Modern Uses for the Cannabis (Hemp) Plant
Information compiled by J. Lynn Byers, December 2015
(sources:  Wikipedia, Bruce Ryan/CannaSystems, Popular Mechanics, Jack Herer)

There are thousands of websites our there regarding marijuana and hemp and so I'm not going to put information that is already readily available here.  I'm primarily going to focus on facts about cannabis and industrial hemp, and on what can be proven or purchased today.  Many marijuana advocates state: "there are over 25,000 uses for the cannabis plant" (and some have claimed as high as 50,000) so I searched for the source of that number and finally found it: 

"Hemp New Billion Dollar Crop." Popular Mechanics (February 1938): VOL. 69,  No. 2.  "Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane."

Truth is important to help repeal marijuana and hemp prohibition and now, with the advent of today's technology, it is likely there ARE than 25,000 uses for this one crop; uses that can help the world's economy.  It's high time to end the "modern reefer madness!"  The truth is Cannabis can be used for food, shelter, clothing, medicine and personal hygiene products but also for a wide variety of industrial applications.

I'm only going to comment on just a few of the revolutionary new uses for industrial hemp such as plastics, automobiles, building industry products, fine textiles and hemp graphene nanotechnology for batteries.  NONE of those come to most people's minds when they think of hemp.  They often think rope, rough "hippy" clothing and health food and but have no idea about the industrial uses...it's time to change that!

Most Americans also have no idea about the potential ecological impact growing cannabis can have.  I didn't until I reconnected with Bruce Ryan of CannaSystems and his enthusiasm is why I started EcoCanna, a logical extension of Whole Earth International, the parent company for all my natural and holistic based endeavors and social justice causes.  I was amazed to find that cannabis provides alternatives to the chemical laden medicines and products that are sickening both people and the planet.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart as my son has Asperger's Syndrome and it appeared only after he got injected with mercury as a baby...before that he was healthy, had normal social skills and his speech was actually advanced.  Then he developed Epilepsy at age 12 after another round of "booster" vaccines...you do the math.  People already knew mercury is toxic...and unfortunately, now a lot of people know about Thimerosal (the mercury based preservative in vaccines) but it's too late for those already affected.

It was cheap and allowed for multi use containers for vaccine injections.  Profits and greed won out over health concerns and Thimerosal was used despite the dire consequences to millions...and the backlash against vaccines which has caused untold unnecessary deaths.  I don't care if "new studies" say it's not the mercury, I know that a lot of those studies are paid for by the companies trying to protect their more than $25 BILLION dollar a year profits from vaccines.  I firmly believe the same is true for cannabis...billions are at stake for corporate conglomerates who peddle poison for a huge profit...and do not want to see "green" solutions threaten their profit margins.

Suffice it so say, I'm not a big fan of big pharmaceutical companies who harm people with toxic drugs or big corporations who pollute at will and lie or bribe to get what they want.  The ban on cannabis and hemp has EVERYTHING to do with big businesses that want to maintain market share whether they produce legal drugs or oil or plastic (what some term the "corporatocracy.)  The ban on industrial hemp is NOT, however, based on common sense and is one of the most ridiculous and damaging laws in America today.    Overall, I'm not a fan of the various industries that have reasons to keep hemp illegal!

According to some, who are often labeled conspiracy theorists, greed was why hemp got outlawed in the first place...so DuPont could profit from the chemical patents they held on plastics, paper and paint.  America's dependence on hemp had to be broken so the Reefer Madness campaign was created by Randolph Hearst (who had vast timber holdings) to trick the public and trick U.S. lawmakers who passed the ban (who were either ignorant or bribed depending on who you believe.)

The other theory is that racism and fear were the culprits behind the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (which was later replaced by The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.)  Enter a politically ambitious man named Harry Anslinger and the 1937 campaign succeeded in outlawing cannabis in all forms.

Jack Herer's book, 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes', alleged that in the mid-1930s, "when the new mechanical hemp fiber stripping machines to conserve hemp's high-cellulose pulp finally became state of the art, available and affordable," Hearst, with enormous holdings in timber acreage and investments in paper manufacturing, "stood to lose billions of dollars and perhaps go bankrupt."

Meanwhile, DuPont in 1937 had just patented nylon and "a new sulfate/sulfite process for making paper from wood pulp" -- so "if hemp had not been made illegal, 80 percent of DuPont's business would never have materialized."

Industrial Uses for Hemp by Brittney Broten
 Hemp "Infographic" © 2013 by Brittney Broten (click for large view)

However, later research has been unable to prove Herer's assertions.  Regardless of the reasons for the act, it is still illegal in most places in the United States.  (Although, in my opinion, if hemp wasn't the target then the industrial hemp part of the law would have been repealed in 1970 as well...I think the true target NOW is industrial hemp rather than those smoking marijuana to get high!)  But many advocates and activists don't mention that the narcotic aspects of marijuana were under fire in America as early as the mid 1800's! 

According to Wikipedia"As early as 1853, recreational cannabis was listed as a "fashionable narcotic".  By the 1880s, oriental-style hashish parlors were flourishing alongside opium dens, to the point that one could be found in every major city on the east coast. It was estimated there were around 500 such establishments in New York City alone."  The addictive effect was noted, marijuana access was restricted and the word "poison" even came into play in various laws and states.  Marijuana was seen as addictive and problematic by many; laws regulating usage--and limiting access only through licensed medical professionals--were enacted long before the 1937 Tax Act.

A lot of people know about medical marijuana today due to the legalization in several states, and years of public outcry and pressure through groups like NORML and High Times Magazine.  They may know about  hemp rope, clothing and paper or perhaps cannabis based foods and health products.  They may have seen hemp oil based products for personal hygiene in local stores and now even in mainstream stores.

But what about hemp industrial products and that hemp can help clean the air and soil of our suffocating planet?  Not enough people know, not yet.  Cannabis is eco friendly and can help heal both people and the planet.  No wonder some call it the Tree of Life and the "Green Buffalo."  (Native peoples used every part of the Buffalo and every part of the cannabis plant can be used.)

Please, take the time to read the links to various products, articles and information, linked throughout the article above and below, for some ammunition for the fight for legal industrial hemp (and some truth to fight the lies and myths.)  Talk to others about the amazing uses of industrial hemp and cannabis.  Help the uneducated understand that this isn't just a movement "by a bunch of stoners" but a viable alternative to many, many products and some of the most pressing ecological and economic problems America faces today!


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