HEMP for Health!
by Mary Louise;Town Jaqua, Hallelujah Acres Health Minister
Mention of the word 'hemp' in some circles often
evokes a disdainful, negative response as if a four-
lettered word were just uttered. To say that hemp
is surrounded by controversy is an understatement.
Nevertheless, hemp is what it is: a plant. It has
graced this planet for thousands of years, and given
its presence in the plant kingdom, why is it here?
Is hemp a friend or foe? Let us investigate this
infamous plant to find out.
What is hemp?
Hemp and marajuana are from the plant genus,
Cannabis sativa. The difference between the two
plants is their sex. The sex of the plant determines
its content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance
that is responsible for a psychoactive 'high'. Cannabis
sativa is the only genus in the plant kingdom that
displays a distinct, visual, physical difference
between male and female plants.
Cannabis hemp is the male version of the plant.
It has distinctive flowers (buds) and a THC content
Marajuana comes from the female Cannabis
sativa plant and is recognized by one or two wispy
pistils prior to flowering. It has a considerably higher
THC content at 3-16%.
There are over 1,000 strains of Cannabis hemp bred
for various uses. The term "hemp" refers to the
industrial use of the stalk and seed of certain
varieties, while Cannabis or "marijuana" refers
to the smoking or ingesting of the flowers and
leaves of certain other varieties.
Hemp: the super plant
Hemp is a regarded as a super plant because it can
provide all the basic necessities of life: food, shelter,
clothing and medicine. Its usefulness to man throughout
history is unequaled. Only in recent times has hemp
disappeared from the American landscape, taking with
it a colorful history that bears repeating.
Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet,
dating back more than 10,000 years in China to the
beginnings of pottery. According to The Columbia
History of the World, one of the oldest relics of human
industry is a small piece of hemp fabric dating back to
approximately 8,000 BC. Hemp industrialization
probably existed in ancient Egypt and was used by
various cultures for making clothes, shoes, ropes,
as well as an early form of paper.
In 450 BC the Scythians and Thracians made hemp
linens. The Chinese first used hemp for paper making
in 100 AD. Hempen sails, caulking, and rigging launched
a thousand ships during the Age of Discovery in the 15th
century. For thousands of years, 90% of all ships' sails
and rope were made from hemp. The word 'canvas' is
Dutch for cannabis (Webster's New World Dictionary).
In late medieval Germany and Italy, hemp was
employed in cooking dishes as pie/torte fillings and
boiled in soups. Later in Europe, hemp was cultivated
for fiber to be used on ships, including those of
Christopher Columbus. Hemp as a cloth was used
mostly by peasants and farmers who could not afford
expensive textiles. Hemp linen was used by Rembrant,
Gainsborough, Van Gogh and other early artists as
their primary painting surface.
Hemp in America: the facts
In tracing the trail of hemp, we find the following
1) The Spaniards brought hemp to the Western
Hemisphere and cultivated it in Chile around 1545.
In May 1607, "hempe" was among the crops Gabriel
Archer observed being cultivated by the natives at
Powhatan village on the site where Richmond Virginia
2) In 1613 Samuell Argall reported wild hemp "better
than that in England" growing along the shores of the
upper Potomac. As early as 1619, the first Virginia
House of Burgesses passed an Act requiring all
planters in Virginia to sow "both English and Indian"
hemp on their plantations. The Puritans cultivated
the first hemp crop in New England in 1645.
3) Presidents Washington and Jefferson both
grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to
grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early
Republic. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from
China to France then to America.The federal
government subsidized hemp during the Second
World War and U.S. farmers grew about a million
acres of hemp as part of that program.
4) Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper
mills in America and it processed hemp. Also, the
War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon
wanted to cut off Moscow's export of hemp to
England. (The Emperor Wears No Clothes,
5) 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes,
bed sheets, etc. were made from hemp until the
1820s with the introduction of the cotton gin.
6) The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross's flag,
the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution were made from hemp.
(U.S. Government Archives.)
7) The first crop grown in many states was hemp.
1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000
tons. Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th
Century. (State Archives)
8) Henry Ford's first Model-T was built to run on
hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed
from hemp. On his large estate, Ford was
photographed among his hemp fields. The car,
'grown from the soil,' had hemp plastic panels whose
impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel.
