Hemp – The Answer To Sustainable Living


We are using up the resources of 1.5 planets. That is a long way from sustainability. Every product made takes something from the planet that we can’t give back. So think twice before you buy anything. Think about what went into making that product. Buy better quality, but buy less. Your shopping habits are where you control your impact on natural resources.” ~ Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of Patagonia

Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.” -Thomas Jefferson

Proponents of sustainable living strive to live consciously in a way that what they use does not harm or permanently take something from nature that is not replaceable.

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.” ~ http://www.epa.gov

Sustainability falls into 3 sections :

  • 100% efficient – these are sustainable products that can be consumed and renewed in large quantities endlessly, without leaving a negative impact on the environment
  • High efficient – these are products that are ‘green’ and environmentally kind, yet are not endless.
  • Low or non- efficient – – these are products that are not sustainable at all, deplete natural resources, and leave a negative impact on the environment and health

I think you can see where I am going with this. Out of all the natural resources that we have available to us, can you think of ONE that can be renewed endlessly, in huge quantities, that can clean the air and nourish the soil, a resource that can be made into tens of thousands of products, all of which can be recycled or reused or put back into the earth to heal it? Can you think of ONE resource that not only leaves a NEGATIVE carbon footprint, it can also give us energy (fuel) that is clean, or can heal or bodies as well as the soil that it is planted in?

There is one resource on this earth that can do all of the above, and more. It is Hemp.

Hemp is sustainable, clean, healthy, and yes, it can be grown in huge amounts indefinitely. It grows well in many environmental conditions, as well as almost any type of soil. It’s growth period is approximately 4 months, so a couple growing seasons can occur every year.

Hemp products can be recycled MANY times, much more than many of our common products that we use (paper, cotton, plastics, clothing/textiles).

To increase sustainability and efficiency, we must replace low-efficient/non-sustainable products with 100% efficient, sustainable hemp.

And what products can be made from hemp? Below is a VERY short list of the thousands upon thousands of products:

  • Plastics (bags, utensils, computer and phone components)
  • Auto components (car panels)
  • Construction materials (foundation/hempcrete, fiberboard, insulation, carpet, furniture, roof tiles)
  • Paper (stationery, bathroom tissue, paper towels, cardboard boxes)
  • Textiles/rope/clothing (shirts, pants, shoes, hats, underwear, socks, diapers)

Of course, we cannot forget the nutritional aspect of hemp. Industrial hempseed and hempseed oil are excellent, nutritionally-dense foods. With the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids, Edestin protein, fiber, chlorophyll, all essential amino acids, and many micro and macro nutrients, hemp is a fantastic sustainable food AND medicine.

There is no other single renewable, sustainable raw material that can replace and eradicate toxins and dangerous products that we use and eat; there is no other sustainable raw material that can fulfill ALL our basic needs and beyond – than HEMP.

It’s Time to Get Back to Industrial Hemp, and Embrace the Change That Comes With It


Industrial hemp has had a long, fruitful, and interesting history. It has been used for over 10,000 years as food, medicine, clothing, fuel, and in construction.

It is now classified as a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act – a move that made it illegal to grow without a permit from the DEA.

It is amazing (or, perhaps a better word would be disturbing) that this wondrous, healthy plant was made illegal so investors in oil, chemicals, pharma, and timber could reap their benefits at the expense of our health and the health of our planet.

The chemical, drug, oil, and timber industries have taken their toll. Our nation is an industrialized nation, which means we consume huge amounts of oil, gas, chemicals, additives in foods, chemical drugs to treat every illness under the sun. We’ve become a nation addicted to ‘fast, quick, easy’. But that system isn’t always healthy.

Our fast foods, canned foods, and prepared foods are laden with chemicals. We have gone from fresh, farm or home-grown to over-processed nutrient-deficient foods.

