Seattle Hempfest is all about hemp, in every form that it takes. ¬†In addition to the numerous¬†therapeutic¬†uses of Cannabis as medicine, the industrial, non-psychoactive form of the plant is just as amazing and vital to potentially solving many of the world’s current and ongoing problems. ¬†Industrial Hemp can be processed into many different and useful forms, including hempcrete, paper, nutrition, oil, lubricant, biofuel, and rope, just to name a few. ¬†The¬†versatility¬†of this plant is¬†myriad¬† and while much of the information regarding it has been suppressed and disregarded in the 20th century, there are still plenty of records from earlier times, including the Colonial United States, that indicate many notable people, including our Founding Fathers, held industrial Hemp in extremely high regard. ¬†In fact, the original American Flag was made from Hemp, and our first President, George Washington, made it a requirement for American farmers to grow the plant.
Even within the 20th century, the American Government changed its stance on industrial Hemp when it deemed it necessary for war efforts in World War 2. Even Henry Ford recognized the utility of the plant, growing fields of it and¬†experimenting¬†with the plant as a source of plastic, cloth, and fuel for his cars. Sadly, after the war ended, the Government went right back to marginalizing and demonizing what should have been a revolutionary source for a huge variety of new materials.
Fortunately for all the Happy Hempsters in the 21st century, there has been a resurgence of information and industries dedicated to utilizing the hemp plant for its full potential. If you want to learn more about this amazing aspect of the cannabis plant or get involved in efforts to legalize its growth in the United States, you can read more in the links below.