Hemp Facts

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS:
As you delve into the myriad wonders of hemp, please keep in mind that there is one fact, one senseless fact about industrial hemp that needs to be rectified - its prohibition in the USA. The Anti-Hemp Conspiracy depicted in our novel, the one that shut down the hemp-paper mills, and cut off the life-line to Henry Ford's hemp-mobile, is still having its way! On the bright side of that fact, however, the barriers to the return of American hemp-farming and industry are beginning to crumble; and we, as concerned citizens, can help speed up the process. (After getting the FACTS, see PRO-HEMP LINKS for details)).

FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HEMP:

FUEL:

  • The increased use of bio-mass fuels would reduce dependence on foreign oil while increasing American jobs and revenues.

  • Hemp fuel burns cleaner than petroleum, and any pollution caused by burning hemp is offset by the cleansing effect of growing the plant. Burning hemp fuel does not, therefore, contribute to global warming or acid rain.

  • A bio-mass fuel is one made from hemp and/or other plant materials

  • Hemp produces 10 times more methanol per acre than corn, and because hemp is not, like corn, a major food staple world-wide, using hemp instead of corn to produce methanol would not have the disastrous effects of raising food prices across the globe and creating famine.

  • Hemp can be blended with diesel fuel in any ratio or used alone. Biodiesel fuel is the only alternative fuel that can be used as-is, in an un-modified diesel engine.

  • In 2001, the "Hemp Car," a converted 1980s diesel Mercedes station wagon, drove a 13,000 mile, 50 city tour of North America, powered solely by 600 gallons of hemp bio-diesel.



CLOTHING AND FABRICS:

  • Hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent and more mildew-resistant than cotton.

  • Fabrics composed of 50% hemp or more are the most effective UV ray sun-blockers.

  • Until 1937, 70-90% of all rope and twine was made of hemp.

  • Levi Strauss jeans were originally made from hemp, which gave them their reputation for durability.

  • Hemp softens with each washing, without fiber degradation. As the saying goes: "Hemp doesn't wear out, it wears in."

  • 1 acre of hemp produces as much fabric as 2-3 acres of cotton.

  • Hemp is 4 times warmer than cotton, 4 times more water absorbent, and has 3 times the tensile strength of cotton. It is also more durable and flame retardant.



PLASTICS:

  • Hemp oil and pulp can be used in the production of plastics, oil paints, varnishes, inks, solvents, lubricants, and putty.

  • In 1941, Henry Ford introduced his amazing hemp-mobile, a car made of hemp-based plastic, which ran on hemp-based fuel.

  • Hemp plastic is biodegradable; synthetic plastic is not.

  • Plastic plumbing pipe (PVC pipes) can be manufactured from renewable hemp cellulose.



PAPER:

  • Hemp makes a durable, high quality paper, which can be recycled many times more than wood-based paper. Because of its low lignin content and natural brightness, hemp paper can be processed without the harsh chemicals needed to process wood. Switching to hemp-based paper from wood, therefore, dramatically reduces the toxic chemicals being dumped into waterways at paper mill sites.

  • Until 1883, 75-90% of all paper in the U.S. was made with hemp.

  • One acre of hemp (grown in a single season) yields as much paper as up to 4 acres of trees (which take years to grow).

  • Hemp paper is stronger, acid free, has a longer shelf life and costs less to process than tree paper.

  • Both the Gutenberg Bible (15th C.) and the King James Bible (17th C.) were printed on hemp-based papers.

  • In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, a hemp grower, wrote the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.



BUILDING MATERIALS:

  • Longer fibers make hemp stronger and more durable than wood.

  • Hemp is heat, mildew, pest, light, and rot resistant.

  • The pulp of the hemp stalk is used to produce fiberboard, insulation, carpet, fiberglass substitute, cement blocks, concrete, stucco and mortar.



FOOD:

  • At a volume level of 81%, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (the "good" fats). It is high in certain essential amino acids, including gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a rare nutrient found in mother's milk.

  • Hemp oil and seed can be made into tasty, nutritional products.

  • Hemp oil is the highest source of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which, among other things, help control cholesterol and arterial blockage, and boost the immune system.

  • Hemp also contains a healthy 35% of dietary fiber, the highest of all commercial flour grains, and it is high in the natural antioxidants Vitamin E, Vitamin C and chlorophyll.




SUSTAINABLE FARMING:

  • Hemp grows well in a variety of climates and soil types. It is naturally resistant to most pests, precluding the need for pesticides. It grows tightly spaced, out-competing any weeds, so herbicides are not necessary. It also leaves a weed-free field for a following crop.

  • HEMP IS THE NUMBER ONE biomass producer on planet earth: 10 tons per acre in approximately four months. It is a woody plant containing 77% cellulose. Wood produces 60% cellulose.

  • 1 acre of usable hemp fiber is equal to the usable fiber of 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton.

  • Trees mature in 50-100 years; hemp matures in as little as 100 days.

  • The University of Missouri estimates that an average-size metropolitan area production of 100 million gallons of biodiesel fuel could generate $8.34 million in personal income and 6000 jobs. (Ref: National Biodiesel Board)


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