Personally I’m for the latter. It has been with an increasing sense of disappointment that I have come to realise the level of ignorance or the even more damaging partial knowledge that informs so many people’s opinions on hemp.
The expressions on people’s faces when they peer through our windows and spot the distinctive leaf as a logo followed by the sniggers and whispers are quite exasperating. The sad fact is that this reaction comes from an only partially informed point of view.
So what Is Hemp? Hemp is one of several colloquial terms for products derived from an annual herbaceous plant of the cannabis genus. There are three main Cannabis species: C. sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis cbd for cats no taste.
Cannabis Sativa being the species that is grown entirely as a high yield commercial fibre crop, which flourishes in areas with temperate climates.
Every part of the plant can be used commercially. Its core, fibres, seeds and flowers serve as raw material for numerous products in a variety of sectors: food, health products, clothing, fabrics, cosmetics, bags, paper, books, carpets, insulation materials, fibre-reinforced plastics, animal bedding and body-care products are all produced from hemp.
Hemp grows well without the use of herbicides or pesticides making it more environmentally sustainable than other fibre crops such as, cotton and flax. It is planted so tightly together that no light is left for weed growth.
The fibres can be used in 100% hemp products, but are more commonly blended with fabrics such as linen, cotton or silk, with the most popular blend being a 55/45 Hemp/Cotton mix.
Hemp is one of the world’s oldest and most versatile plants. It’s earliest recorded use dating back to the ancient Egyptians but the refinement of breeding, farming and processing techniques is attributable to the Chinese.
When the art of papermaking arrived in Europe from China in the 14th century, hemp was used in the manufacture of paper. Later it would hold a pivotal position during the heyday of European maritime expansion. Hemp fibre was of vital importance to both the British and every other nation’s fleet in the manufacture of ropes and sails.
In the 18th century cotton displaced hemp from the textile market and by the early 20th century, hemp had declined to become little more than a niche crop in most industrialised countries in the western world. Since the 1920’s those using cannabis as a recreational drug have hijacked the whole cannabis genus, by adopting the previously innocuous words used to describe some of the products. This then culminated in the blanket ban on the cannabis plant in the U.S.A. in 1937, which made no exception for Cannabis Sativa, as the plants look virtually identical.
However by the 1970s, scientists had been able to isolate THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive ingredient found in hashish and marijuana), which made it possible to prove beyond any doubt the difference between the cannabis strains.
Now in the 1990s cannabis sativa, (industrial hemp), is now making a world wide resurgence, and re-establishing its self as the infinitely versatile and environmentally friendly plant that it is.
Many famous names such as, Armani, (“Hemp produces a strong, clean yarn, with a structure that makes the cloth cool in summer, and warm and comfortable in winter.” – Georgio Armani). Calvin Klein, (“I believe that hemp is going to be the fibre of choice in both the home furnishing and fashion industries.” – Calvin Klein), The Body Shop, and many more have introduced a range of products made from it.