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8 things you didn’t know about hemp


Stashed in: Plants!, Marijuana, Botany

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I had no idea:

Hemp production was banned throughout the United States in 1937, with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act. Two weeks ago, North Carolina’s House and Senate passed a bill that would legalize the production of industrial hemp in the state.

The Drug Enforcement Administration told PBS NewsHour it has granted several dozen permits to grow hemp in nine states:

America map state's legal to grow hemp marijuana The Drug Enforcement Administration told PBS NewsHour it has granted several dozen permits to grow hemp in 9 states including Kentucky. Graphic by Lisa Overton/PBS NewsHour Weekend

Marijuana and hemp are varieties of cannabis that developed due to selective breeding: Hemp for its fiber and marijuana for its narcotic components.

While the two look and smell-alike, they are chemically and structurally different.

Hemp fiber has long been valued for its strength and versatility.

The North American Industrial Hemp Council estimates that hemp can be used to make more than 25,000 products, from the paper pages of Bibles to building materials for homes.

The fibers were used to make rope, boat caulking and sails during the time of the Vikings. The word canvas can be traced back to the Greek kannabis and Latin cannabis, or hemp.

Historians claim America’s first flags were made of hemp cloth.

Henry Ford fashioned a car panel from a plastic derived from straw, pine, hemp and ramie in order to help farmers during the Great Depression, according to a Aug. 14, 1941 New York Times article.

And because hemp oil penetrates better than linseed oil, it has been used as an industrial lubricant, Charles T. Ambrose of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine and the author of “Transylvania University and its Hemp Connection” told PBS NewsHour.

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