Hemp 101 —What is Hemp, How is Hemp Used and Why Is it Illegal?

Monday, Nov 30, 2015

The Hemp plant has always been the target of haters. Sure cannabis has gained its share of enemies, but it all started with hemp. Sound crazy? Not if you follow the money, man. Practically since its discovery hemp threatened the captains of industry from paper, to cloth, to oil.

Hemp plants make better quality paper than trees. Plus hemp plants grow much more quickly. So if you’re into making money by transforming trees into paper like William Randolf Hearst, hemp might be threat. Maybe you make your cash making cotton-based clothes? Well hemp makes much stronger and much longer-lasting clothing—so you just might see hemp as a threat. Hemp also makes a better quality of oil from a quickly renewable resource. So if you make your money off oil—or war, or sickening people, farms and pets…well you get the drift.

Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops ever. It’s not only been used for paper, cloth and oil, but myriad products and for thousands of years. In fact, the Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a scrap of hemp fabric dating back to about 8,000 BC. There are many different varieties of the cannabis plant and hemp, also called industrial hemp, refers to the a variety of non-psychoactive Cannabis Sativa L. That means both hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis species, but are genetically distinct and are further distinguished by use, chemical makeup, and cultivation methods.