Fuel can also do significant damage to the environment so the world has been searching for an alternative way to power electric facilities and vehicles, hemp may actually be the solution to that. It turns out hemp can be turned into two different types of fuel, hemp biodiesel, and hemp ethanol. Hemp biodiesel is made from the pressing of the hemp seed to create oil while hemp ethanol is made from a fermentation process of the hemp stock. Not only is hemp fuel more environmentally friendly, but it is also more cost-effective than traditional oil and fuels, this is partially due to the fact that hemp is grown and doesn’t have to be extracted from inside the earth.
Hemp biodiesel is especially interesting because it is able to run on an unmodified diesel engine, meaning you need no special equipment in order to be able to fuel a traditional diesel engine with hemp. We also would not have to worry as much about the transportation and storage of hemp biodiesel because it is much safer with a flashpoint more than double that of traditional petroleum fuel and it is less toxic than even table salt.
With the legalization of hemp in the United States, the future of hemp as a fuel is much more realistic leaving the next major obstacle to be overcoming big oil companies.
Hemp Can Be Used to Reduce Tree Usage
There are a number of ways that we could use hemp to help reduce the amount that we rely on trees, such as using hemp to build furniture and create paper. We rely so much on trees for the things that we need, paper is a good example, but that is just one of many products that are greatly depleting the number of trees on the planet. Replanting a tree takes a significant amount of time and the impact of the reduced trees is great on our environment. Instead of using trees to create many products, hemp is a much better alternative. Hemp can be harvested much more rapidly than trees can and produces similar or higher quality products.
Hemp board is a type of fiberboard that is made from the hemp plant and is significantly stronger than traditional fiberboard. Builders and creators have found that hemp board can be used in a wide variety of applications, from making cabinets to creating shelving, it is possible to use it for many of the same things that you would use traditional medium density fiberboard. Instead of harvesting other parts of the hemp, hemp board uses the fibers that are found in the stock to create compacted boards.
It is believed that the first paper used in the world came from hemp or was partly made from hemp, it wasn’t until relatively recently in history that we start to make paper the way we do now, involving the destruction of trees. Hemp paper is a more sustainable option for meeting the world’s paper needs, it is a renewable resource and can be produced in mass. You might be surprised that hemp paper is actually of a higher quality than wood paper.
Due to the banning of hemp in the United States and several other major countries, you probably didn’t know some of these facts about the amazing plant, with hemp being illegal it setback research significantly. The legalization of hemp has opened up new doors to help us find new ways to use it and to save our environment. You may be wondering why we haven’t already seen significant utilization of hemp, it is in part due to the fact that hemp has not been grown majorly around the world since the start of the 1900s and as such, we need to start growing hemp in more significant amounts to start producing a larger number of hemp products.