Hemp. An industrial revolution.

Did you know that Hemp has been federally regulated by Health Canada since 1998?

Shelves of regulations concerning Canada's doings.

For something that’s been around for almost 20 years we barely ever hear anything about it; yet, when one looks at the benefits of cultivating hemp, we wonder why we’re not screaming it from the mountain tops.

Despite the lack of fanfare, the industry has been plodding along and gaining momentum with total acres licenced for hemp cultivation in Canada increasing almost ten fold in the ten years between 2003 and 2013, with 6,700 acres quickly rising to 66,671 acres licenced! (1)

Hemp farm

Hemp is different from marijuana.

Hemp is marijuana, Cannabis Sativa L. (Incidentally, the L is for Linnaeus, as in Carolus Linnaeus, the name of the discoverer), without the main psychoactive ingredient THC, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Technically speaking the THC levels must be below 0.3% for Cannabis Sativa to be considered hemp.

There are over 500 different varieties grown throughout the world however only 27 varieties have been Health Canada approved.

An industrial hemp producer can expect some decent yields.  According to Agriculture Canada: one hectare of hemp can yield an average of 800 kilograms of grain which can be pressed into 200 litres of oil and 600 kilograms of meal.

That can feed a lot of people.

The same hectare will also produce an average of 6 tonnes of straw which can be transformed into approximately 1.5 tonnes of fibre.(2)

Some producers strive for a dual purpose crop of both grain and fibre, depending on the strain.

Carolus Von Linnaeus
"Verily, didst I discover some good shit." ~ Carolus Von Linnaeus
(quote may not be accurate)

A better tomorrow, today.

As the world’s premier renewable resource, hemp is amazingly easy to grow.

It is naturally resistant to mould, mildew and microbes which is great news for the environment as it means the producer does not have to use damaging chemicals that traditional large scale grain farming depends on.

It's great news for the consumer, because they know they are contributing to organic sustainable farming practices and hemp is non gmo.  Win, win, win!!

What makes this plant so astounding, to me, is the versatility.  Hemp is used to produce food, clothing and textiles, cosmetics, industrial bits including building materials, paper, biodiesel, detergents and paint!

These topics alone deserve special treatment.  Having peaked my curiosity and feeling totally fascinated, I want to know more so I will be continuing a series of articles delving into hemp and its uses.

Gore gettin' crazy with the corns

Put away the corn Mr. Gore, it’s time for a real solution.

A hemp revolution.

Can you imagine our planet without chemicals?  How the birds and insects, and ultimately us, would thrive.

The fact that hemp can replace almost all products made with noxious chemicals such as solvents, paint, carpeting, insulation, inks, detergents, paneling, the list goes on, is utterly fantastic.

It does all this while giving back to the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) five time more efficiently than the same acreage of forest.(2)

Businesses grow where markets show.  In other words with consumer demand comes ingenuity in building better products.  When we the consumers demand products made from hemp, we will get them.

Buy products made from hemp and people will make more.  After all a pair of hemp trousers are likely to last a lifetime!

Hemp products infographic (linked source)

(1)  http://www.hemptrade.ca/
(2)  http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/industry-markets-and-trade/statistics-and-market-information/by-product-sector/crops/pulses-and-special-crops-canadian-industry/industrial-hemp/?id=117459565606