July 3, 2023 12:00 pm ETEstimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
On Feb. 4, 2019, activists and hemp enthusiasts across the country celebrated the first-ever National Hemp Day! A few months later, in August 2019, CBDMD submitted the paperwork hoping to have an official National Hemp Month designated. The purpose of this month would be to help promote the uses and benefits of hemp and help remove the stigma this plant has received over the years through education and community involvement.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar officially proclaimed July as National Hemp Month just shortly thereafter, and the first-ever National Hemp Month was enthusiastically celebrated by millions across the United States in 2020!
What Is Hemp?
Hemp, sometimes known as industrial hemp, is a specific set of cultivars within the cannabis sativa botanical family grown primarily for industrial use. The U.S. federal government recognizes hemp as a variety of Cannabis sativa that contains no more than 0.3% THC dry weight. Cultivated hemp plants can be utilized for fiber, seed, roots, and buds to produce thousands of different products.
Is Hemp Legal?
With the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was made legal once again in the U.S. Consequently, there are now multi-billion-dollar industries surrounding its cultivation, extraction, processing, and manufacturing. This has been fueled heavily by the ever-growing market for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol (CBD) is found in high concentrations within many varieties of industrial hemp. The legalization of hemp also paved legal pathways for CBD products to be sold nationwide.
The Benefits of Hemp
Hemp is a very fascinating plant with a plethora of potential uses that go beyond just hemp seeds and CBD products. In fact, this plant possesses an abundance of environmental, nutritional, and therapeutic benefits.
Environmental Benefits of Hemp
The benefits that industrial hemp offers the environment are impeccable! Hemp is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Industrial hemp offers one of the strongest and most durable fibers for clothing on the planet. It is also an incredible building material and could replace wood in almost all manufacturing use cases if embraced. Deforestation is real, and trees can sometimes take decades to grow to maturity. Hemp, on the other hand, grows to maturity in as little as four months.
We cannot discuss the environmental benefits of hemp without mentioning its phytoremediation capabilities. Industrial hemp has been found to remove toxins and impurities from soil at a rapid rate and with remarkable success. Hemp has been embraced for this capability in places like Chernobyl to help decontaminate the soil. Slavik Dushenkov, a research scientist with Phytotech, one of the organizations responsible for hemp use in Chernobyl remediation efforts, stated that hemp was “proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants” they had been able to find.
There are undoubtedly thousands of products that are made utilizing plastic and wood today that could ultimately be made utilizing hemp fiber. By changing our ways and embracing hemp, we could stand to drastically improve the overall health of planet Earth by reducing the devastating harm caused to the environment by plastics and deforestation.
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Nutritional Benefits of Hemp
Like the environmental benefits of hemp, the nutritional benefits are just as abundant. Hemp seeds, which can be added to thousands of different recipes with ease, are exceptionally nutritious, offering an abundance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been shown to improve heart health, reduce risk of eczema, improve brain health, reduce inflammation and increase metabolism. Because our bodies do not naturally produce the omegas naturally, it is essential that we ingest them through our diets.
Hemp seeds are also rich in all essential amino acids and easily absorbed by the body. Considered to be a “complete” protein, hemp seeds can be a great way for those embracing plant-based diets to obtain the vital protein their bodies need. Hemp oil has also been linked to a reduction in PMS symptoms and severity thanks to its content of gammalinolenic acid (GLA), which is a major underlying cause of these sometimes intolerable symptoms.
Therapeutic Benefits of Hemp
Through its CBD content, along with the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp, this plant also offers an abundance of potential therapeutic properties. While we can’t say that hemp will do this or that, we can say that compounds produced by hemp, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, have been shown through research to potentially offer the following therapeutic properties:
Facts About Hemp You Might Not Know
Hemp was widely used throughout history as the primary source of rope used in sail rigging, anchor cords, and other aspects. According to reports, “The use of ropes for hunting, pulling, fastening, attaching, carrying, lifting and climbing dates back to prehistoric times. Some of the very first ever made were twisted from hemp fibers. Rope was used during the age of sailing ships as part sails rigging anchor cord.”
Popular Mechanics magazine predicted that hemp could be the next billion-dollar crop in 1938. The original article stated, “American farmers are promised a new cash crop with an annual value of several hundred million dollars, all because a machine has been invented which solves a problem more than 6,000 years old. It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products. Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid peasant and coolie labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land.”
Despite cannabis prohibition, in 1942, the U.S. federal government produced a short film encouraging the cultivation of hemp to help support the war efforts. All traces of this film after the war were thought to be abolished. That was until legendary cannabis activist Jack Herer uncovered a copy and made the world aware of its existence. You can watch it in its entirety here.
How You Can Celebrate National Hemp Month
There are many ways that you can participate in the celebrations of National Hemp Month. Check out some of our suggestions below.
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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