‘Hemp is not marijuana’

Clearly Hemp has been most misunderstood crop in the vegetable kingdom. The crop has been neglected for many years as emotion-not reason-has guided our attitude toward the magnitude of benefits of this crop. Today we have scientific evidence on the numerous advantages hemp has over the other crops.  It is high time that farmers, policymakers, manufacturers, and the general public are aware about the distinction between myth and reality surrounding the hemp.

It is unfortunate that the hemp issue has been confused or attached to the pro-marijuana movement in the world. It is important to use the full term “industrial hemp” for  this particular strain of the cannabis plant because of the confusion with the term ‘hemp” , which commonly refers to marijuana and the issue of the legalization of marijuana.

“The term ‘industrial hemp’ is a phrase that specifically denotes the use of benign strains of the cannabis plant strictly for agricultural and industrial purposes.” Marijuana contains over 3% THC and thus has the narcotic effect upon those who ingest or smoke it. 8 Compare industrial hemp that is in the family Cannabaceae, genus Cannabis, species C. sativa and not only contains THC levels of less than 1%, but contains cannabidiol (CBD) which has been shown to block the effect of THC in the nervous system.9 Species C. sativa is a member of the mulberry family.’o Industrial hemp has a relatively high level of CBD compared to THC.

Need for iHemp Act and policies

Industrial hemp can easily be the most versatile crop that is available to mankind. Its use can save trees and fossil fuel,  clothe the world and can be used as an ingredient in cosmetics and foodstuffs. It can even be used to replace fiberglass in automobiles. It is a proven fact that growing industrial hemp uses less water and pesticides than cotton.

Cannabis is the only plant genus that contains the unique class of molecular compounds called cannabinoids. Many cannabinoids have been identified, but two preponderate: THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis, and CBD, which is an anti-psychoactive ingredient. One type of Cannabis is high in the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, and low in the anti-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD. This type is popularly known as marijuana. Another type is high in CBD and low in THC. Variants of this type are called Industrial Hemp. In the United States, the debate about the relationship between hemp and marijuana has been diminished by the dissemination of many statements that have little scientific support. This report examines in detail ten of the most pervasive and pernicious of these myths.

Myth: Smoking Industrial Hemp gets a person high.

Reality: The THC levels in Industrial Hemp are so low that no one could get high from smoking it. Moreover, hemp contains a relatively high percentage of another cannabinoid, CBD, that actually blocks the marijuana high. Hemp, it turns out, is not only not marijuana; it could be called “anti-marijuana”.

Myth: Industrial Hemp fields would be used to hide marijuana plants.

Reality: Industrial Hemp is grown quite differently from marijuana. Moreover, it is harvested at a different time than marijuana. Finally, cross-pollination between hemp plants and marijuana plants would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plant.

Myth: Legalizing hemp while continuing the prohibition on marijuana would burden local police forces.

Reality: In countries where hemp is grown as an agricultural crop, the police have experienced no such burdens.

Myth: Those who want to legalize Industrial Hemp are actually seeking a backdoor way to legalize marijuana.

Reality: It is true that many of the first hemp stores were started by Industrial Hemp advocates who were also in favor of legalizing marijuana. However, as the hemp industry has matured, it has come to be dominated by those who see hemp as the agricultural and industrial crop that it is, and see hemp legalization as a different issue than marijuana legalization. In any case, should we oppose a very good idea simply because some of those who support it also support other ideas with which we disagree?

Myth: Hemp oil is a source of THC.

Reality: Hemp oil is an increasingly popular product, used for an expanding variety of purposes. The washed Industrial Hemp seed contains no THC at all. The tiny amounts of THC contained in Industrial Hemp are in the glands of the plant itself. Sometimes, in the manufacturing process, some THC- and CBD-containing resin sticks to the seed, resulting in traces of THC in the oil that is produced. The concentration of these cannabinoids in the oil is infinitesimal. No one can get high from using Industrial Hemp oil.


