From Sanctification to Demonization – A short History of Hemp Products in america
Until the 20th century, there was no debate about the value of hemp and its derivatives. They used paper made from hemp to print the King James Bible and cloth made from hemp to sew the American flag. Doctors routinely prescribed medicines made from hemp oil to treat a variety of illnesses. Although the plant was freely available Buy THC Vape Juice Australia and the authorities actually encouraged its cultivation, there was never a drug problem, real or imagined, associated with its use. What changed and why?
The beginning of the end came for both hemp fiber and medical marihuana in 1930 with the formation of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. During his first years of tenure, the director of the FBN, Harry J. Anslinger was more interested in creating and enforcing laws related to the distribution and use of opiates. In 1934, however, he changed his tune and under his orders, the FBN began an extensive anti-marijuana propaganda program.
There are several theories about why Anslinger made marijuana the focus of his War on Drugs when there were addictive drugs like heroin that logically would have made better targets. One of the strongest theories revolves around the fact that hemp as an industrial cash crop was threatening the interests of the Dupont Corporation and William Randolph Hearst. Dupont had a monopoly on producing the chemicals necessary for making paper from trees but no investment in the rapidly growing hemp paper industry. Hearst, who had a huge financial stake in timber forests and paper mills, was concerned about competition from hemp paper manufacturers.
Be that as it may, the lurid stories of depravity and violence that the Hearst newspapers and other media published during this period had their desired effect and the remarkable medicinal qualities of marijuana became completely overshadowed by its imagined dangers. The government passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 with little difficulty, thanks largely to its successful cannabis smear campaign. With the added burden of a heavy tax, hemp became too expense to produce as an industrial crop and the outlawing of its distribution made it impossible to legally use for medical purposes. From there, it was just a short step to criminalizing its use for any purpose whatsoever.
The first three decades of the 1900’s were bad years for medical marijuana in other ways, as well. The 1908 Flexner Report recommended that only schools that taught allopathic medicine and biomedicine (theoretical medicine) be allowed to offer university degrees in the medical sciences. As a result, by 1935, the number of medical schools in america halved and the teaching and study of plant based medicines virtually ended. In effect, the Flexner Report led to the sanctification of the pharmaceutical industry and the relegation of plant-based medicine to the realm of ineffective “folk medicine. “
Agriculture has had to change to keep pace with the ever changing needs of the world’s peoples. Some crops, for a variety of reasons, became less favorable to farmers and were not produced in many places; one such victim of reduced demand was the Hemp plant, where governmental policy affected the market. For many hundreds of years, maybe thousands, hemp was grown in many countries as a major agricultural product. Production of hemp was illegal in many major producing countries which left a resulting big gap in the availability of fiber in world trade, so other crops had to be found and cotton seemed to fit the bill.
One of the reasons is that hemp was once viewed as a dangerous psychoactive drug and its other uses were ignored. Bad press about the psychoactive versions and poor education did nothing to help which led some governments in large producing nations to abandon the hemp plant completely.
Hemp with a high psychoactive content turned out to be a good treatment for a number of the symptoms of some common disorders; and the predictions of its destructive and addictive potential were far over exaggerated. What has transpired is that alcohol, heroin, cocaine and tobacco are all far more insidious and damaging to society. Producing cannabis was banned in the 20th century while at the same time opium could be bought openly.
With government attitudes being changed by better education and research, hemp production is now actively encouraged again. Farmers are realizing the potential of hemp crops so production of non-THC hemp is on the rise. The industry has been positively affected by this changing attitude and as a result this versatile crop can be used in many industrial applications including plastics and building composites. It also provides fiber for clothing and fabrics, plus an important part of the cropped plant – hempseed.
The total protein content of hempseed oil is edestin, a useful globular protein. The blood plasma protein found in large amounts in the body globulin is very similar to edestin. This makes this particular protein very easy for the human body to assimilate. Our bodies use edestin to produce toxic agents that reduce toxins in the body – for anyone with kidney issues, this can be a great boost.
Albumin is another protein found in hempseed oil. Easy to digest and absorb, this protein is a valuable controller of potentially damaging free radicals. These are reasons why hemp protein has proved popular among athletes. The ratio of omega6 to omega 3 is 3: 1 which is the exact ratio that the human body needs for a natural balance. Unique to hempseed this property is not found in any other natural products – there are no known alternatives in the natural world that have this “golden” ratio and of all the fatty acids that the human body needs, these are the most essential.