If it wasn't for corporate interests, your home would likely be full of hemp products today, and we might have avoided the worst effects of climate change.
Hemp is one of the most versatile and downright magical plants on the planet.
Because the plant has so many different parts and can be grown pretty easily, it's a sustainable resource for making a really wide range of products, from clothing and paper to food and biofuel.
However, for many years, hemp has been demonized and prohibited due to its association with marijuana and cannabis.
This is largely due to the efforts of corporate interests, such as the cotton and paper industries, which were threatened by the competition that hemp would pose to their bottom line.
If it weren't for corporate interests, hemp would likely be used to make a wide range of everyday objects. It's safe to say that over 90% of the things you currently own would have been made from hemp if not for the suppression of this plant.
Here are just a few examples:
Hempcrete is a sustainable alternative to concrete that is made from hemp fibers and lime. Hempcrete is just as strong as concrete, but it is much lighter and more environmentally friendly.
The production of hempcrete absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making it a carbon negative building material.
No one needs a water bottle that lasts 400 years.
Hemp plastic is a biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based plastic. It can be used to make a wide range of products, including water bottles, packaging materials, and even car parts.
Instead of extracting fossil fuels to make plastic, we could have used hemp
Because of hemp's incredible strength (it's stronger than steel), hemp paper is stronger and more durable than conventional paper. It is also more environmentally friendly, as it requires less energy and water to produce.
Instead of cutting down trees for paper, we could have used hemp and left the trees that give us oxygen alone.
Hemp bedding is soft, breathable, and temperature-regulating. That means it keeps you warm when it's cold and cools you down when it's hot.
It is also resistant to dust mites and mold, making it a great option for bedding.
Another great benefit of hemp bedding is that it's antimicrobial and anti-odor, so your bedding can stay fresh for longer even if you skip a wash that week (we all do it).
The healing capabilities of the hemp plant can first be found in the oldest known herbal encyclopedia, dating from around 2637 BCE. Ancient Egyptians would use hemp in suppositories to relieve the symptoms of hemmorhoids, and Chinese surgeons would use it as an anaesthetic.
Since hemp was banned in the early 20th century, research on the medicinal uses of the hemp plant has stopped. But there is emerging research that shows hemp is an effective pain reliever, can treat mental health disorders like anxiety and depression and even neurological disorders like epilepsy.
Hemp seed oil is a non-comedogenic oil that can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
When you use it on your skin, it doesn't clog your pores, making it an amazing option for people with oily skin who also suffer with acne.
It is also a good source of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which protect the skin from environmental pollutants and can keep skin looking firmer and more youthful.
Hemp biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can be used to power vehicles and machinery. It can produce a greater yield per hectare than other biofuels like sunflower or soybean, with the added benefit of not replacing food production or destroying soil.
When hemp grows, it actively cleans soil and provides food for pollinators. When other crops are grown, they can create harmful monocultures, but that's not the case for hemp.
It also needs much fewer resources to grow than equivalent biofuels. The plant can be grown for multiple different uses, with none of the plant being wasted.
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Humans have used hemp in clothing for thousands of years. One of the earliest uses of hemp was for making textiles and fabrics.
Hemp clothing is strong, durable, and soft. It is also resistant to wrinkles and shrinking. The first Levi jeans in 1873 were made from hemp
In addition to these everyday objects, hemp can also be used to make a variety of other products, such as food, cosmetics, and animal feed.
Why was hemp banned?
Hemp was banned in the United States in 1937 as part of the Marihuana Tax Act. This act was passed largely due to the efforts of Harry Anslinger, the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Anslinger was a staunch opponent of marijuana and hemp, and he used his position to spread propaganda about the dangers of these plants.
Anslinger's propaganda campaign was successful in demonizing hemp and leading to its prohibition. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that hemp is dangerous or addictive.
The bad reputation of hemp is down to a smear campaign, orchestrated by industry giants who only had their own monetary goals in mind. Hemp is a largely safe and sustainable plant with a wide range of potential uses.
The future of hemp
The good news is that hemp is now making a comeback. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in hemp and its many potential applications. As people become more aware of the benefits of hemp, it is likely to become a more common part of our everyday lives. If more people support hemp products, more hemp gets planted, and we can all benefit.
Hemp is a sustainable and renewable resource that has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries. It is a time for us to embrace hemp and its many potential benefits.
Want to support a hemp clothing brand and benefit from everything hemp has to offer? Shop our hemp underwear collection here.