by Jessie Kim (Section 2)
It comes to no surprise that people intuitively depict hemp as an evil plant as it is mistakenly confused with marijuana, a psychedelic drug that has been made illegal in the United States. It is true that hemp and marijuana both come from the now U.S-banned cannabis plant; however, industrial hemp comes from a distinct variety of the plant, making it impossible for it to be abused as a drug. Now this may actually come to a surprise for some, but industrial hemp produces positive outcomes. Who knew that for the past 12,000 years or so, hemp has been grown and harvested for fiber and food worldwide? As the world's strongest natural fiber, hemp has played a large role in this country's manufacturing history.
If we look back to America in its fledgling days, we can witness our founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who was an especially strong advocate and believer in an agricultural-based economy) overseeing their plantations of not just cotton, but also hemp. Even Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that produced hemp paper, and interestingly enough Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.
Now in modern times, hemp is still is being used for manufacturing products and experimented with to find different innovative solutions. For example, much of bird seeds are sold as hemp seeds, which contain about 25% protein. Also, hemp paper is preferred for bibles since it lasts longer and does not yellow. As for construction products, hemp can be made into fiber boards, strand boards, beams, studs, posts and more. The products that can be made from hemp number over 25,000. Due to its long fibers, hemp products are usually stronger and lighter than products made from wood. Hemp also plays an important role when it comes to designing new and innovative green solutions for car industries. Henry Ford and BMW have experimented with hemp materials