A. Bio-Diesel \/ehicle Fuel

 “Rudolph Diesel designed his diesel engine to run on hemp oil.”72 On July 4, 2001, a 1985 Mercedes Turbo Diesel powered on hemp oil began a 10,000 mile trek across the U.S. and CanadaY Apple Energy of Ohio processes industrial hemp seeds into biodiesel fueI,74 Kellie Sigler, co-founder of the industrial hemp car project, states that “if six percent of America were planted with industrial hemp, all of America’s transportation and energy demands could be met. “75 B. Replaces Fiberglass in Vehicles Henry Ford felt it would be advantageous to build and fuel cars from farm products so he experimented with industrial hemp to build car bodies.76 As recently as 1997, BMW was experimenting with industrial hemp materials in automobiles as part of an effort to make cars more recyclable.77 In 1997, Popular Mechanics published an article about using industrial hemp in automobiles. In the article, company spokesman for the Daimler-Benz company noted that the engineers liked using [industrial] hemp fibers because they are more rigid and American car makers have begun to replace fiberglass with natural plant fibers. 

B. Construction 

Industrial hemp can be used to make products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs, and 81 posts, all of which have construction uses. Because industrial hemp has long fibers, these products are stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood. 82 Recently in England, the Suffolk Housing Society commissioned a project to build entire houses from industrial hemp products.83 The society concluded that these houses require less energy to build, produce less waste, and cost less to heat.84 However, compared to traditional brick and mortar houses, the houses cost ten percent more to build.85 It is possible, however, that the price will fall as the building technique develops.

C. Paper 

The long fibers found in industrial hemp create high-quality paper for books, magazines, and stationery, while the shorter fibers are excellent material for newspaper, tissue paper, and packaging materials.87 Industrial hemp paper not only resists decomposition, but it is not subject to the age-related yellowing of wood-derived papers. 88 Kimberly Clark, a Fortune 500 company, has an industrial hemp-paper mill in France which produces industrial hemp paper preferred for bibles due to both its durability and failure to yellow with age. 89 The 1995 USDA report discussed llldustrial hemp use for the specialty and recycled paper market. Products in the specialty paper markets include currency, cigarette papers, filter papers, and tea bags.90 HurterConsult, Inc., a company based in Ottawa, Canada, has done a pre-feasibility study for Prairie Pulp and Paper Co. for the use of flax straw and industrial hemp to produce either pulp and/or un-coated printing and writing paper.

D. Clothing & Fashion 

Industrial hemp has a twofold appeal for the fashion industry. The intrinsic qualities are first and foremost on the list and include the following: stronger than cotton, warmer than linen, and more absorbent than nylon. 92 Additionally, industrial hemp is environment friendly. Cotton requires huge amounts of water and enormous quantities of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. 93 Whereas industrial hemp needs little or no pesticides or herbicides and significantly less water than cotton crops do. 94 Pesticides sprayed on cotton account for one half of the pesticide use in the United States.95 Six thousand tons of pesticidesWoody Harrelson, a well-known actor and proponent of industrial hemp, was recently outfitted in a Giorgio Armani designed tuxedo made from industrial hemp fabric. 101 Armani’s company has participated in a consortium of Italian farmers and seed producers to restart Italian industrial hemp cultivation in Italy.102 The consortium will initially plant 494 acres. 103 Additionally, Armani’s consortium is building a factory that will have the capacity to process industrial hemp pro 104 duced from 2,470 acres.

E. Food 

Hempseed contains eight essential amino acids, two essential fatty acids, and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), which is an Omega-6 Super GLA, which is less commonly found in fish and flaxseed oils. l05

A study in 2000, funded by the Canadian government and coordinated by Leson Environmental Consulting in Berkeley, CA, concluded that as long as industrial hemp seed processors continue to adhere to thorough seed cleaning methods, people who frequently consume quality industrial hemp foods now found in stores, will not fail urine tests for marijuana. 106 These thorough cleaning methods will generally keep THC levels in industrial hemp oil below 5 ppm and the level in hulled seeds below 2 ppm. 107 The study required employers and administrators of drug testing programs to follow established federal guidelines for urine testing, requiring that urine samples, which fail the screening test, must be confirmed by GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry).108 The use of the GC/MS testing provides a more stringent testing method and therefore would prove or disprove the failed urine test. G. Paint & V’arnish In 1935, more than 58,000 tons of industrial hemp seed were used to make paint and varnish which were non-toxic. When industrial hemp was banned, these safe paints and varnishes were replaced by toxic petro-chemicals. 109

REF:  Dr. Dave’s Industrial Hemp Archives, Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities



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