(Popular Mechanics, 1941)
Hemp: a super crop
Allowing for its versatility as a natural, renewable
resource, hemp is considered a preferred crop to
- It has a short growing season
- It can be grown in any state
- Its long roots penetrate and break the soil to
leave it in perfect condition for the next year's
- The dense shock of leaves, 8 to 12 feet above
the ground, chokes out weeds.
- It is easy to grow in temperate as well as tropical
climates and requires the usual amount of fertilizer
and water, but no pesticides nor herbicides.
- A hemp crop can be harvested in 100-120 days
after reaching a height of 4-15 feet, depending on
the variety. At that point the hemp can be utilized
for any industry.
Hemp became known as America's 'Billion Dollar Crop,'
because it was the first cash crop with the business
potential to exceed a billion dollars. (Popular Mechanics,
Feb., 1938). In its February 1938 issue, Mechanical
Engineering Magazine published an article entitled,
'The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop that Can be
Grown.' It stated that if hemp was cultivated using 20th
Century technology, it would be the single largest
agricultural crop in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
In light of its many benefits both in and out of the field,
hemp is regarded as a crop that can add immeasurably
to American agriculture and industry. Some hemp
advocates believe that hemp could be the one crop to
save America from economic ruin.
Hemp: a friend to industry
Hemp has proven superior worth to the paper and
wood products industries. As a raw material, the hemp
is known to be a superior to trees, because
- it produces more pulp per acre than timber on
a sustainable basis and can be used for every
quality of paper
- hemp paper manufacturing can reduce
- hemp's low lignin content reduces the need for
acids used in pulping, and its creamy color lends
itself to environmentally-friendly bleaching instead
of harsh chlorine compounds. Less bleaching
results in less dioxin and fewer chemical by-
- hemp produces 4 times as much pulp with at least
4 to 7 times less pollution. (USDA Bulletin #404)
- hemp fiber paper resists decomposition and does
not yellow with age when an acid-free process is
used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has
- hemp paper can also be recycled more times than
- hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State
University was found to be twice as strong as wood-
based fiberboard. No additional resins are required
due to naturally-occurring lignins.
It is interesting to note that the US government predicted
that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and
that no more trees need to be cut down. Government
studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of
trees. Plans were in the works to implement such
programs. (Department of Agriculture)
Learn more about hemp in industry here.
Hemp as a Food
A large variety of food products are derived from
the hemp plant. The seeds contain one of the highest
sources of protein in nature, second only to soybeans
as a complete protein (but is more digestible by humans). Hemp is high in B-vitamins and is a good source of dietary
fiber. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be
used as a drug .
Hemp also contains two important essential fatty acids,
Omega 3 and Omega 6 plus a rare form of Omega 6
called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).These essential fatty
acids are, by definition, essential nutrients for the body.
These healthy fats (oils) regulate all functions in the body,
especially in the brain.
In his book, Fats that Heal-Fats that Kill, Udo Erasmus,
world authority on fats and oils, ranks hemp as the
world's most nutritious plant. He states:
"Hemp seed oil may be nature's most
perfectly balanced oil. It contains an
ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6's [linoleic acid]
to omega-3's [alpha-linolenic acid] for
long-term use, and provides the omega-6
derivative gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)."
Hemp seeds also contain all the essential amino acids
that support a healthy life. Lynn Osburn in the Hemp
Line Journal (July-August 1992, pp. 14-15, Vol. I
No. 1) writes,
"Seeds of the plant cannabis sativa, hemp
seed, contain all the essential amino acids
and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain
healthy human life. No other single plant
source has the essential amino acids in such
an easily digestible form, nor has the essential
fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human
Because of its nutritional density, hemp is recognized
today as being a top superfood. Within the last decade, consumption of hemp seeds, oil, and protein powder
has risen dramatically, making it a popular health food.
According to many health experts and nutritionists,
obtaining omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids
from a plant source is preferable to animal (i.e. fish)
Hemp oil, seeds, and protein powder make a tasty,
nutritious addition to salads, smoothies, soups, salad
dressings and more.
