Saturday, 12 April 2014

Marijuana's cousin in France


I could only be talking about Hemp, of course. In various places around the world this very useful plant has been cultivated and industries created, mostly in the past, though it still continues on a small scale, including in NZ and France.

It's leaves are almost identical to the sort smoked by drug addicts or cancer patients but it has a low quantity of the active narcotic substance. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. These products are still available and some people like hemp clothing, though it's usually mixed with silk or other fibres to reduced the coarseness. The fibres were wound on bobbins and could be spun or woven on looms.

Hemp rope was used on sailing ships though the rope had to be protected by tarring, since hemp rope has a habit of breaking from rot, as the the rope-woven fibers tended to hold liquid in the interior, while seemingly dry from the outside. Tarring was a laborious process, and earned English sailors the nickname Jack Tar.

Hemp fell out of favour as new technologies provided better ropes, oils, clothing and paper.

The whole plant can be used for various products. Nothing was wasted - a truly eco plant.

Hemp plants grow rapidly and this has several benefits. Its height, dense foliage and its high planting density as a crop, is a very effectivemethod of killing tough weeds in farming by minimizing the pool of weed seeds of the soil. Using hemp this way can help farmers avoid the use of herbicides, to help gain organic certification.

Hemp is usually planted between March and May in the northern hemisphere, between September and November in the southern hemisphere. It matures in about three to four months.

It is illegal to grow this plant in the United States; they are nervous it's similar to its druggie cousin but it wasn't always like that.

George Washington pushed for the growth of Hemp and even grew hemp himself. In May 1765 he made notes in his diary about the sowing of seeds each day until mid-April. Then he recorded the harvest .  Thomas Jefferson, also a hemp farmer,  developed a better way to break the stalk by modifying a thresher and would also share the flowers of the plant for smoking. Washington and Jefferson both preferred this to drinking alcohol or using tobacco, which they both saw as health concerns for the US.


The seeds are well liked by birds, having a high oil content.  I wonder what the chickens' eggs were like after the hens gorged on these seeds.

In NZ we're having problems with synthetic cannabis destroying lives. At least this species of plant is relatively harmless and useful.











3 comments:

Martin Luther said...

I am glad to read this post, its an interesting one. I am always searching for quality posts and articles and this is what I found here, I hope you will be adding more in future. Thanks..Ancient Grains

Martin Luther said...

I am glad to read this post, its an interesting one. I am always searching for quality posts and articles and this is what I found here, I hope you will be adding more in future. Thanks..Quinoa

Danielle Martin said...

This is a great write up, I was also a victim, having ovarian cancer for many years. I completed my recovery through the help of my doctor and the use of cannabis oil, If interested and ready to give a try, write to my doctor joseherbals28@gmail.com he has a good supply of cannabis oil for sale.

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments, contributions and feedback.