The following is a guest post by Justin Kander, a fellow hemp advocate and entrepreneur who asked if I would accept this guest post about hemp…
When most people think of industrial hemp, they think of how it can be used for rope and clothing. That’s the number one thing I hear people say. “Can’t that be made into rope?” Of course, it very well can be, but hemp goes SO much further than that! In fact, many people believe (myself included) that it can save the world. That’s a bold claim to make, but I promise you I can back it up, if you just give me a moment!
First of all, hemp is the best renewable resource we have. It can be harvested several times a year and produces four times as much raw biomass as its nearest renewable competitor. In fact, it’s estimated that hemp can grow up to nine tons per acre! Considering that farm acreage is often measured in the tens of thousands of acres, millions of pounds of hemp can be produced year round. Growing hemp naturally cleans and aerates soil due to its unusually long roots, uses hardly any nitrogen, requires no pesticides or herbicides, and removes about half as much CO2 from the atmosphere as the yield (in other words, 2 tons of hemp removes 1 ton of CO2 from the air).
That’s all fine and dandy, but who cares how much hemp you can grow if all it could be used for is rope? This is where things get really interesting, and I don’t mean to throw a barrage of facts at you really fast, but that’s the only way to cover such a wealth of information. Let’s start with an issue that a lot of people are passionate about: The practice of cutting down thousands of trees for paper. Guess what? Paper made from hemp is stronger, does not require harsh chemicals for processing, and can be recycled up to 8 times (tree paper can only do up to 3).
Plastic made from hemp is biodegradable and does not require petroleum. Textiles and cloth (rope too!) made from hemp is extremely durable, tough, and when combined with small amounts of organic cotton, very comfortable to wear.
Hemp can also be used to make the foundations and many other parts of cars and homes. Cars built with hemp are much stronger and lighter, thus being more fuel efficient (especially if run on clean-burning hemp biofuel! Hemp can do so much now I’m slipping facts in with parentheses). Homes built with hemp are stronger and fire-resistant (hemp actually burns quite poorly, unlike the psychoactive cannabis variety), flood-resistant, hurricane-resistant, and more insulating, thus saving energy. And since hemp is 100% renewable, no trees or non-renewable resources have to be used for these things.
And then there’s food… hemp seed is the most nutritious seed in the world. Other than a couple pieces of fruit necessary to supply absent vitamins, hemp seed has everything you need to live. It has all known amino acids, including all 10 essential amino acids (8 true essential and 2 semi-essential), in the most bioavailable form of any plant in the world. It has the perfect balance of Omega-3, -6, and -9 essential fatty acids, which are critical for your cardiovascular system’s proper functioning and ensuring the stability of millions of chemical reactions. The seed also contains large quantities of dietary fiber to facilitate digestion, along with trace minerals, antioxidants, and natural plant chlorophyll. Hemp seed can be turned into basically anything, including hemp bread. If hemp bread were to become the new staple of the world, world hunger would be eliminated, because of the complete nutritional profile of hemp and the fact it can grow anywhere in large quantities.
I hope you’re mad as hell that hemp is not being used to its greatest potential. It really sucks and the consequences have ultimately lead to a polluted planet and millions of people dying for reasons that hemp and cannabis medicine could ultimately prevent.
If you want to do something about it, educate people about hemp and support the existing hemp economy. Buy hemp clothing, hemp jewelry, hemp bed sheets, whatever’s out there! You can also greatly improve your health by eating hemp seed or hemp protein powder, which can be purchased from Nutiva. The only problem with hemp seed in its raw form is it can take awhile to get used to the taste, and back when I used to eat it raw it wasn’t until three months in that I actually started to enjoy the taste. That’s why I love Versativa, a company that produces delicious, raw hemp foods and hemp seed concentrates, which enable anyone to get a lot of hemp into their diet without even tasting it. I’m proud to distribute products for them and I work alongside some great people, like Paul Benhaim, a personal partner of mine (check out that Wikipedia page about him, he’s really done a lot for the hemp movement, and our collective dream is to make hemp food the new staple of the world). If you want to learn more about Versativa, visit my page at VersativaHealth.com, or check out some of the dozens of mindblowing testimonials at my Squidoo Versativa page. There’s even a video of my friend and I rapping about Versativa, although I don’t really do much talking personally… Rapping is a lot harder than it seems and I just can’t do it, but believe me, you’ll love the job my friend Aaron does (plus I’m still there in the background!)