I’m crazy about hemp. I wear it. Wash myself with it. Moisturize with it. Eat it. Treat insect bites and scrapes with it. I’m astounded by its applications in building. I’m amazed by its multi-tasking abilities – a backyard plot of hemp and a little ingenuity and one could arguably produce everything necessary to live: clothing, shelter, food, medicine.

I’m appalled, however, by hemp’s inability to shed its connection to its counter-culture cousin, marijuana. I can barely mention hemp without someone giving me a wink and a nudge and offering up some lame joke about the munchies.

As the Ontario Hemp Alliance phrases it (rather dryly) on its site: “Although both hemp and marijuana are categorized as Cannabis Sativa, marijuana has an average potency of 5-15% THC (the chemical substance which gives marijuana its psychoactive properties) whereas hemp has less than 0.3%THC. At this concentration, hemp has no psychoactive properties.”

In other words, hemp won’t get you high.

However, even I, who knows better, hesitated last week before offering my father a slice of homemade bread containing hemp seed.

He had an appointment later that morning at the Ministry of Transportation. At 80, he was required to reapply for his license, to be tested to ensure that he was still capable of driving. I worried that part of the process might be drug-testing. I erred on the side of caution, an old tale about a government employee being fired after eating a poppyseed bagel and testing positive for heroine, weighing on my mind. Instead, I offered Dad a cup of herbal tea.

In hindsight, of course, it would seem I was on drugs. Which, for the record, I wasn’t.

Still, my love affair with hemp continues unabated. I will continue to enjoy it in its myriad forms. I will also continue to give it to my young children (who, incidentally, are too young to drive).

Indeed, there are days when I wish hemp did offer some “pharmacological” benefits, such as rendering my three high-energy progeny incapable of little more than sitting on the sofa feeling mellow, something I’m not sure none of the three has ever experienced. “Mellow” doesn’t seem to be in their psychological makeup so much as high-strung and determined.

It would be great to simply whip them up a pizza or two, sit back and contemplate the eco-perfection that is…hemp.

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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