Happy Self Sustaining Saturday (Ok, I started this post early but I had a lot of fun at a Sat wedding and didn't complete it in time. So this week only, happy Self Sustaining Sunday!)
For some, hearing the word, hemp, sends them into imagery of a bohemian-clad, dread lock wearing, patchouli smelling commune member. While all of those things are all fine and dandy hemp is coming into the modern world in a big way. Dare I say, it could save our remaining nature with it's 50,000+ uses if we can push for it's growth.
If only we could find a crop that grows like a "weed" (hence it's nickname), nourishes the soil as it grows, could tolerate a variety of climates, be organically pest-proof, provide a plant based source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, help thousands beat cancer, provide an organic source for our clothing, generate bio-fuels for our cars, make cars and houses, replace plastic altogether, and generate income for the nation to retain our superpower status... Phew... That's a lot of requirements, there is no way one crop could do all of that. If it did, certainly we'd subsidize it like we have corn and soybeans which yields us crap like high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, corn starch, soy lectin, and the like.
Hemp, the sober cousin of marijuana (cannabis sativa), does all this and more. I knew hemp was one of a million new sources of protein and milk (almond, cashew, rice, coconut, etc) because I'd seen it all over Wholefoods, but I had no idea Henry Ford and Lotus had made cars from the stuff! I read about hemp construction materials and the countless other uses for it and my mind was blown. I could not believe I wasn't surrounded by hemp products. Hemp has been around forever! Why haven't we capitalized on it yet? Let me break down some of what I've learned.
Nutrition & Health
Hemp is one of the only plant based sources of nutrition that provides all the essential fatty acids and amino acids the human body requires! It's also high in fiber, protein, and minerals.
Hemp's medicinal cousin (same plant different part), Cannabis is an important medicine. It's been used for numerous years as the primary medicine to treat hundreds of illnesses. It just recently reemerged to treat seizures, cancers, and a variety of other ailments. However, the federal government and the state government have been in a squabble over the legality of each state's marijuana laws. I know two people personally who were prescribed horrid barbiturates for their seizures, much stronger stuff than cannabis and it didn't work. Their seizures continued on the daily. After they switched to medical cannabis they have one seizure a month. I also know a wonderful German Shepard, Bella, who had the exact same story. Horrible barbiturates were prescribed, they didn't work and the owners found doggie cannabis. The dog takes one capsule a day and went from having about 5 seizures a day to once a month.