Difference between revisions of "Hemp"

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(Added some pre-1600 information about hemp.)
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The '''Hemp''' plant can be used for a number of useful things such as, [[fibre]] production, biomass diesel (it is one of the best biomass plants).
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The '''Hemp''' plant (''Cannabis sativa'' L.) can be used for a number of useful things such as, [[fibre]] production, cooking [[oil]], and [[food]] source.  
  
It is related to, but not the same as, [[marijuana]] and doesn't produce and noticable quantity of psychoactive substances. Its relationship to marijuana has however meant that its growth in most first world countries is outlawed (or very tightly controlled).
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In modern usage, although referring to members of the ''Cannabis'' family, there is a distinction between hemp cultivated for psychoactive substances ([[marijuana]]) and those cultivated for fibre and seed production (industrial hemp). Its relationship to marijuana has however meant that its growth in most first world countries is outlawed (or very tightly controlled).
  
Much of the campaigning against industrial hemp (in the [[USA]]) was by the president of the DuPont corporation, whose business was under threat by hemp's benefits over synthetic materials. It must be noted that the DuPont corporation did produce some hemp-based products.
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=== Hemp as Fibre ===
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Hemp fabric is woven from the bast fibres of the plant (the inner bark of phloem of the stem) that is seperated from the woody core (xylem) of the stem through a process called retting. The retted fibres are then spun and woven into fabrics or used in other items such as cordage. It is generally considered difficult to tell bast-fibres (including hemp, linen and nettle) apart by eye, or even under a microscope, so it is difficult to find archaeological items that have been positively identified as hemp.
  
[[category:Fabric]]
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As with other bast-fibre fabrics, hempcloth is stain resistant because dirt cannot penetrate far into the fibres, but simultaneously this property makes intentional staining, such as [[dyeing]] difficult.
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=== Hemp as Food ===
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Mention of hempseed pottage is in the 15th century cookbook of Martino of Como, and hempseed oil was used in Russia as an alternative to animal fats on fast days (see ''Bread and Salt'' p.5). 
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== Further Information ==
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[http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/SCA/hempnettle.html|Hemp and Nettle]: Two Food/Fiber/Medical plants in use in Eastern Europe.
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[http://books.google.com.au/books?id=DKw8AAAAIAAJ|Bread and salt]: a social and economic history of food and drink in Russia. GoogleBooks Preview
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[http://books.google.com.au/books?id=9Efw2S_NekYC|The Art of Cooking] by Maestro Martino of Como. GoogleBooks Preview
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[[category:Fabric]] [[category:Food]]

Revision as of 21:52, 21 August 2009

The Hemp plant (Cannabis sativa L.) can be used for a number of useful things such as, fibre production, cooking oil, and food source.

In modern usage, although referring to members of the Cannabis family, there is a distinction between hemp cultivated for psychoactive substances (marijuana) and those cultivated for fibre and seed production (industrial hemp). Its relationship to marijuana has however meant that its growth in most first world countries is outlawed (or very tightly controlled).

Hemp as Fibre

Hemp fabric is woven from the bast fibres of the plant (the inner bark of phloem of the stem) that is seperated from the woody core (xylem) of the stem through a process called retting. The retted fibres are then spun and woven into fabrics or used in other items such as cordage. It is generally considered difficult to tell bast-fibres (including hemp, linen and nettle) apart by eye, or even under a microscope, so it is difficult to find archaeological items that have been positively identified as hemp.

As with other bast-fibre fabrics, hempcloth is stain resistant because dirt cannot penetrate far into the fibres, but simultaneously this property makes intentional staining, such as dyeing difficult.

Hemp as Food

Mention of hempseed pottage is in the 15th century cookbook of Martino of Como, and hempseed oil was used in Russia as an alternative to animal fats on fast days (see Bread and Salt p.5).


Further Information

and Nettle: Two Food/Fiber/Medical plants in use in Eastern Europe. and salt: a social and economic history of food and drink in Russia. GoogleBooks Preview Art of Cooking by Maestro Martino of Como. GoogleBooks Preview