Here's a great article from the LA Times:
Get more info at the Hemp Industries Association of
What’s so great about hemp?
Hemp is the world's strongest natural fiber. It has been
used to make cloth and rope for over 10,000 years. Hemp
requires little or no pesticides to grow and it is
harvested in only a few months, making it very
sustainable. It also requires much less water than
Did you know?
The US Constitution was written on hemp paper. The first
American flag was made out of hemp. Henry Ford built a
car in 1941 that was made out of hemp and used hemp as
fuel. Army uniforms in WWs I & II were made of hemp. In
1937 Popular Science Magazine called hemp “The New
Billion Dollar Crop.” And then it was banned.
smoke this bag!
Industrial hemp contains less than 1% of
THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.
Besides fabric, hemp is used to produce paper, salad
oil, high protein foods, soap, ethanol, natural plastic,
rope, insulation, fiberboard and more.
Hemp For Victory: This government propaganda film was
made in 1942 to temporarily lift the ban on hemp
(started in 1939). it is an awesome testament to the
uses of this great fiber. (Video)
And would you believe…
A Lotus Sports Car made out of hemp?
More Interesting and Enlightening Hemp Facts:
- 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
- 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.
- Hemp seed is nutritious and contains more
essential fatty acids than any other source, is
second only to soybeans in complete protein (but is
more digestible by humans), is high in B-vitamins,
and is a good source of dietary fiber. Hemp seed is
not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug (learn
- The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers,
which are among the Earth's longest natural soft
fibers and are also rich in cellulose. The cellulose
and hemi-cellulose in its inner woody core are
called hurds. Hemp stalk is not psychoactive. Hemp
fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more
insulative than cotton fiber.
- According to the Department of Energy, hemp as a
biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized
growing and processing procedures of all hemp
products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed
into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from
fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of
bio-fuels could significantly reduce our consumption
of fossil fuels and nuclear power.
- Hemp can be grown organically. Only eight, out
of about one hundred known pests, cause problems,
and hemp is most often grown without herbicides,
fungicides or pesticides. Hemp is also a natural
weed suppressor due to fast growth of the canopy.
- Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on
a sustainable basis, and can be used for every
quality of paper. Hemp paper manufacturing can
reduce wastewater contamination. Hemp's low lignin
content reduces the need for acids used in pulping,
and its creamy color lends itself to
environmentally-friendly bleaching instead of harsh
chlorine compounds. Less bleaching results in less
dioxin and fewer chemical by-products.
- Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does
not yellow with age when an acid-free process is
used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been
found. Hemp paper can also be recycled more times
than wood-based paper.
- Hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State
University was found to be twice as strong as
wood-based fiberboard. No additional resins are
required due to naturally-occurring lignins.
- Eco-friendly hemp can replace most toxic
petrochemical products. Research is being done to
use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic
products: plant-based cellophane, recycled plastic
mixed with hemp for injection-molded products, and
resins made from the oil, to name a very few
examples. Over two million cars on the road today
have hemp composite parts for door panels,
dashboards, luggage racks, etc.
Countries Growing Industrial Hemp: Today The U.S.
is the only industrialized nation in the world that
does not recognize the value of industrial hemp and
permit its production. Below is a list of other
countries that are more rational when it comes to
research trials in Tasmania in 1995. Victoria commercial
production since1998. New South Wales has research. In
2002, Queensland began production. Western Australia
licensed crops in 2004.
AUSTRIA has a
hemp industry including production of hemp seed oil,
medicinals and Hanf magazine.
started to license research crops in 1994. In addition
to crops for fiber, one seed crop was licensed in 1995.
Many acres were planted in 1997. Licenses for commercial
agriculture saw thousands of acres planted in 1998.
30,000 acres were planted in 1999. In 2000, due to
speculative investing, 12,250 acres were sown. In 2001,
92 farmers grew 3,250 acres. A number of Canadian
farmers are now growing organically-certified hemp crops
(6,000 acres in 2003 and 8,500 acres in 2004, yielding
almost four million pounds of seed).
has grown hemp in the recent past for seed oil
CHINA is the largest
exporter of hemp textiles. The fabrics are of excellent
quality. Medium density fiber board is also now
available. The Chinese word for hemp is "ma."
