Industrial Hemp

There is a huge following of Industrial Hemp activists and there are many products made from it from personal care products to rope. Of course it does have a bad stigma attached to it due to the drug issue. Yet if we can put that issue, which could possibly be an impossible hurdle for such activists for a second perhaps we might discuss this notion here.

Recently an advocate for Industrial Hemp writes in to say; “I am a strong advocate for the industrial hemp movement, as well as promoting ethanol as an alternative fuel. You will find that they already have cannabis that would be suited to making ethanol. Current industrial hemp, used for making clothing among other things, has an extremely low THC content and thus smoking it would give you absolutely no effect of getting ‘high’. You would sooner die from lung cancer than get high off industrial hemp.”

Hemp or Cannabis has so many uses from making boats, rope, building materials, that is just stupid not to. But there is the issue with the General Public and there views and such views die hard you know. Even hot air balloon baskets have been made from Hemp and once Henry Ford made a car body out of hemp and even took a sludge hammer to it to show it was a better material for a car body than steel.

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Now then with regard to its use to make ethanol the plant can have five times the cellulose value for cellulose ethanol and the reader writes: “I am also of the understanding that hemp uses half the amount of water than cotton does. I can’t compare it to corn as I would only be guessing, but I would say because of the nature of the plant, cannabis would also use less water than corn.”

Indeed upon checking on this the reader is correct it does use less water and that is a major concern if we are to grow our own fuel, because one severe drought in the Midwest and we are up a creek without a paddle as far as fuel price spikes if we were to get a substantial amount of our supply of fuel from home grown ethanol. Still many are unconvinced that this is a smart idea and to dis-spell some of the concern due to the drug issues the reader states:

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“As for your concerns of THC in the water run-off, there is absolutely no need to worry about that. Again, the THC levels are way too low to have any effect whatsoever.” And he adds further that; “I personally do not do any type of drugs, nor do I condone the use of them. Industrial hemp, however, should definitely be taken into consideration for the use of ethanol consumption, as it clearly has a great potential.”

It appears perhaps we ought to look into this more and see if we can educate others of the value of industrial hemp and check to see on its pollution issue, water usage, cellulose value and then take those finding and research and educate those who too readily throw the idea out merely because it is not a Politically Correct subject to talk about?

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by Lance Winslow