by Brice Simmons/Campus & Features Editor
What do you think when you hear the word hemp? The first thing that comes to mind is usually smoking, getting high and sometimes medicine. Society has been taught to associate this word with the all-time, get-you-high marijuana plant, but are all hemp products only good for getting you high or for medical purposes? Does all hemp even have THC levels large enough to get you high? Or is there more to the hemp sepsis than meets the views of today’s society?
According to harbay.net, hemp has been used all throughout history for industrial purposes. Rope, cloths, paper, plastic, fuel and much more were all made with hemp fibers at some point in history. Today, hemp is being used as ‘hempcrete’ (or hemp concrete), clothing, food, soap and so much more. Yet, guess which major country does NOT have many hemp products? The United States! We say that the US is all about innovation, but the one thing that could change our economic, industrial and planetary future is not being used.
As a renewable energy source, without doubt hemp is the way of the future. Henry Ford knew best when it came to the power of renewable energy. He created the first complete hemp car, video of which can be found on YouTube. No matter how you look at it, petroleum is a fleeting energy source. The only way to merge into the future is to find another, preferably better, source of energy. Ethyl alcohol is a great source of energy, and hemp is loaded with it. There are many uses for this plant: textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, etc. It is also a very vestal plant and can be grown in many different kinds of climates. So why are we still stuck in the past when we can move forward into the future? Hemp is a great source of renewable energy and it should be taken serious as an industrial and energy source for the future of this country.