DENMARK planted its first modern hemp trial
crops in 1997. The country is committed to utilizing
FINLAND had a
resurgence of hemp in 1995 with several small test
plots. A seed variety for northern climates was
developed called Finola, previously know by the breeder
code "FIN-314." In 2003, Finola was accepted to the EU
list of subsidized hemp cultivars. Hemp has never been
prohibited in Finland. The Finnish word for hemp is "hamppu."
FRANCE has never prohibited hemp and
harvested 10,000 tons of fiber in 1994. France is a
source of low-THC-producing hemp seed for other
countries. France exports high quality hemp oil to the
U.S. The French word for hemp is "chanvre."
GERMANY banned hemp in 1982, but research began
again in 1992, and many technologies and products are
now being developed, as the ban was lifted on growing
hemp in November, 1995. Food, clothes and paper are also
being made from imported raw materials. Mercedes and BMW
use hemp fiber for composites in door panels,
dashboards, etc. The German word for hemp is "hanf."
GREAT BRITAIN lifted hemp prohibition in
1993. Animal bedding, paper and textiles markets have
been developed. A government grant was given to develop
new markets for natural fibers. 4,000 acres were grown
in 1994. Subsidies of 230 British pounds per acre are
given by the government to farmers for growing hemp.
HUNGARY is rebuilding their hemp industry,
and is one of the biggest exporters of hemp cordage,
rugs and fabric to the U.S. They also export hemp seed,
paper and fiberboard. The Hungarian word for hemp is "kender."
INDIA has stands of naturalized Cannabis
and uses it for cordage, textiles and seed.
ITALY has invested in the resurgence of hemp,
especially for textile production. 1,000 acres were
planted for fiber in 2002. Giorgio Armani grows its own
hemp for specialized textiles.
a rich religious tradition involving hemp, and custom
requires that the Emperor and Shinto priests wear hemp
garments in certain ceremonies, so there are small plots
maintained for these purposes. Traditional spice mixes
also include hemp seed. Japan supports a thriving retail
market for a variety of hemp products. The Japanese word
for hemp is "asa."
conducting a four-year study to evaluate and test hemp
for paper, and is developing specialized processing
equipment. Seed breeders are developing new strains of
low-THC varieties. The Dutch word for hemp is "hennep."
NEW ZEALAND started hemp trials in 2001.
Various cultivars are being planted in the north and
POLAND currently grows
hemp for fabric and cordage and manufactures hemp
particle board. They have demonstrated the benefits of
using hemp to cleanse soils contaminated by heavy
metals. The Polish word for hemp is "konopij."
ROMANIA is the largest commercial producer of
hemp in Europe. 1993 acreage was 40,000 acres. Some of
it is exported to Hungary for processing. They also
export hemp to Western Europe and the U.S. The Romanian
word for hemp is "cinepa."
maintains the largest hemp germplasm collection in the
world at the N.I. Vavilov Scientific Research Institute
of Plant Industry (VIR) in St. Petersburg. They are in
need of funding to maintain and support the collection.
The Russian word for hemp is "konoplya."
SLOVENIA grows hemp and manufactures currency
SPAIN has never prohibited hemp,
produces rope and textiles, and exports hemp pulp for
paper. The Spanish word for hemp is "cañamo."
SWITZERLAND is a producer of hemp and hosts one
of the largest hemp trade events, Cannatrade.
TURKEY has grown hemp for 2,800 years for rope,
caulking, birdseed, paper and fuel. The Turkish word for
hemp is "kendir."
UKRAINE, EGYPT, KOREA,
PORTUGAL and THAILAND also produce
UNITED STATES granted the first
hemp permit in over 40 years to Hawaii for an
experimental quarter-acre plot in 1999. The license was
renewed, but the project has since been closed due to
DEA stalling tactics and related funding problems.
Importers and manufacturers have thrived using imported
22 states have introduced legislation, including
VT, HI, ND, MT, MN, IL, VA, NM, CA, AR, KY, MD, WV
and ME, addressing support, research or
cultivation with bills or resolutions. The National
Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) has endorsed
industrial hemp for years.
Bibliography Chris Conrad, "Hemp: Lifeline to the
Jack Frazier, "The Great American Hemp Industry"
Hemptech, "Industrial Hemp" and "Hemp Horizons"