Hemp has been around for a very long time.
The ancient Egyptians used hemp to make rope. Rope was used for things like sailing and even building the Great Pyramids.
Hemp was used to make everything from bowstrings and fishing nets to clothes and even paper. The seeds of the hemp plant were eaten as well.
Hemp was used in ancient China too.
Even some of America's Founding Fathers grew hemp!
(Flax and Hemp Project, 2005)
"Retting" is when farmers leave their hemp in the field after it has been cut down. Leaving the hemp in the field helps to start the break apart the different parts of the hemp stem to make processing easier.
The one thing that is different for growing hemp is "retting".
So why is hemp so useful?
Hemp plants have long strong fibers in their stems that can be made into thread, rope, and cloth. The fibers are stong like the strings in celery but can be made soft like cotton. The fibers can be used in many things like...
Or at least we can eat the seeds. They can be ground up like peanuts or pressed for oil or even eaten whole.
Hemp is high in special oils called Omega fatty acids that are important to stay healthy. Omega fatty acids can be hard to come by in some people's diets.
Hemp is good for you too!
Many people confuse hemp with marijuana and think that all hemp can be used as a drug. This just isn't true. Industrial hemp can be used for so much more!
So why don't we grow more hemp?
- Tell your parents all the great things that hemp can make.
- Ask for things that are made from hemp.
- Learn all you can about this cool plant!
You can share the facts about hemp!