It goes without saying, but the growing of hemp and cannabis plants in this country, whether indoors or out, is not exactly well accepted in today’s day and age.
In fact, you might even end up getting your house raided for attempting to grow anything that even looks like cannabis, or perhaps even thrown in jail for growing the real thing without a medical growers card.
While hemp and cannabis are seen as a novelty to some people, and even potentially dangerous to others, the true history of these highly versatile and highly valuable plants has been deliberately hidden from us over the years, as one Nebraska woman’s road trip recently demonstrated.
Whether or not her work will actually change people’s opinions and allow this “sacred plant” to be grown and distributed freely again remains to be seen, but it just might make you see it in a different light.
Wild Hemp Grows Everywhere in Nebraska (Photos)
Showing the natural side of cannabis plants, whether hemp or marijuana (and shattering the myth that this family of plants is only used to get high) was a big reason for Diana Sunshine Wulf’s unique photos of hemp plants growing wild all across her home state of Nebraska, in some of the most unexpected places.
“I just want people to learn why it is NOT about getting high, and this is my way to educate,” she said to the online magazine Toke of the Town.
“I want people to realize everything made with toxic petroleum can be totally replaced with this nontoxic weed.”
Will we ever return to the time where hemp grew wild and was used in more ways than we can possibly count?
That remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: hemp is a hidden part of American history that’s far bigger than we’ve been led to believe (see proof, in Diana’s photos below):
The Healing Power of Cannabinoids That Has Been Hidden From Us
While Diana Wulf mainly wanted people to know the truth about industrial hemp, which can be used in environmentally friendly ways that petroleum-based products cannot (more on that later), it’s also worth noting the potential health benefits of hemp, CBDs, and even THC on the human body.
If you’ve followed the headlines in the holistic health world, you probably have seen just how powerful even a little bit of cannabis oil (CBDs) can be for some people, or even how the “illegal” form of marijuana, which includes THC, can help to relieve symptoms of people suffering from countless different ailments.
That’s because the human body contains a little known series of pathways called the endocannabinoid system, which includes receptors to process and utilize plant compounds from cannabis (including the therapeutic CBDs, which contain no psychoactive properties), as well as other plants that contain cannabinoids like echinacea, liverwort, black pepper, and even cacao (chocolate).
The most noticeable effect from many of these plants containing cannabinoids or cannabinoid-like properties (in the case of cacao) is that they have the effect of relaxing the system, allowing for true healing to take place.
According to recent research, healing, supporting and modulating the endocannabinoid system can be therapeutic for a wide variety of conditions ranging from Parkinson’s to Huntington’s Disease, MS, spinal cord injury, hypertension, glaucoma, osteoporosis and many others.
And it used to be so popular among American pharmaceutical companies that it grew in fields in the American southeast for utilization in therapeutic natural drugs, and was even eaten by cattle who passed the healing properties (and perhaps some slight psychoactive properties) onto humans through their meat and milk.
But everything changed in 1942 when marijuana aka cannabis was removed from the U.S. pharmacopeia, thereby losing its “mantle of therapeutic legitimacy” as noted by this article citing the American Medical Association.
The U.S. Must Recover Its Hemp Growing Roots
While many segments of society remain against marijuana use, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who oppose industrial hemp for moral reasons.
Hemp has long been a big part of U.S. industry going back to the days of Henry Ford and beyond, but was phased out due to political pressure from oil companies.
Now other countries are beating the U.S. at its own game and getting the jump on this sustainable industry.
Despite the huge amounts of farmland in U.S. states like Nebraska, the current hemp market is almost entirely dependent on imports from places like China and Canada.
Canadian hemp is used in everything from industry to the health food market, where companies like Manitoba Harvest have gained a huge foothold in the U.S. market with products like organic hemp seeds and even hemp protein shakes.
But if we were allowed to rediscover our hidden hemp heritage, and what could it mean for both our health and the environment?
According to Medical News Daily, hemp is a rich source of plant-based protein that contains all 10 essential amino acids, and unlike other sources of plant protein it does not contain phytates, which can block the assimilation of key minerals.
Speaking of minerals, hemp is also a rich source of magnesium (providing about 32% of the daily value in just 2 tablespoons) which is responsible for over 300 important enzymatic functions in the body and also helps to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other catastrophic cardiac events according to one French study.
On the industrial side of things, hemp is noteworthy for its ability to mature in as little as 3-4 months compared to years for trees, which makes it a perfect alternative to paper-based products that rely on the industrial clear cutting of forests that provide habitats for thousands of creatures (not to mention plenty oxygen).
New Bill Would Make Hemp Legal Again
While over two dozen states currently allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp, it is mostly used for research purposes in light of a federal ban.
But all that could change soon thanks to a ground-breaking bill called The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, which was introduced in July 2017.
“It’s huge, it’s going to be really huge,” said Jason Amatucci, founder of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition about the bill.
You can watch video of an industrial hemp crop being harvested in Virginia below, and click on this link to learn more about the bill that could make America a hemp growing country once again: