Despite its many benefits and uses, hemp is enigmatic—especially due to the plant’s similar appearance to a certain psychoactive substance. To help clear things up about this unique and versatile plant, here are seven fun facts about hemp.
Hemp could help end hunger
Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious and contain high levels of calories, minerals, fatty acids, and vitamin A, B, D, and E. The seeds are also a healthy meat alternative as they contain the daily protein requirement. As such, it can help prevent one of the deadliest forms of hunger—protein-energy malnutrition. Plus, hemp is fast-growing and can thrive in a wide variety of climates and environments.
Hemp can reduce deforestation
Another major world problem that hemp could help solve is deforestation. Manufacturers can use hemp as an alternative to paper and wood products that come from trees. Further, it grows much faster than trees and, according to Hemp Technologies Global, “1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees.”
Hemp purifies the Earth
As hemp grows, it can help purify radioactive soil that heavy metals and nuclear material contaminated. As the plant’s long roots dig deep into the soil, they absorb harmful chemicals and pull toxins out. As such, simply growing hemp provides a natural alternative to expensive detoxifying processes.
Hemp doesn’t have psychoactive properties
Since hemp and marijuana look similar and come from the cannabis plant, many people view them as interchangeable. Hemp, however, contains almost no tetrahydrocannabinol or psychoactive properties that are present in its counterpart.
Hemp was a government aid
Laws regarding growing hemp in the U.S. have fluctuated significantly throughout history. While it was federally illegal to grow hemp between 1970 and 2018, there was a short period when the government required farmers to grow the plant. During WWII, the U.S. government mandated people to farm hemp because it provided the country with necessary resources such as fabric, sails, canvas, rope, and paper.