Our illnesses are treated with chemical drugs, most of which have warnings because they, themselves, are dangerous. Have you looked lately at the side effects of most chemical meds? If you take a close look, you will realize that these are what are making us sicker and even killing us. (Now, I am not saying all meds are bad, and yes, some people do need to be on meds for health or stabilization.) Hemp can (and does) treat many illnesses and disease. If we look at the causes of disease, we will find that many are the cause of emotional or nutritional imbalance. And how can we best treat disease and illness? Nutrition. And what is one of the most nutritional plants around? Yes, you guessed it. Hemp.

We have become dependent on oil. Look at this, though. Oil and fuel processing in itself is unhealthy for the environment (and humans). Oil extraction can be as well. (See: Gulf of Mexico) And the alternative? Hemp fuel! Hemp fuel is safe, clean, and non-toxic. If it spills it acts more like a fertilizer than a health hazard. Henry Ford’s idea to build hemp cars and use hemp fuel (he grew his own hemp) was an excellent option.

Many of the substances we use today are petroleum based or synthetic (chemical based) – plastics, nylon to name a couple. Anything that can be made from fossil fuels/oil can be made from hemp.

William Randolph Hearst (yes, the newspaper guy) had a huge stake in timber and owned a couple sawmills. He was one of the main supporters of banning the use of hemp. Why? It was a threat to his timber investments. Did you know that The Declaration of Independence was made with hemp? Paper products made from timber are very chemical intensive. Writing paper, paper bags, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, books – all of these have been processed with chlorine and numerous other chemicals. Yes, paper from trees can be recycled; yet the chemicals in them remain. Do you know, even recycled toilet paper has chemical residue from the paper it was recycled from? Hemp paper is stronger, lasts longer, and is processed easily and with less toxic chemicals.

Hemp does not need pesticides or herbicides. It does that naturally. Hemp uses less water than cotton.  (Did you know, cotton growth/manufacturing uses HUGE amounts of water and chemicals – cotton is one of the most chemical intensive crops.) Hemp heals the soil and cleans the air. It is healthy – for body, environment, and economy.

Now, this is where the change must occur. Yes, in the 1930s there was change – our country went from being one that embraced hemp and all it’s greatness to one that shunned it in favor of unhealthy alternatives, thanks to lobbyists for the big oil, chemical, pharma, and timber investors.

It is time to change once again, BACK to the plant that will help our planet, our health, and our economy. There will be people kicking and screaming. There were (and are) those who will fight hard and dirty to keep hemp illegal. They do not want their investments threatened. However, CHANGE is needed.

The propaganda about hemp needs to be dispelled. Ideas need to change; minds need to embrace the idea that yes, hemp IS a good thing. For some, change is a scary thing.

There have been families, for generations, whose livelihoods have depended on the oil and timber industries. In some areas those were the main industries. These people worked hard to feed their families and send their kids to college, to build their lives. I am not bashing those who worked, sweated, and died working to care for their families, especially those in the timber industry. I’ve been touched first-hand by that. My ex-husband’s brother died working for a logging company. I have other friends who were injured badly or disabled in that industry. I am NOT saying that the timber industry is all evil. We need wood for construction, etc.

What I AM saying, though, is that there are some products that can be replaced with hemp – paper, for example – simply because hemp is the better, cleaner, healthier alternative. We DO need to reduce the amount of trees that we use. They take 20-40 years to grow. Hemp, however, takes months and can produce much more per acre than trees.

Yes, change can be scary. Going back to hemp is a good change – healthier earth, healthier bodies, healthier air, healthier environment. But, in order to evolve, to GROW, we must EMBRACE that change…

One hempseed at a time.

Hemp ~ It Does Your Heart Good


It’s Valentine’s Day – a day when the heart symbol is abundantly shared with loved ones.

The heart is, of course, one of the most important organs in the human body and needs to be taken care of well. Proper nutrition and exercise are 2 major factors for keeping the heart healthy.

Inadequate nutrients and unhealthy foods can contribute to an unhealthy heart, and poor nutrition can contribute to high blood pressure and cholesterol – which in turn contributes to heart disease.

Eating clean and nutrient-dense foods, along with healthy fats (essential fatty acids and Omega fatty acids) are necessary to help keep the heart healthy.

The body needs fats, but it needs GOOD fats (not saturated and trans fats). Hempseed and hempseed oil contain Omega fatty acids, which are long-chain polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats will not contribute to cholesterol, but will in fact help REDUCE cholesterol from bad fats. Phytosterols, which are also present in hemp, help to lower blood cholesterol.

The Omega fatty acids in hemp also help with circulation and help maintain artery elasticity and health.

If you want to be good to your heart – eat hemp!

Hemp ~ Our Planet’s EcoSolution


Hemp is more than just a plant ~ it is a gift from nature that can be manufactured into nearly 50,000 items.

We are at a time when we are becoming more conscious of what we eat, wear, use, and HOW we use it, in addition to the impact these items have on our environment and planet.

HEMP AS FOOD AND MEDICINE

Hemp is proven to be one of the natural ways to keep optimum health. It is used as food (hemp seed, hemp seed oil) and medicine. Because hemp is so nutrient-rich, it can, in some cases, eliminate the need for vitamin supplements (in addition to a proper diet). It has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the body. Hemp is also an anti-inflammatory, repairs cells, heals/treats/eliminates disease, and is a perfect energy food.

HEMP AS FUEL

Hemp hurds can be up to 85% cellulose. Ethanol is processed from cellulose, making it the perfect clean fuel. Automobile engines that run on fossil fuels are one of the main sources of greenhouse gases; moving to hemp fuel will allow for cleaner air and less pollution. Gasoline engines produce a carbon residue, engines that run on hemp fuel do not release carbon emissions like gasoline.

HEMP AS PAPER AND PLASTIC

Again, this is where the high cellulose content comes into play. Cellulose is one of the most common organic compounds on the earth. Cellulose is used in paper production (cardstock, cardboard), textile production and even is a component in rayon. Trees are 30-40% cellulose, and in order to make paper products many chemicals and other components must be used. Not so with hemp. Fossil fuel-based plastics can also be replaced with hemp. Hemp plastics are cleaner, stronger, and lighter; hemp plastic components are now being used in vehicle production. Hemp paper and plastic products are biodegradable and will not harm the environment; in fact, if left to decompose they would act more like fertilizer.

HEMP FOR BUILDING

Hemp is an excellent choice for building. It is strong, clean, antibacterial, mold-, rot-, insect-, and pest-repellent. Hemcrete used for foundations is stronger and more flexible than ordinary concrete. Hemp insulation has a high R-value and cleans the air. There are now hemp roof tiles, hemp oil based paints, hemp carpets, curtains, upholstery. Hemp fiberboard is stronger than ordinary fiberboard.

HEMP CLOTHING

Clothing made from hemp lasts longer than clothing processed from cotton. It has excellent thermal properties, is UV resistant, and stays strong after many washings. Cotton is very chemical and water intensive in growth and processing; hemp is not. The first Levi jeans were made from hemp, mainly for the gold-rushers in Nevada.

HEMP FOR BODY CARE

Hemp oil based products are excellent for hair and skin. The nutrients help the hair stay shiny and strong; the oils are perfect for skin, in all seasons. The oil and nutrients do not sit on the skin, they go INTO the skin for optimum results. Hemp is excellent for moisturizing, for eczema and psoriasis, rashes, neurodermitis, and can also help slow the aging process.

Hemp does not need massive amounts of chemicals to grow, it does not need pesticides or fertilizers. It cleans the air as it grows and also helps nourish the soil. It is a clean solution for almost all the products that we now use.

Hemp is THE EcoSolution.

The Case For Hemp Farming In The U.S.


