Hemp is a dioecious, annual plant. It thrives in all areas with a mild climate and grows anywhere from 0.5 to 5 m in height. The color depends on the type – from light green to dark green, the leaves are palm-shaped and narrower in industrial hemp. The main root can reach up to 2 m deep, and the other roots up to 60 cm. The stem is hairy. It originates from Central Asia, in China its therapeutic effects were known as early as 4000 BC. Cultivation of hemp and flax also belongs to our history and tradition.
Why has hemp been used throughout human history?
Fabrics and fibers
Until the twentieth century, hemp was used with advantage for all ship’s sails, ropes and anchors. Sailors’ clothing was almost entirely made of hemp, as were fishing nets and flags. Until the middle of the 19th century, 80 percent of all fabrics and fibers for CLOTHES, LINEN, BLANKETS, BEDDING, TENTS, TOWELS, DIAPERS… were made from hemp fibers. People knew
- that hemp absorbs moisture very well,
- that it is well stretchable,
- that it is strong and durable,
- that it is softer than cotton,
- that the plant does not need chemistry to grow.
By 1883, 75-90% of all paper in the world was made from hemp fibers. Eastern and Oriental societies used it long before Western societies, which enabled them to transmit knowledge in writing from generation to generation. They then only supplemented it, researched and successfully developed it. Our ancestors made hemp paper from hemp waste fabric. The paper was of exceptional quality, durable and remained virtually unchanged for centuries. It was used for: official documents, maps, newspapers, stocks, banknotes…
Hemp oil was also used for various PAINTS AND COATINGS AND AS LAMP OIL.
Use in medicine
The use of cannabis in medicine has a long history. It was used to treat people of all ages as well as in veterinary medicine. Its effects were used to treat pain, hormonal imbalances, constipation, it served as a sedative, for infections…and of course for relaxation (smoking).
According to the scientific classification, hemp has three recognized types:
- INDUSTRIAL HEMP (Cannabis sativa sativa),
- INDIAN HEMP (Cannabis sativa indica),
- HEMP RUDERALIS (Cannabis sativa ruderalis).
Hemps were classified into these three types according to the period of growth and flowering and according to the shape of the seed pods.
Uses of the hemp plant today
Hemp flowers and leaves
- We use them to extract and obtain the desired cannabinoids (CBD resin). Cannabinoids represented, represent, and will represent a great potential and challenge for positive effects on human and animal health.
- they are used for hemp tea.
Hemp seeds have a really wide range of uses:
- can be eaten raw (peeled or unpeeled),
- hemp oil with a high proportion of essential fatty acids,
- ground into hemp protein powder, lactose and gluten free,
- hemp flour, which contains a lot of fiber,
- Hemp milk contains a lot of protein, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is excellent for people who are lactose intolerant.
When we cut a hemp stem in half, we can clearly see the course of its fibers. Hemp fibers are an extremely strong material, which was already used in history to make strong ropes, for ship’s sails, canvas… even today, fortunately, hemp fibers are increasingly used for:
- building material,
- hemp paper.
Construction panels are produced by thermally pressing hemp fibers, which are a strong, affordable, fireproof building material. Such material has excellent heat and sound insulation properties.
It is high time to start using hemp as biomass energy. Biomass, unlike fossil fuels, is obtained from living plants, which purify the atmosphere of carbon dioxide during growth through photosynthesis; biomass also does not contain sulfur. Hemp could therefore be used for biomass and turned into fossil fuel substitutes through the process of gasification or biochemical composting. Methanol and ethanol derivatives can also be obtained from hemp biomass. Cultivation of industrial hemp for biomass would also mean cleaning polluted soil – the polluted elements remain in the biomass itself and could later be converted into energy through controlled destruction. What about the effects on the environment, people, animals? Industrial hemp does not need harmful sprays and fertilizers for its growth, it does not pollute the environment, air or water. We could reasonably expect that in the future, the cultivation of industrial hemp will also play a large role in energy.
Hemp has had its highs and lows throughout human history. It was banned mainly because of the power and interests of large corporations. Nevertheless, we never forgot it and it was, if nothing else, used illegally all the time.
Today, humanity must devote itself to saving the planet, because we have reached a point where we are aware of our sad end if we continue to recklessly exploit natural resources. Maybe it’s finally time to become aware of the existence of a plant that is an annually renewable natural resource that could satisfy the needs for energy, textiles, paper, cleaning the atmosphere, maintaining healthy soil, forests… impacting the health of living beings.
We know the name of this plant – hemp.