INDUSTRIAL HEMP’S BIG COMEBACK
In spite of hemp and its virtues having faded from memory for many years, there are nonetheless over 40 000 products than can be issued from its use as a raw material...
Recently, this plant has thankfully been regaining territory, and the company Hempfax has been cultivating it on a couple of hundreds of hectares for industrial use, in The Netherlands. What exactly is hemp, and why has this multifaceted plant been relegated to the background for so long ?
THE PROHIBITION OF HEMP
The name «hemp» is given to the non-psychoactive variety of the happy Cannabaceae family. They can be used in food production and in numerous industrial applications. *
Even though this plant deserves to be ranked among the most profitable, we never hear anything about it...
The current stigmatization of cannabis has unfortunately carried over to the hemp plant as well. Although it only contains a minimal quantity of psychoactive substances, the effects of which are imperceptible after consumption, we still too often ascribe it among the troublemakers.
The « Marihuana Tax Act » adopted by the US in 1937 is the principal emissary of this confusion. This law which enacted heavy taxation on the actors in the hemp sector was meant to dissuade its use without exactly criminalizing it.
In the long term it had the effect of building the confusion that we know today, prohibiting hemp despite its inoffensiveness and without considering its potential.
HEMP IN THE NETHERLANDS
Hemp in the Netherlands seems well on its way to reclaiming its former rise. Since 1993, HempFlax has been reintroducing the cultivation of this plant which was one of the very first cultivated by men. This wasn’t done without difficulty however, but their efforts were not in vain. Ben Dronkers, that veritable Pope who we presented to you in our issue #10, seems more determined than ever in opening our consciousness. Hempflax’s primary product is the plant fiber; used, amongst others, in the textile industry and by automobile companies such as Bentley, Bugatti and Jaguar.
The woody center of this green gold, its leaves and even its seeds are all exploitable in the examples cited earlier*. Even the dust issued from the transformation process is recycled and used as a substrate for plant growth. Ben Dronkers was right, hemp is the future. And the future is now!
*Industrial Hemp has known applications in weaving, soundproofing, thermal insulation, the fabrication of nautical cords, animal litters, medication and even papermaking (The Chinese Dharani in 770 and the 1st printed bible by Gutenberg).