In the last two articles in our Many Uses of Hemp series I covered some of the main uses for the cannabis (hemp) plant. I wrote about hemp’s uses for fuel and paper, and for textiles and building products, which are of course just some ways that the hemp plant can be used for the benefit of mankind.
Hemp awareness is something that is slowly becoming more apparent in society. Many great people have made it their life’s ambition to educate people about the benefits of hemp and it has begun to pay off. When researching for the last article I read in the Telegraph about a couple in England that are building a house entirely out of hemp products, creating next to no carbon footprint and building a house that will outlast any other house on the street due to the quality of the building products.
In this article, I will focus on the uses of hemp for Food and also the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.
Hemp’s uses in food are numerous, to say the least. According to Wikipedia, Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, and made into hemp milk (like soy milk). It can also be prepared as tea, you can use it in baking, and the leaves can also be eaten in salads if they’re fresh. Wikipedia also states that hemp “Products include cereals, frozen waffles, hemp tofu, and nut butters.”
The Cannabis Campaigners guide also has some good facts to say on the matter. It outlines just how easy hemp seed is to produce, stating “Hemp seed is one of the easiest to produce and nutritious food crops on the earth.”
Hemp was also the staple food crop for a significant part of the world for many centuries. This was because the oils produced from hemp seeds contained the highest amount of essential fatty acids of any plant grown in the world.
CC Guide also states that “Hemp seed is the single most complete food on the planet and can be grown quickly almost anywhere, yet the world is allowed to starve as a result of the often total prohibition of cannabis. During recent years, some countries, notably the Maldives, have given life sentences to people found with even three seeds, whilst in the Western world it is readily available for use as bird food and fishing bait. That alone reveals the real evil behind this senseless banning of foods.” Cases like this show the backwardness of people who prohibit such a benevolent resource on no grounds whatsoever except that a form of the plant can get you high – even when industrial hemp itself doesn’t contain the psychoactive compounds found in varieties of the cannabis plant which are consumed by millions of people worldwide.
As hemp is so easy to grow, the cost of food products from a regulated source would be low. This, combined with its ability to grow almost anywhere on the planet would surely indicate hemp as a possible solution to hunger in certain countries around the world.
Another thing worth noting about hempseed is its allergy-free properties. The Wikipedia page on hemp states that: “Hempseed is usually very safe for those unable to tolerate nuts, gluten, lactose, and sugar. In fact, there are no known allergies to hemp foods – Hempseed contains no gluten and therefore would not trigger symptoms of celiac disease”.
OK, we’re taking a leap here to the psychoactive and pain-relieving properties properties of the cannabis plant. Of course, the varieties here differ to industrial hemp, which typically has no psychoactive properties. But it’s still all the same plant, just with different genetics.
In fact, recent research has shown a benefit to a whole range of cannabinoids which are in fact also found in hemp, in particular CBD, but also cannabinoids like CBN and CBG. And don’t even get me started on the terpenes!
There are lots of medical benefits to the whole cannabis plant, which we will discuss (in brief!) below:
Cannabis for Pain Relief
Cannabis has amazing pain relieving properties, and a recent APG report in the UK suggested that one million people in the UK use cannabis regularly for pain relief. If you apply this worldwide the figures are staggering.
Cannabis for MS
Cannabis also has an amazing effect on those suffering with Multiple Sclerosis. A good friend and ISMOKE featured author Clark French knows first-hand how much cannabis can help his condition, because he was diagnosed with MS back in 2010. There is a video somewhere on Youtube of Clark’s leg shaking violently and uncontrollably after somebody accidently knocking into him. He smokes some cannabis, and the shaking slows down, then stops. If that is not a reason to legalise cannabis for sufferers of MS, then I don’t know what is. Cannabis is proven to help the condition, yet currently only government-approved Sativex is allowed, and even that is almost impossible to get on the NHS for those with anything but the worst symptoms. At the same time, cannabis can be grown in as little as 3-5 months – vast quantities of medicine that can safely alleviate the suffering of thousands of MS sufferers in the UK. It wouldn’t cost the government anywhere near what it costs if they were to treat 100 patients with herbal cannabis for every one treated with Sativex. And the really messed up thing? – People prefer herbal cannabis. Ask any MS sufferer and they will tell you that it is much more effective at getting rid of their symptoms than any other drug, or in any other form.
Cannabis for Crohns Disease
Greg de Hoedt, chairman of the UKCSC suffers with Crohn’s disease. Cannabis helps him live more of a normal life. He says that before he began using cannabis the medications that he was on sometimes made him feel worse and he noticed a change as soon as he got high.
Cannabis for Cancer
Another good friend of ISMOKE, Len Richmond released a film entitled “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer.” In this documentary he examined cannabis’ potential for the treatment of cancer and shows examples of people that have cured themselves using cannabis oil. The film shows that in such a potent form, tiny amounts (e.g. one drop, 3 times a day) can lead to spectacular results – with people claiming to have been cured of their cancer in 3 months of treatment with cannabis oil.
This is also well-documented in Rick Simpson’s Run From The Cure and there are many testimonials by people that have been cured by the benevolent herb that is cannabis, as well as lots of scientific facts and evidence showing cannabis having a positive effect in the combat of cancer, even as an alternative to chemotherapy.
There are many, many other medicinal uses for cannabis which I don’t have time to cover here. One thing can be sure – hemp is the plant which keeps on giving.
Come back next week to learn about Hemp’s use in spirituality in our final chapter of ‘The Many Uses of Hemp’.