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Is Hemp the Great Equalizer?

Hemp is the Great Equalizer; An option that protects the planet from climate change, cheap and easy to grow, it is a trillion dollar crop for any nation willing to grow it, and by the way, you can't get high from it! So why the fear of hemp?

Most historians will tell you that the US government has never cared about marijuana sales! Until popularized by 60's counter culture and far right propaganda films it was a harmless smokable weed. Until someone figured out that hemp was too valuable a crop to let any commoner grow it and break into the upper classes as a wealthy merchant. Changing the power dynamic in the country forever. Simply put in the mind of a capitalist if everyone is rich their will be no one left for me to exploit...and what fun is there in that?

But the most fearsome aspect of hemp is that on the macroeconomic level Hemp can make a nation self sustaining. It offers food, shelter, fuel, clothing and communication applications such as ink and paper the judicious and intelligent use of hemp can make a formerly so-called "third world" nation an economic powerhouse! But first let us not confuse hemp with marijuana in fact if you wanted to get high using hemp in order to get enough THC from hemp you would have to smoke a joint 1 foot thick and 30 feet long. You would most likely die of lung cancer or toxic shock long before you would get high. Therefore the defining difference between hemp and marijuana is their psychoactive component: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Hemp has 0.3% or less THC, meaning hemp-derived products don't contain enough THC to create the “high” traditionally associated with recreational marijuana.

Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly crops on the planet. It can absorb huge amounts of CO2, nourish the soil, and be used to create biodegradable and eco-friendly products over 25000 and counting to be exact. Hemp is used to make an extensive variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, ink. clothing, shoes, food, cooking oil, protein drinks, paper, bioplastics, insulation, hempcrete, and biofuel. Undoubtedly, the most profitable goal of growing hemp is the production of CBD oil and products based on it. Production of medical grade CBD-rich hemp is even much more profitable than producing marijuana rich in THC. For thousands of years hemp was the most planted crop in history. When the first Greek city state was built hemp was already thousands of years in use as a pivotal crop in mankind's rise.

One of the most common greenhouse gasses driving climate change is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is emitted by fossil fuels, livestock, and many industrial processes. Plants absorb CO2, which is why planting trees is one of the most popular ways to offset carbon emissions. However, hemp can absorb carbon much more efficiently than trees. While it can take decades for newly planted trees to reach maturity, hemp can shoot up 13 feet in 100 days. Unsurprisingly, hemp can absorb more carbon per hectare than trees, making it an ideal carbon sink. The non-profit organization Black Coral Inc, is steadfastly supportive of growing hemp as a means to ameliorate the problems caused by man made climate change and for that reason actively travels the globe to promote conservation of lands and fund the growing of crops that help the biosphere instead of harming it.

Hemp bioremediation is a popular technique of planting hemp in order to draw toxins out of the soil. Farmers have used hemp soil remediation to clean up fields after chemical leaks from nearby factories, but perhaps the most famous example is of farmers planting hemp (among other hyperaccumulators) around the blast zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to begin rehabilitating the soil. Hemp and solar are two ideas Native Americans in midwestern territories are using to improve the quality of their lands and enrich the tribes. Native American Hemp is a company working to cleanse the air, heal the soil, and end malnutrition in Native American communities by developing and sharing the extraordinary natural powers of industrial hemp. Native American Hemp, LLC (NAH) is a Native-owned company that grows, refines, and sells organic industrial hemp products to wholesale and retail markets. The company represents a vertically-integrated growing, processing, and sales operation – a farm-to-market enterprise that produces value-added hemp products of the highest quality for local, national, and global markets and consumers.

Industrial hemp is expected to be the fastest growing segment of agricultural crops during the next 10 years. With almost 50,000 industrial products currently made from hemp, the total value of hemp retail products sold in the United States in 2021 was $5.3 billion. Further, conservative estimates show industrial hemp is expected to reach $10 billion in sales by 2025. Currently, 15 countries are reported to allow the growing of industrial hemp in Africa, including Ethiopia, the Kingdom of eSwatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This number is expected to grow especially with the endorsement of the African Union and China that will extend lucrative hemp trade agreements to the continent . The central government of China already endorsed the hemp textile industry for its potential contribution to an “ecological civilization”.China is today's global hemp production powerhouse, leading in cultivation, processing, manufacturing and exports. Hemp could single handedly begin a resurgence in the papermaking industry as paper making from wood is costly and dangerous to the environment as it requires sulphur and chlorine as part of the pulping process, hemp does not!

As possibly humanity’s oldest crop with several uses, from food to clothing and medicine. It remains one of the most controversial crops whose production, possession, and usage are regulated differently across jurisdictions. Academic research, economics and advocacy have resulted in the redefinition of the legal status of hemp globally countries. Ghana recently reviewed its laws on cannabis, allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The legislation paves the way for Ghana to benefit from industrial hemp and include it in the agricultural cash crop list.

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