Is there a single plant that could possibly save the world? Because of its vigor and adaptability, it was amongst the first plants to be cultivated by humans and has been used and grown by many cultures for thousands of years. Yet, today people are fined, even jailed for growing this plant because it is illegal. Lawmakers fail to see that this sole plant probably has more uses than any other material on earth.
The entire plant can be utilized for over 25,000 applications. To begin, the seed is nature’s perfect food. It can be ground into a meal or can be sprouted and used like other beans and seeds. In addition to the oil from the seeds have the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats. It is also a complete source of protein and can be served as a meal in itself. Second, byproducts from the plant are an excellent source building material. It has 4 times the cellular fiber than trees, making it perfect for pressed board, particle board and concrete framework. It is longer lasting and more flexible than currently used materials. In comparison, trees take 20 years to mature while this plant only takes 4 months. Correspondingly, 1 acre of this plant produces as much as 4 acres of trees. Third, paper that is made from this plant is stronger, more water-resistant than wood pulp, is less likely to tear and is 7 times more recyclable than wood. It also uses a fraction of the dangerous chemicals used in processing wood pulp. Fiber is a fourth use. A cloth made from this plant is softer and warmer than cotton and is 6 times as strong. In addition to, the cloth is much more resistant to weathering and wear. Moving on to the fifth use, medically, a derivative of this plant has recently been proven to relieve nausea in AIDS and cancer therapy. It has been used with success in treating glaucoma, asthma, epilepsy, mood disorders, and arthritis. It increases appetite, promotes sleep and relaxation, and relieves stress and migraines. Most importantly, fossil fuels could stay in the ground. The plant produces far more and safer chemical compounds suitable for conversion to methane than any other plant. This renewable fuel contains no sulfur and while growing helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. For thousands of years, all good paints and varnishes were made from an oil from the plant. Today, it has almost been totally replaced by chemically derived oils. In closing, it is estimated that if just 6 percent of all our arable land were seeded with this plant, it could supply us with all our fuel, gas and oil needs.
I find it funny that government officials don’t realize the impact that this single plant could have on the world. Instead of penalizing people for growing it, governments should be encouraging farmers to grow it. What is this plant you might ask? This plant that has created so much controversy and which I feel could save the world is hemp. Whatever you decide to call it, I feel that it is the nature’s most important plant that should be used to its fullest potential.