Why Hemp?

On October 16, over a hundred years ago, the US Department of Agriculture published a report citing the use of hemp as a logical alternative to tree pulp for paper.

There appears to be little doubt that under the present system of forest use and consumption the present supply cannot withstand the demands placed upon it. By the time improved methods of forestry have established an equilibrium between production and consumption, the price of pulpwood may be such that a knowledge of other available raw materials may be imperative.

After several trials, under conditions of treatment and manufacture which are regarded as favorable in comparison with those used with pulpwood, paper was produced which received very favorable comment from both investigators and from the trade and which according to official tests would be classified as a No. 1 machine-finish printing paper.

—USDA Bulletin 404, “Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material,” 1916

The culture and mentality of our throwaway society has to change. It is of logical importance that we return to the first crop grown in the United States of America. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that produced paper from it. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Mark Twain’s novels were printed on it. And the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were drafted on it. A total of 75 percent to 90 percent of all the paper in the world was made with hemp until 1883.

The paper industry uses more water than any other industry and is the fifth largest consumer of energy, accounting for 4 percent of all the world’s energy use. Also, 40 percent of all office bullshit ends up in landfills. This is a very sobering fact for the demonized resource that contains less than 0.3 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychological effects.

  • One acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees.
  • 30 percent of trees are cellulose, 70 percent of which must be removed with chemicals.
  • Hemp is 85 percent cellulose.
  • Hemp paper does not yellow, crack, or deteriorate like pulpwood paper does. In fact, it requires no bleaching.

The United States of America is the only industrial nation without a commercial hemp industry. We import, which wastes even more energy. The functions of hemp are endless. At least 25,000 products can be made from hemp. Its fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent, and more mildew resistant than cotton.

Rudolph Diesel designed his engine to run on hemp oil. The word canvas is rooted in cannabis. Tougher than metal, it doesn’t rust or contaminate. It’s carcinogen free and you can eat it. Hemp is the richest known source of polyunsaturated fatty acid. Gruel was actually made of hemp meal, oil, and seed. Darn. It’s the original superfood.

The $956 billion farm bill of February 7, 2014, defines hemp as an agricultural crop for the first time in sixty years. It’s 2017 and global warming is more than real. The seas are rising and mass extinction has already begun. There is no other time than now. Are we the only ones who see this?