Learn more about the nutritional value of hemp
oil here and the benefits/uses of hemp as a
Hemp: a happy ending?
Given the profound benefits derived from the single
plant called 'hemp,' one would think that hemp would
be growing abundantly across the US landscape for
the sake of personal wellbeing as well as the
economic health of our nation. However, this is not
the case. Hemp, like many other natural resources
has fallen victim to politics and profiteering. Thanks
to financial tycoons and their congressional goons,
hemp production in the US was outlawed in 1937.
Read details about this sordid 'hempicide' here.
Whereas many alive today did not witness hemp's
politcal demise 'up-close-and-personal,' we never-
theless feel its effects. A plant that could have been
the backbone of the US economy and the foundation
of personal health and prosperity was instead
demonized to death. Does this action sound familiar?
Scripture tells us that 'the earth is YHVH's and the
fullness thereof' (Psalms 24:1). If this be so, what, if
anything, does this say about hemp? In the account
of creation (Genesis 1:11, 12) we read:
11 And YHVH said, Let the earth bring forth
grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit
tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed
[is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees
bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof,
after their kind: and YHVH saw that it was
According to these scriptures, YHVH made the grass
(i.e. greens) and the herb yielding seed (plants) and
declared them good. Would not the hemp plant be
be included in this, YHVH's handiwork?
In Ezekiel 34:29 we read a curious statement from
And I will raise up for them a plant of
renown, and they shall be no more
consumed with hunger in the land.
Was YHVH refering to hemp? Evidence points to the
affirmative. No other plant on the face of the earth
is as remarkable as Cannabis hemp.
There was a time in my not-so-distant past that I
had no regard for hemp. In fact, I had a marked
dislike for the plant or weed. In hindsight, I confess
that my opinion was the product of propaganda. I
was victimized by my own ignorance on a subject
about which I had no knowledge. With a little personal
research, I began to see hemp for what it is: a plant
created by YHVH to benefit man. That man has used
and abused this plant is true, but the blame belongs
to man and not the plant. Should we therefore slay
the plant on the altar of our own ignorance?
YHVH does not change nor does His creation. When
He created the herb yielding seed, hemp was included.
YHVH called hemp good. Should we allow politicians
to call it evil?
The US is the only industrialized nation in the world
that does not grow hemp. Australia, Austria, Canada,
Chile, China, France, Denmark and many other countries
cultivate, use, and export hemp products throughout the
world. How long will we be content to import rather than
grow our own hemp?
In recent years an increasing number of hemp advocates
has begun crusading for the hemp cause. As one might
expect, it is an uphill battle against politicians and those
with corporate interests. Nevertheless, progress is being
made to restore hemp production on US soil. States such
as Maine, Montana, and California have legislation in
place that would allow farmers to once again grow hemp.
However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the
federal government has stepped in to block the imple-
mentation of this legislation. So it is that politicians
continue to keep a stranglehold on hemp productioin
in the US, citing their need to protect the American public
from this evil, dangerous 'drug.'
As a hemp advocate of many years, I do not appreciate
politicians who want to corrupt and destroy my food, my lifestyle, and my Father's world. I dislike the lawless
making laws that dictate what I can and can not do.
Since when did YHVH die and leave tyrants in charge?
If we are to win the 'war on drugs' so that hemp can
once again be grown in America, let us arm ourselves
with the knowledge of what this war is all about. We
must know the truth, namely who is who and what is
what. Is hemp a dangerous, evil plant or not? Is YHVH
a liar? You be the judge. As for me, it is 'Hemp, Hemp,
Hooray every day!'
Hemp Seed: Nature's Ancient Superfood
Hemp Seed: The Most Nutritionally Complete
Food Source in the World
The Marijuana Conspiracy- The Real Reason
Hemp is Illegal
THC testing information:
TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL LEVELS IN HEMP
NOTE: When we had our radio program a few
years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing
John Roulac, founder and CEO of Nutiva hemp
foods. John has been a strong hemp advocate
for many years, having weathered (and won)
many battles against government bureaucracy,
Hear John being interviewed on 5/9/11 about
his hemp ventures here.
Back to Living Letter #42/index