Despite its patriotic beginnings as an American farm staple (even Washington and Jefferson grew it), industrial hemp labors under a federal ban that equates it with its cousin, marijuana—making hemp the only plant that’s illegal to grow but legal to import, process, and use in the United States. June 4–10 marks the third annual Hemp History Week, a campaign to restore the plant’s historic reputation. Learn more about hemp’s impressive qualities, including these, at votehemp.com.
Gluten-free, low-carb hemp is nutritionally dense, packed with fiber, protein, ten essential amino acids, and an ideal 1:3 balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It tastes great, too: nutty and mild. What can hemp not do? Get you high: It contains little to no THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient.
Smart body care companies incorporate hemp oil as an outstanding moisturizer. With a smaller carbon footprint than cotton, hemp turns heads as an eco-chic fabric. Alt-energy pioneers tout it as a biofuel. And when it comes to food and beverage—cereals, nondairy milk, raw seeds, bars, powders, cooking oil, and more—the sky’s the limit.
Needing no pesticides, herbicides, or GMO interference, hemp grows like, yes, a weed. Farmers love it because, in addition to being a low-cost, sustainable crop with myriad applications, hemp enriches the soil in which it grows and requires about half the water that other crops do.
Try: Dr. Bronner's Hemp Peppermint Castille Soap; Food Should Taste good Hemp Chips; Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts; Nature's Path Organic Instant Hot Oatmeal Hemp Plus; Navitas Naturals Blueberry Hemp Superfood Power Snack; Nutiva Organic Hemp Oil; Vega Shake & Go Bodacious Berry.