About Agricultural Hemp

Agricultural Hemp, also referred to as Industrial Hemp, is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. It is a tall, slender, fibrous plant similar to flax or kenaf that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The plant has a relatively short growth cycle of 110-120 days and can be densely planted at a rate of 28-45 plants per square foot. It is very tall, ranging in height to 6 to 16 feet with the majority of each plant comprised of thin stalks. Hemp farming dates back many thousands of years and, unlike many other crops, hemp can be grown in most locations – including brownfields and former coal fields -and climates. Where hemp is grown, it has become a valuable and environmentally friendly crop, leaving the soil more nutrient-rich than before planting and virtually weed-free for the next planting.

cropped-image6.jpgphotos courtesy of votehemp.com

Markets for hemp span a variety of industries, including energy, construction, plastic composites, batteries, textiles, personal care, and highly nutritious foods.

The outer hemp fibers are used in a wide range of products, including fabrics and textiles, yarns and raw or processed spun fibers, paper, carpeting, home furnishings, construction and insulation materials, auto parts, and composites.

The interior stalk (hurd) is used in various applications such as animal bedding, raw material inputs, papers and composites with demonstrated use as biodegradable plastics and superconductor battery systems.

Hemp seed and oilcake are used in a range of foods and beverages, and act as an alternative food protein source. The seed is actually considered a nut, and oil from the crushed hemp seed is an ingredient in a range of body-care products and nutritional supplements, industrial oils,  pharmaceuticals, and can be used to create biofuels. 

For a comprehensive background check out this article, or google industrial hemp!

Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America

Hemp Has been cultivated by man for 10,000 years…

Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.

Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic. The federal government subsidized hemp during the Second World War and U.S. farmers grew about a million acres of hemp as part of that program

It has been used for clothes, sails for ships ropes and rigging, bibles, books, logs and building materials, most importantly as food, serving as a staple for certain parts of the world, in Nepal especially.

Without hemps contribution to our American revolution, in the form of paper, on which the declaration of independence was drafted, in the form of fabric, which the first US flag and soldiers’ uniforms were sewn from, and now in the form of economic relief for a nation struggling to overcome domestic industrial collapse, much of the industry infrastructure, warehouses and processing centers, can serve as rungs on the ladder to developing a West Virginia hemp industry farmers and processors cooperative, of the people, for the people and by the people.

 

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