Did you know that the average net return for farmers who grow corn or soy is approximately $50 per acre, while hemp farmers in Canada are reaping profits of $200-$400 per acre?

In 2010 retail sales of hemp in the U.S. were $400,000,000, and in 2011 reached nearly $420,000,000. Between 2005-2008 sales of hemp food and hemp enhanced foods increased over 40% each year.

2011 saw Ron Paul introducing H.R. 1831, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011. This was the fourth time since hemp prohibition that a bill was introduced to remove the restrictions on hemp growing and cultivation.

U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, a California company that manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap in the U.S. as well as best-selling hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Living Harvest, Manitoba Harvest, Nature’s Path, Nutiva and Sequel Naturals who make their products from hemp grown in Canada. Sustainable hemp seed, fiber and oil are also used by major companies such as Ford Motors, Patagonia and The Body Shop. (hempfarm.org)

“”Public support for industrial hemp farming is growing in leaps and bounds in the U.S.” explains Steenstra.” (Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra)

In the 1800s hemp was an important crop for America. It continued to see growth and expansion until the prohibition in the 1930s. The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act classified hemp as a narcotic; hemp farmers had to have a special tax stamp and federal registration. Contrary to popular belief, this does not make hemp farming in the U.S. illegal; the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, however, made it illegal to grow hemp without the proper permits from the DEA, which very stubbornly refuses to give out the required permits to those who want to grow industrial hemp commercially.

U.S. companies are importing huge amounts of industrial hemp seed from Canada, and are using it in food products, and much more. The market for hemp products is growing yearly, as consumers are turned toward more healthy, environmentally responsible foods, health products, clothing, housing, and much more.

Hemp farming has been banned in the U.S. for nearly 75 years. It is time to allow our farmers to grow hemp.

HEMP ~ A Huge Market That Would Boost Our Economy


The United States is the LARGEST importer of industrial hemp – in the WORLD.

The 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics touted hemp as the next billion (billion, with a B) dollar crop.

“AMERICAN farmers are promised a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products.

Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid coolie and peasant labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land.”

I find it interesting, while looking at today’s economy and the huge market for hemp products, that we, the United States, cannot grow a crop due to prohibition. The United States imports approximately $400,000,000 annually (and growing) in hemp products, mainly from Canada and China.

It makes sense to me, then, that this cash crop SHOULD be grown in the U.S. Hemp farming will create JOBS and will certainly boost the economy, especially since more consumers are turning toward healthier and green products.

Not only would hemp farming boost our economy, it would help our environment as well by cleaning the air and revitalizing and healing the soil.

Let’s make our voices heard. WE want to grow hemp, for our economy, our health, our environment!

Hemp ~ One Of The World’s Most Useful Plants


“The greatest service that can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” -Thomas Jefferson

Throughout the ages hemp has been used as food, clothing, for shelter, and fiber.

8000 BC hemp was processed and used as fiber, clothing and food.

500 BC Gautama Buddha ate hempseed to survive.

100 BC hemp paper was made in China.

In 100 AD Pliny the Younger, a Roman imperial magistrate who was a prolific writer and orator, wrote papers telling about the uses of hemp. He also wrote a hemp farming manual.

In 1150 AD Muslims started Europe’s first paper mill. For the next 700 years hemp would be used as the main fiber for paper.

In the 1600 and 1700s hemp was an important staple in the United States economy. Farmers were required to grow hemp.

The 1930s saw a decrease in hemp use, mainly because chemical, pharmaceutical, timber, and oil investors saw that their investments would be threatened by hemp. It became very difficult to get the permits required to grow hemp.

Fossil oil was the main source for fuel; synthetics were used for fabrics; trees were used for paper goods. Unfortunately, these products were not healthy for the earth or environment.

Hemp, however, uses less chemicals in processing than the above resources and HEALS the earth.

It’s time to do this country a service and allow hemp, one of the earth’s most useful plants, to be farmed again. For health, environment, and the economy.