Hi, I’m Cousin Mary Jane, Cannabis Sativa L; twice removed from the paternal side; also known as industrial hemp. Don’t confuse me with my Resinous THC Cannabis Indica and Sativa family, (some refer to them as marijuana) – they are distant cousins of mine. Although we may look a bit alike we do not act the same, and we are most definitely very different. They get tiny trichomes containing tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) that have psychoactive properties; we do not. My side of the family is grown for our seeds or our stalks and we have virtually no psychoactive elements.
All our genus families have been cultivated throughout the world for thousands of years. Perhaps no other plant has had a greater impact on humanity than cannabis. In this past century; many persons have been misled and have gotten us all mixed up. I am tired of fighting in my cousin’s shadow. Our plant families provide very different products and we serve very different needs. People need to know and understand our distinctions.
One thing all my cannabis herb family members have in common is we are easily grown without the need of pesticides. When cultivated, we can give back to the world many times over. We are a high-value, low-input crop, which can provide significant economic benefits to producers and manufacturers. Nutrients used by our growing plant are stored in our leaves and when left to mulch into the dirt, we replenish important nutrients back into the soil. It doesn’t take a ton of water for us to grow either. We are truly a green crop and we can provide many green products to the world because we don’t need or create toxins when our plant matter is turned into usable goods.
At the turn of the last century, my Resinous THC Cannabis Cousin got a bad-rap in the United States and it caused a bit of a stir, to say the least, for all of us. I won’t go into all the misguided propaganda that some folks caused for her. My THC Cousin’s bum-rap has taken the limelight and caused my side of the family a lot of unnecessary problems. We have been banned from cultivation in some parts of the world and the United States for misconceptions that had nothing to do with us. It’s time people know my family for who we are and all the wonderful things we are capable of doing and producing. [Review article 'Was There A Hemp Conspiracy?" on our website for more detail.]
My industrial hemp family is a seed bearing plant that grows on a stalk and has leaves. We are propagated for different uses. Some of my family is grown for its stalks, some for seed production. Each part of our plant has special characteristics. Our stalk has one of Nature’s longest and strongest soft fiber’s which is wrapped around a woody core that contains an organic cellulose compound. All parts of our plant are usable and can provide the raw materials for numerous products.
Now folks, my plant family has an amazing capability of being able to restore our ecosystem. Yes, that is correct ! Planting industrial hemp can actually remove contaminants from soil and water. It’s called phytoremediation. Hemp phytoremediation can be used to remove radioactive elements from soil and water. It can be used to clean up metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and toxins leaching from landfills. Put us to work! We can help restore the earth after a nuclear accident or around former weapons facilities. We can refurbish the dirt where cotton fields were drenched with pesticides that are now growing peanuts for the peanut butter that you serve your children for lunch. Rotated with us! Let us help to re-establish our soil and water for organic farming.
We have been the sails on the ships of the oceans; we have served as fuel to light the way in the dark. We can feed your family, put clothes on your back, and provide shoes for your feet. We can put a roof over your head; provide the carpet you walk on; and furnish the paint for your walls – all; without emitting toxins into the air. We can produce products to build automobiles and machines. We have the capability to supply a totally green, renewable, cost effective, energy source to heat your home and drive your car. My industrial hemp family can be used for the production of so many different things that some claim it is endless and only limited by one’s imagination.
Since I am all about yummy food, this leads me to tell you about my industrial hemp genus family that is grown for seed production. Our seed is a family jewel which carries very exceptional properties. It provides a highly digestible food source for both humans and animals. The nutritional vegetable protein within our seed is incredible. It carries 18 known amino acids including 9 essential amino acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. It is high in perfectly balance 3:1 omegas, and other wonderful vitamins and minerals. You can eat the whole seed, mill it into flour or powder, hull the seed for the hemp heart, or press the seed for its oil.
The oil from our seed has many uses. Not only can it be consumed into foodstuffs, our oil is an excellent base for skin creams, make-up, soaps and lotions. It can be a base for durable paints that will harden extremely well onto many types of surfaces. As a fuel, it is a clean burning energy source.
Hemp seed oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, trans fat free, and high in antioxidants, which makes it great to eat. It is considered to be a perfectly balanced oil derived from the plant kingdom carrying Omega 3 and Omega 6 along with significant amounts of three other polyunsaturated fatty acids. The combination is unique among edible oil seeds and very beneficial for human consumption. Not only is it healthy to eat, but it has a nice nutty flavor too.
There are other relatives on my side of the family. They can be grown for their long strong fibers, which are naturally resistant to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and mildew making them a perfect match for sails on ships or curtains to cover your windows. They make strong durable rope and clothing – to name a few. Those family members can be proud of all they are capable in producing.
The core of our plant, which is naturally resistant to mold and bacteria, can be pressed into resilient biodegradable products. Most anything made from plastic, fiberglass, Styrofoam or wood can all be made from industrial hemp. Extremely strong products like Hempcrete (hemp cement) and fiberboard; and of course paper, all come from my hemp family. When you are finished using these products, we are biodegradable and we won’t clog up land fills for decades to come.
So please, enjoy my food and join in my quest to help others to know all there is about the healthy eating of hemp foods and the green industry hemp has to offer. Our farm fields should once again be abundant with hemp. Industrial hemp should not be classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. It’s not a drug. Tell the DEA to stop with all their nonsense and to permit the growing of hemp once again. If prohibition on hemp farming was lifted and the industry was allowed to flourish in the United States, there would be thousands of new jobs and a cleaner earth too.
Eat Hemp and You Eat healthy!
To Your Good Health,
Cousin Mary Jane