Hemp has over 25,000 uses. It has been grown and used for 10,000 years. It is more eco-friendly than cotton with superior strength; first fibre, first paper, first canvas. The word canvas itself. Hemp makes its case during a world that’s looking for things more natural and organic. India, too, is joining the chorus. It was one of the first plants to be cultivated by our ancestors and there is so much ancient wisdom attached to it.
Hemp is that OG miracle crop that went out of favour within the 20th century. But with all that it has to offer once you separate it from the controversial marijuana, you’re left wondering about how the prohibition makes any sense.
Hemp has a long history in India as well as it does with the western world. Its use as fibre, food, fuel and medicine has been well documented. In fact, the oldest relic ever found that goes way back to 8000 BC was a hemp fabric found in Mesopotamia (current day Turkey). Hemp is considered a gift, referred to in Hindu religious documents as “sacred grass,” one of the five sacred plants of India.
As much as the possibilities are endless, the restrictions are puzzling. There is really not much to the story aside from hemp being incorrectly and unjustly clubbed with marijuana, by means of state regulations and drug paranoia. There are many conspiracy theories out there that mention the forces behind how all this came to be. That being said, the revival it is seeing is great and gives hope in some way of a breakthrough for the world at large.
You would be surprised to know that things are changing and hemp is starting to find its place again. Hemp fabrics are the simplest to determine cannabis sativa which won’t get you high and its high time that we start bonding with this crop again.
There are two key reasons that make hemp kind of irresistible if we look at it with an eye on the future. One, literally a part of the plant is beneficial — fibre, stalk, seed, flower, everything — and lends itself to applications as diverse as clothing, construction, paper, composites, health foods, body care and biofuel. Two, it really is environment-friendly. No pesticides, consumes far less water than cotton, are often harvested in 3 months and returns nutrients into the soil after harvest.
While the history of hemp goes back thousands of years, we are still learning the potential of hemp. Though we can’t go back in time and rewrite hemp’s history, we can take action now to ensure a better future for one of the most versatile natural resources on earth. Psychoactive cannabis is against the law in India, hemp is often grown by obtaining a license from the government. After an extended period of tentativeness regarding procedures for getting such a license, especially given the taboo surrounding it, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Orrisa were granted the primary license for commercial cultivation of hemp earlier in 2018.
This is a landmark step that drives conversation forward on the hemp revolution with all of our joint efforts and would benefit the country in the long run.