Hemp, The Swiss Army Plant

Topics: Hemp, Cannabis, Paper Pages: 6 (2311 words) Published: December 10, 2013
John Doe
Botany 1
Jane Doe
11/2/2013

The Swiss Army Plant

Things are not always what they seem. From people to objects, events, and even plants. One plant in Particular I think goes unnoticed or overlooked for many many of its practical uses. This plant has an unfair rap that is generally associated with it. Im talking about the Hemp plant. Hemp is almost always associated with Marijuana by the general public which by and large tends to be seen as a negative relationship. Im not stating weather or not I think that Marijuana is bad or good nor is that the point of this paper, thats is however is it's own paper entirely. Im here to inform you about the Hemp plant and about the multiple of other uses of the plant that have nothing to do with its THC content and the medicinal uses that go along with that.

Hemp is actually a term for certain varieties of Cannabis, Scythian, and products that are derived from it and is usually used to describe those varieties that are cultivated to be used industrially. Cannabis is an angiosperm meaning that it produces flowers. This plant is diecious, meaning that there are separate male and female parts on different plants. Cannabis also will only produce flowers once a year and then typically it will die after, this is known as being an “annual” plant. The flowers on a Cannabis plant are palmately compound and have serrated leaflets. (Cannabis)

Industrial hemp is one of the the oldest, if not the oldest industries the earth has ever seen. “The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC” (Mass). This fibrous plant is making a strong comeback due to the extensive uses it has. Hemp can be used to make textiles, clothing, auto parts, paper, construction materials, and the oil from the seed can be used to make pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetics (Mass). This variety of Cannabis should not be confused with Marijuana. Both are varieties of Cannabis, but much like a Great Dane and a Yorky are different breeds of Canine, Hemp is genetically a different species of Cannabis. It is impossible for someone to extract a drug from industrial hemp and likewise it is impossible for someone to get high from industrial hemp(votehemp). This is because industrial Hemp contains next to no THC (0.3% THC)(delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), while Marijuana contains around 5-25% THC. Also industrial hemp contains a high percentage of CBD (cannabidiol) which helps negate the psychoactive effects of THC (votehemp).

One of industrial Hemp's most notorious qualities is that the plant is extremely fibrous. This means that the stalk and bark of the plant will produce fibers that eventually will be used to produce fiber based products such as ropes and textiles. Hemp Fibers are known to be some of not only the longest fibers on Earth but also some of the softest. (HIA) When compared to cotton fiber, Hemp wins in every way. Hemp is not only stronger and longer then cotton fibers but it also is more absorbent and is a better insulator then it's cotton counterpart. (HIA) Some Hemp enthusiasts believe that with the right legislation and support that Hemp could make the cotton industry irrelevant. So not only is raw material of Hemp superior to Cotton, but Hemp is also a renewable resource and can be grown each and every year.(Torrance) Unlike Cotton Hemp can be grown virtually anywhere in the world. Along with this adaptability, the efficiency at which Hemp can be produced is amazing. With the same amount of land, say one acre, it would be possible to to produce three times as much fibre then one acre of cotton would produce.(Sevier) Hemp also aids in over all planetary cleanliness. Hemp helps by being perfectly capable of being grown organically. Half of the chemicals used in agriculture are used to produce cotton while Hemp would require none of these chemicals.(Torrance) This is due to the fact that only eight of...

Cited: Why Industrial Hemp? (2007) Retrieved from http://www.votehemp.com/
Torrance, K
Unknown Author (June 2010). Characteristics of Hemp. Retrieved from oecotextiles.wordpress.com
Motavalli, J
Hemp - could it be the break you are looking for?. (2007). Farmers Weekly, 147(10), 31.
Herer, J. (1990). The forgotten history of hemp. Earth Island Journal,5(4), 35.
Hargreaves, B. (2007). High hopes. Professional Engineering, 20(15), 24-25.
HEMP, HEMP, HOORAY!. (2013, June). Vegetarian Times, (403). 62.
Kadey, M. G. (2006). hemp does a body good. Better Nutrition, 68(11), 50-52.
Ross, N. (2011). Hemp Hero. Alternatives Journal, 37(5), 44.
Blackwood, A., & Quick, S. (2003). give hemp a chance. Health (Time Inc. Health), 17(7), 176.
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