Industrial hemp is increasingly becoming widely accepted and known for its benefits but there are still many common misconceptions about industrial hemp so today I thought we’d cover the top 10 I’ve heard. So if you’re still confused on the whole hemp vs. marjuana controversy, hopefully this will clear up any falsehoods you may have heard about.
1. Hemp is Marijuna
I listed this one because it seems to be the biggest misconception about hemp. While hemp is grown from the same type of plants, the Cannabis sativa L, industrial hemp is grown from a different variety and in fact contains only trace amounts, less than 1% of THC. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce the buds that contain THC that marijuana is known for. In fact, industrial hemp contains Cannabidiol (CBD) that actually lessens the psychoactive effect of THC by stabilizing receptor pathways to the brain.
Without the proper knowledge and information, I understand it’s an easy mistake to make. They look very similar, have the same type of recognizable leaf and come from the same type of plant. Of course, missing the THC makes a pretty big difference.
2. Legalizing Hemp Will Increase Crime and Drug Usage
This misconception goes hand in hand with #1, because people assume it’s marijuana and see it as making marijuana legal. You could smoke as much hemp as you like but the best you can hope for is a pretty severe headache. This won’t contribute to any more crime than is already out there.
3. Farmers Will Just Hide Marijuana Plants in Hemp Fields
Wrong again my friends. Most people who harvest actual marijuana are after a high THC content level right? The problem with this misconception is that cross-pollination would naturally happen if you put hemp and marijuana plants in the same area and it would significantly reduce THC levels in marijuana making it less potent and fairly useless. Hemp fields are actually a deterrent to growers of marijuana.
4. The Government Would Know if it Should be Legal
You’d think so wouldn’t you? Actually this is correct in some ways. The U.S. government DOES in fact know that hemp is not a drug. In fact, many years ago, our own government required farmers to grow hemp and allowed people to pay their taxes with hemp. There are even documents that prove that the government understands and knows about the distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp.
Unfortunately, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 changed all that, some believe it was done to reduce the size of the hemp industry by competing industries and others may claim it was due the lack of knowledge leading people to demand everything related to marijuana be banned. Whatever the reason, none of the reasons are applicable and should be changed. You can read more about the history of hemp here
5. People Who Want to Legalize Hemp Just Want a Way to Legalize Marijuana
While it’s probably true that there are some people who advocate for hemp, are also in favor of legalizing marijuana, the majority of those who advocate for industrial hemp do not fall in this category. Farmers see it for and agricultural benefit. People like you and I, see it as a fantastic nutritional benefit. There will always be people in favor of something for their own reasons, but we shouldn’t lump everyone together due to a few with that agenda.
6. Hemp Isn’t Really a Benefit to Our Economy
Did you know that hemp products like food, clothing and nutritional supplements is a $450 million dollar industry right now? Hemp can be harvested for practically every part of the plant from it’s roots to its stalk to its seeds. Those things can then be turned into health foods, clothing, building materials, skin care products, paper and more.
Right now, U.S. farmers aren’t allowed to grow hemp in all of our states and that means our economy is suffering because of it. They are seeing none of that revenue. Businesses that make hemp products are feeding their money to other countries to import into the hemp materials to make their products and that also means consumers are paying more for their product. Just imagine what would happen to our economy if we could start funneling that growth here in our own country.
7. Legalizing Hemp Would Send the Wrong Message to Kids
Really? What message do you think it will send to kids when they find out that the government has been duping them for the last 30 years? What will kids think when they learn about the history of hemp and find out our presidents grew it, our own government forced farmers to grow it and our constitution was drafted on hemp paper? What kind of message does that send? As our children are educated on exactly what hemp is, they are simply going to view our government as misinformed and wonder why they should bother listening to them.
8. Hemp Doesn’t Help Our Environment
Did you know hemp is grown without pesticides and herbicides? In fact, cotton crops use 50% of all of the U.S.’s pesticides. Hemp also doesn’t damage the soil like a crop like cotton can and farmers can produce 2 to 3 times as much hemp on 1 acre of land as cotton. How amazing is that?
Planting hemp actually improves the soil it is planted in and the products that are made solely from hemp are completely biodegradable and recyclable. Let’s not forget that if we grew hemp for paper, we could leave our forests alone.
9. You Can’t Make Fuel From Hemp
That’s what the government and oil industry would like you to believe. The fact is, industrial hemp would be a very viable fuel if it were legal, making it more cost efficient. In fact, in 2001, a “hemp car” was powered by 600 gallons of fuel made from the stalk of the hemp plant and it drive 13,000 miles on this hemp fuel. Of course, if it were made legal and fuel was made…who would suffer most?
10. Hemp Isn’t Really that Nutritional
Of all of nature’s edible plants, there is no other plant source that can compare with the nutritional value of hemp. It contains the perfect balance of essential fatty acids (Omega-6 and Omega-3) recommended by our own government. Hemp contains 35% protein which is higher than the protein found in nuts, other seeds, meats, dairy products, fish or poultry.
Hemp seeds are also very high in fiber and contain natural antioxidants like Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Chlorophyll (a known anti-carcinogen).
Hemp is also very easily digestible and have no known allergies making it the perfect on-dairy source for those who have sensitivities to dairy products or nuts. Want to know more about the nutritional value of hemp seeds? Keep reading here