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Q: what is hemp and its use? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: what is hemp and its use?
Category: Science
Asked by: bangmal-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 17 May 2003 01:24 PDT
Expires: 16 Jun 2003 01:24 PDT
Question ID: 204977
what is hemp?  and provide a representative list of the variety of
products which have been slowly infiltrating the market place?
Subject: Re: what is hemp and its use?
Answered By: angy-ga on 17 May 2003 02:38 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, bangmal-ga !

Industrial hemp is a plant related to marijauna whose fibres can be
used in the making of fabric, rope and paper, among other products. 
It is said to be low in THC and to be non-intoxicating. Ecomall has an
interesting page of links and trivia facts at:

Under "Hemp through History" (scroll down) they say:

"Hemp is the oldest cultivated fiber plant in the world. 

The first Gutenberg bible was printed on hemp paper. 

Christopher Columbus' sails and ropes were made from hemp. 

The first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were printed on
hemp paper...

The first American flag was made out of hemp... 

Rembrandt and Van Gogh painted on hemp canvas...

The original Levi’s jeans, made for Sierra Nevada gold rushers, were
made of rugged hemp sailcloth. A current vintage line includes 40
percent hemp. ..."

According to Ecomall, one acre of hemp can produce as much usable
fiber as 4 acres of trees or two acres of cotton, does not require
pesticides as it crowds out weeds, can be grown and harc\vested in
around 100 days, and products can be recycled. It requires less water
than cotton. Paper made from hemp does not require chlorine bleach and
last far longer than wood-pulp paper.

Apparently Industrial cannabis hemp has some 25,000 uses, including
the manufacture of biodegradable plastics:

Ecomall says:

"In 1941 Henry Ford built a plastic car made of fiber from hemp and
wheat straw. Anything made from a hydrocarbon can be made from a
carbohydrate. The 21st century should be the era of the carbohydrate
(sustainable agricultural products.) Hemp plastic is biodegradable,
synthetic plastic is not. "


"Hemp can also produce 10 times more methanol than corn,. the second
best living fuelsource. Hemp as fuel is renewable whereas oil is not.

Shirt Magic also have information about hemp on their site at:

They confirm: 

"Industrial hemp contains less than 1% of THC the psychoactive
component of marijuana. Trying to get high on industrial hemp is akin
to trying to get drunk on non alcohol beer."

and continue:

"Hemp is the world's strongest natural fiber. It has been used to make
cloth and rope for over 10,000 years. Hemp was the first crop ever
cultivated for textile production.
Hemp cloth is stronger, longer lasting, more resistant to mildew, and
cheaper to produce than cloth made of cotton. "

They continue with the history behind the banning of the hemp
industry, telling the story in part like this:

".... the big money people struck out to protect their interests.
Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst led the crusade to ban
hemp. Hearst owned millions of acres of prime timber land and a
machine that simplified the process of making paper from hemp had just
been invented. Hearst used his power as a publisher to create public
panic about the evils of hemp and marijuana. Another big money player
Pierre DuPont held patent rights to the sulfuric acid wood pulp paper
process. In 1937 DuPont patented nylon rope made from synthetic
petrochemicals. Along with Duponts backer Treasury Secretary Andrew
Mellon the big money people prevailed and near the end of 1937
Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. By placing a prohibitively high
tax on hemp production it destroyed the industry. This was done to
protect these big money interests of the timber, petrochemical, and
cotton industries. Hemp was briefly re-legalized during W.W.II. The
U.S. government produced the movie Hemp for Victory to encourage
farmers to grow hemp. Even 4H clubs were asked to grow hemp to help
their country in wartime. The parachute that saved George Bush's life
in World War II was made of hemp fiber. "

A rather more scholarly site can be found at:

They tell us that, interestingly, bird seed was made an exception to
the banning of hamp. "... the testimony of parakeet fanciers that
their birds would not sing, unless they were fed hemp seeds convinced
the US congress to make an exception in 1937, so long as the seeds
were sterilized so that no plants could be grown from them. "
This is careful to cover a range of issues associated with commercial
harvesting of hemp. For example, in relation to paper, it says:

"Paper can be made from hemp hurds, thus if hemp is grown for fibre or
seeds, famers will have an extra product they can sell. However if
paper is to made from hemp, it will require massive investments in new
technology to process the hemp. Paper-making industries will need to
be relocated close to hemp growing areas to minimise transport costs."

and (earlier):

"One of the main problems facing the hemp industry is that the main
consumer demand, entrepreneurial spirit, technological research and
source of finance are all in the US, where it is illegal to grow all
hemp, even if it contains little or no THC. ... Thus there must be
legal growth of hemp in the US before anyone will invest money in new
technology. "

This site also discusses the use of hemp seeds in foodstuffs,
including icecream, and has a useful set of links at the bottom of the

 Industrial hemp is cultivated in many countries around the world
including Canada, China, Russia, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands,
France, Spain, England, and Poland.

The movement for re-legalising it in the USA and elsewhere feels
strongly that hemp is an easily renewable crop that can be used to
replace products currently made from trees (thus protecting the
forests) and can provide a cheap alternative fuel source (thus
prividing an alternative to petroleum (gas).

Hence the increasingly visible sale of hemp products.

Some obtainable products are:


The Natural Zone has a wide range of products at:

These include:

pet products such as leashes, collars and toys
body care products such as shampoo, body scrubs and lip balm
paper products including note paper and drawing paper
accessories such as wallets and backpacks

Good Humans carry a wide range at:

They include:

throw rugs
jewellery and watchbands
table napkins
pot holders

I hope this is useful.

Search terms:
hemp uses
bangmal-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: what is hemp and its use?
From: magnesium-ga on 17 May 2003 14:58 PDT
What a super answer, angy-ga! Google Answers is both entertaining and
educational. I had no idea hemp was such a versatile substance. What a
shame that so much of it gets wasted "going up in smoke." :D

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