By Fredrica Syren:
History was made this month after a farmer harvested hemp. What is so special about that, you might wonder, since hemp can be found pretty much everywhere these days. Well, in 1957 the U.S. government banned hemp from being grown.The ban is still in effect and won’t be officially lifted until 2014. The Colorado farmer who harvested the first hemp crop in a long time, Ryan Lofin, decided he just did not feel like waiting until then, so hemp advocates from across the nation joined him to harvest the historic crop.
Hemp is a name for a variety of the cannabis plant and is one of the world’s most used plants. Today its hemp seeds are sold as a popular super food, and hemp oil is being used in cooking and smoothies. Hemp is also used in ropes, paper, wax, clothes and fuel. It’s all natural and can grow in pretty much any
soil. It requires little maintenance and no pesticides, so it’s also a very sustainable plant.
Hemp is highly nutritional, therefore a very popular food for vegans, vegetarians and raw foodies. It’s high in protein, essential amino acids, magnesium, fiber, iron and potassium, as well as antioxidants.
There is no ban on possessing hemp, just a ban on growing it. The reason for the U.S. ban is that there are strains of hemp which produce low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a mind altering ingredient. (Marijuana contains a high level of the same ingredient.) In 1937, the Prohibitive Marihuana Tax Law or the bill that outlawed hemp was presented and a ban has existed since 1957.
Considering how popular hemp is and how high the demand is, I think farmer Ryan Lofin started something that will soon spread and we will see more hemp farms in the U.S.
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