Hemp/Cannabis: What Is It And Why Not?
Indian hemp / Cannabis plant (Cannabis indica / Cannabis sativa) growing on plantation for medicinal purposes or as drug. (Photo by: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)
What IS “HEMP”
1. Hemp, also called Indian hemp, marijuana. A tall, coarse plant, Cannabis sativa, that is native to Asia but naturalized or cultivated in many parts of the world and is the source of a valuable fiber as well as drugs such as marijuana and hashish.
2. The tough fiber of this plant, used for making rope, coarse fabric, etc.
3. Any of various plants resembling hemp.
4. Any of various fibers similar to hemp.
5. A narcotic drug, like marijuana or hashish, prepared from the hemp plant.
Long story, short… or better yet, long story, longer… hemp has always had a bad name in the U.S.; but why? Hemp is a natural substance. Historically, it was best known to be originally grown in only certain parts of the world but can now be grown anywhere.
Unfortunately, hemp has not largely been embraced by our modern society. It has been given a bad name mainly because it is included in the Cannabis family. Cannabis, also known as marijuana and/or weed, is associated with recreational and illegal drugs, which are used to get a euphoric high. Since the counterculture heyday of the 1960s, hemp/marijuana has steadily gained traction as a recreational drug much like alcohol.
Well, I submit to you that alcohol is also a product of nature that is used recreationally and causes a high. The Prohibition Law in the 1920s and early 1930s made alcohol illegal but was later repealed. I have seen many violent and raging drunks in my day. While smoking Cannabis is also known as a recreational activity, I have yet to see a violent and raging pot head! Typically, potheads get so mellow that they can’t get out of their own way!
Hemp is a natural resource with a long laundry list of beneficial uses. It is known to have many industrial and socially valuable attributes. Aside from having medical properties, it can be used in making building materials, biodegradable plastic, clothing and food for both human and animal consumption. Hemp actually has a lot of nutritional value.
The fact is that hemp is higher in the property CBD and can be extremely low in THC which is the property that causes the euphoric high. It would be equivalent to smoking your sock!
We have known for many years that plants in the Cannabis family have medicinal and healing properties for a wide variety of health problems. Illnesses causing children to have seizures have been shown to respond to the effects of Cannabis. Also, of concern is that not only children, but adults as well, can benefit from the medicinal properties of the plant. I have personal experience in this area and cannot believe that our government could legally withhold treatment to a person in need.
In the process of denying its people health benefits from Cannabis, our government allows the drug companies to manufacture drugs with harmful chemicals. These drugs are marketed and prescribed (often over-prescribed) to people who have few choices but to take them. The drug companies get rich; then down the road, the lawyers get rich when we ultimately find out that they were harmful.
Over the years, we have seen, seemingly, self-righteous lawmakers and politicians cater to people who are ignorant and afraid of the plant. The truth is that it has been used for a variety of uses for thousands of years and, surprisingly, civilization still exists!
Laws on this subject vary from state to state in the U.S. but the plant is still widely rejected. It is amazing that in this day and age, we spend countless dollars researching renewable, natural energy sources, push recycling and going green but still reject this no-brainer!
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