Market recognition of medicinal marijuana boosts interest in hemp industry
Hempless canaries sing praise of push for industrial hemp
Despite three centuries of breeding the canary (the original Tweety Bird) has not been able to divest itself for its needs for hemp seeds. It is well known among canary breeders that male canaries need hemp seeds to sing and reproduce: no hemp seeds, no singing, and no chicks.
The hempless canary is a hempful metaphor for humankind.
There are about 2000 varieties, or strains, of hemp and only about 10% of them are capable of creating hallucinogenic effects. As one of the world’s oldest agricultural crop, hemp has been the source of food and fibre for the past 10,000 years until Reefer Madness. Hemp fibre has been used to make clothing, ropes, and paper; the grain has been stewed, roasted, and milled for food; and the oil derived from the grain has been used for cosmetics, lighting, paints, varnishes, and medicinal preparations.
Hemp was implicated in the Napoleonic wars owing to the mind-blowing fact England prevented Russia to provide industrial hemp to the French for the building of a fleet (click here).
But the prohibition of marijuana has complicated things for the hemp industry, which still has significant applications in various fields including for example functional foods (hemp seeds and hempseed oil) and specialty fibre.
Get our daily investorintel update
Speaking of fibre, Henry Ford had a vision for a car that was made from hemp fibre and which was propelled by alcohol made from the fermentation of hemp. I have uncovered a massive amount of evidence proving that the prohibition of alcohol was a measure intended to prevent Ford to develop the ethanol engine. The destruction of the industrial hemp industry was collateral damage to Reefer angst.
Like the marijuana plant, industrial hemp belongs to the species Cannabis sativa L. Although unlike marijuana, it only contains small quantities of the psychoactive cannabinol delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Nevertheless, the cultivation of both marijuana and industrial hemp were banned in 1937 (USA) and 1938 (Canada), which marked a significant reversal in history. Indeed, a hundred and fifty years ago when Next Gen Metals Inc’s (N: CSE, NXTTF: OTC Pink) CEO Harry Barr’s ancestors began farming and growing hemp in the Ottawa Valley, a sailing ship needed as much as 50 tonnes of industrial hemp for sails and cordage, which required replacing every second year.
Next Gen has sent the market a-not-so-subtle message by recruiting Reuben Stone of Valley Bio Limited to join its board of advisors. Mr. Stone is an Ottawa Valley entrepreneur growing 200 acres of industrial hemp, a rare expertise.
Forget cod liver oil, hemp seed oil is a better functional food. Although its fatty acid composition is most often noted, with essential fatty acid (EFA) content ranging from 25-35%, whole hemp seed is additionally comprised of approximately 20-25% protein, 20-30% carbohydrates, and 10-15% fiber, along with an array of trace minerals. With a full profile of all essential amino and fatty acids, hemp seed oil is a complete nutritional source. The proportions of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in one tablespoon per day (15 ml) of hempseed oil exceeds daily requirements for EFAs. And unlike flaxseed oil, hempseed oil can be used continuously without developing a deficiency or other imbalance of EFAs.
The canary is named after the Canary Islands where it abounds as dull-greenish wild birds that are nothing like the bright coloured birds that are sold elsewhere for $200 a pair. Spanish sailors imported specimens to Europe in the 1700s where it was a hit with the aristocracy, which bred it for years until the right mutations gave the progeny the right feather colorings. In the wild, when hemp is in season the canaries perch on the hemp branches that hold buds and peck at seeds. Could they get high? Most definitely, cannabinoids have effects on animals, birds, fish and reptiles. Untreated seeds can be coated with THC. But studies show that the TCH content of fibre type cannabis is lower than that of drug type cannabis (hemp).
I expect that the increased recognition of marijuana as a medicine will permit to boost awareness of the modern potential for industrial hemp. The canaries are singing happily.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>