Hemp has been a hot topic of discussion since the 2018 Farm Bill removed it from the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp has been confused as being the same as cannabis for decades, but has finally been separated in definition from its intoxicating cousin. There was no distinguishing factor in labeling hemp and cannabis as different since research wasn’t sought to explore their differences. Yes, they’re in the same plant species but are two different plants.
Hemp typically contains less than 1-percent THC by volume when dry. Most hemp tests at 0.03-percent THC or below. For CBD products to be considered legal, under current law, it must contain 0.3% THC or less.
Below we’ll take you through a topic in the industry that seems to be another re-emerging topic of discussion – Hemp for Victory.
What was Hemp for Victory?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the Hemp for Victory film in 1942 during World War II. Their purpose? To encourage farmers to grow hemp. In the footage, it explains the multiple uses for hemp and how to grow it. Hemp is a great source of industrial fibers. Much of the hemp textiles available in the U.S. have been imported. The overseas farmers were running short on supply, so the government wanted it grown on American soil for use in American-made items.
There wasn’t much talk about this film for a few decades because it just wasn’t well known. Even the Library of Congress said the film didn’t exist.
How did the film resurface? In 1989 Jack Herer, Carl Packard and Maria Farrow donated two recovered copies to the Library of Congress. Before that, a single copy was known – a ¾” broadcast copy that William Conde obtained in 1976. He got the copy from a Miami Herald reporter. William Conde gave the copy to Jack Herer at the 1984 Oregon Marijuana Initiative event.
There are two small parts of this short film that have been adapted into one, nearly 14-minutes in length. The short film and its transcript are viewable on the Global Hemp website.
Fun fact: Hemp was used on the Naval ship “Old Ironsides”.
Impact of Hemp for Victory
In Britain, some colonies were instructed by law to grow hemp. Hemp was used for its fiber since it didn’t decay with exposure to the elements very quickly. Hemp canvas, ship masts and rope were all used.
George Washington encouraged farmers to grow hemp. Hemp was a form of currency at one point where citizens could pay their taxes with their crops.
Once it was encouraged of farmers to grow hemp and processing plants were built, hemp production increased. But, before an ample number of processing facilities could be built, World War II ended. Demand for hemp and its products decreased rapidly.
Farmers had fields full of hemp, but with the decreased demand – their contracts were cancelled. In 1958, the last major hemp crop in the country was harvested and processed from the USDA’s Hemp for Victory campaign.
Although hemp could be used to make clothes, synthetic fibers came about; they were cheaper and became the choice in terms of cost to manufacture. Synthetic fabrics made clothes and other items that consumers could afford at the time.
Fun Fact: The initial drafts of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
The Battle to End Federal Prohibition of Hemp
Here we are a few decades later finally seeing an end to hemp prohibition. The 2018 Farm Bill has finally deemed hemp as an agricultural crop again. Each state in the U.S. is tasked with constructing its own regulations for its production and processing. The industry is still waiting on the FDA to distinguish standards for the CBD industry. Some top lawmakers say it could be several years before these regulations are issued, but it’s likely to be much sooner.
The hemp CBD industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, meaning the industry needs standards and regulations in the very near future. It’s an unregulated industry that leaves consumers to “buy at their own risk”. Not all CBD companies are created the same. There are still companies out there that just want to make money and aren’t concerned about the purity and safety of the CBD products they’re selling. It often leaves consumers wary of even trying CBD products, even when reputable companies like Canna Trading Co. pride themselves on providing clean, safe and pure CBD products. We display our lab test results clearly on our website to show our customers that our CBD products are clean and pure.
Hemp was barely reaching its partial potential when it was officially made illegal in 1970. Its uses were still being discovered. It has the potential to be a multi-billion dollar industry with several multi-million dollar sub-industries including biofuels, clothing, medicine and even the automotive industry.
The stigma surrounding hemp and cannabis is around the world. With tens of thousands of uses, hemp could be the most versatile plant on the earth.
Future of Hemp
Hemp-based products have a tendency of lasting for a longer time than synthetic products. It’s a naturally higher-quality option for multiple applications – especially for making strong ropes and natural paper products. Hemp may be getting more attention in the coming years as researchers discover more uses for this versatile plant.
Some of the known uses for hemp include:
- Shoe soles
- Animal bedding
- Hemp plastic
- Hemp wood
- Paper products
- Hemp seed oil
- CBD products
- Ship masts
- Gardening materials
- Hemp cord for jewelry making
This list is just a small sampling of the groups of products that can be made from the hemp plant. As the industry begins to flourish again in the U.S., technology will also advance in the industry. As technology advances, we’ll be able to develop even more products from the hemp plant.
Hemp is an exciting plant. Hemp for Victory was the most compelling hemp education campaign of its time. Just when you think you’ve learned everything you can about it, a new innovation comes to light. It’s in more places in our everyday lives than you may realize already. The sustainable crop has proven that it has a viable place in U.S. agriculture.