Data, statistics and information about hemp, from both modern and historical materials, examining all aspects of non-drug uses of the marijuana (or cannabis) plant

Hemp Bast Fibres

(Hemp Bast Fibres) "Hemp bast fibres are among the strongest and most durable of natural fibres, with high tensile strength, wet strength, and other characteristics favourable for various industrial products. It has been estimated that hemp produces three to four times as much useable fibre per acre per year as forests, and the bast fibre contains a low amount of lignin (the natural polymer that binds plant cells together), which allows it to be bleached without the use of chlorine.

Hemp in US History

(Hemp in US History) "During World War I, some hemp cultivation occurred in several states, including Kentucky, Wisconsin, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, and Iowa (Ehrensing 1998). The second world war led to a brief revival of hemp cultivation in the Midwest, as well as in Canada, because the war cut off supplies of fiber (substantial renewed cultivation also occurred in Germany for the same reason). Until the beginning of the 19th century, hemp was the leading cordage fiber.

Hemp History

(Hemp History) "Probably indigenous to temperate Asia, C. sativa is the most widely cited example of a “camp follower.” It was pre-adapted to thrive in the manured soils around man’s early settlements, which quickly led to its domestication (Schultes 1970). Hemp was harvested by the Chinese 8500 years ago (Schultes and Hofmann 1980). For most of its history, C. sativa was most valued as a fiber source, considerably less so as an intoxicant, and only to a limited extent as an oilseed crop.

Hemp and Nutrition

(Hemp and Nutrition) "The quality of an oil or fat is most importantly determined by its fatty acid composition. Hemp is of high nutritional quality because it contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, mostly oleic acid (C18:1, 10%–16%), linoleic acid (C18:2, 50%–60%), alpha-linolenic acid (C18:3, 20%–25%), and gammalinolenic acid (C18:3, 2%–5%) (Fig. 37). Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are the only two fatty acids that must be ingested and are considered essential to human health (Callaway 1998).

Production Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

(Production Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana) "Production differences depend on whether the cannabis plant is grown for fiber/oilseed or for medicinal/recreational uses. These differences involve the varieties being grown, the methods used to grow them, and the timing of their harvest (see discussion in 'Hemp' and 'Marijuana,' below). Concerns about cross-pollination among the different varieties are critical. All cannabis plants are open, wind and/or insect pollinated, and thus cross-pollination is possible.

Hemp History

(Hemp History) "From the colonial period through the middle of the nineteenth century, hemp was widely grown in the United States for use in fabric, twine, and paper.19 Production dropped by the 1890’s as technological advances made cotton a more competitive textile crop, and coarse fiber crops were increasingly imported.20 Nonetheless, American farmers continued to grow hemp into the middle of the twentieth century, finding it a useful rotation crop because it acted as a natural herbicide21—a dense, rapidly growing crop, it choked

Estimate of Hemp Market in the US in 2000

(Estimate of Hemp Market in the US in 2000) "No data are available on imports of hemp seed and oil into the United States, but data do exist on hemp fiber, yarn, and fabrics. Imports of raw hemp fiber have increased dramatically in the last few years, rising from less than 500 pounds in 1994 to over 1.5 million pounds for the first 9 months of 1999. Yarn imports also have risen substantially, peaking at slightly less than 625,000 pounds in 1997. The switch from yarn to raw fiber in the last 2 years probably reflects the development of U.S. spinning capacity.

Potential Economic Benefits, Kentucky 1998

(Potential Economic Benefits, Kentucky 1998) In a July 1998 study issued by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky, researchers concluded that Kentucky hemp farmers could earn a net profit of $600 per acre for raising certified seeds, $320 net profit per acre for straw only or straw and grain production, and $220 net profit per acre for grain only production. The only crop found to be more profitable was tobacco.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

(Hemp vs. Marijuana) "Hemp is grown quite differently from marijuana. Moreover, it is harvested at a different time than marijuana. Finally, cross-pollination between hemp plants and marijuana plants would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plant."