Even before recorded time, people have been using hemp root in a variety of ways. Not only can it be used as a powerful medicine, it also acts as an additive for gun powder, lye, and rope. While the medical benefits are astounding, nothing is more interesting than the fact that it has been used by nearly every one of our ancestors, yet today remains illegal in most places. As cannabis becomes more widely accepted, it’s likely that the industrial version, hemp, will follow. Though it threatens many different existing products in the industrial industry, hemp could be used as a sustainable resource around the world.
Hemp vs. cannabis
While cannabis can leave users with an altered mindset, hemp cannot. Essentially, hemp has little to no THC content, meaning there are no psychoactive properties available from the plant. Cannabis plants are always female and pruned to grow the largest, fluffiest buds possible.
Hemp, however, is predominantly non-budding male plants. They have thicker stalks, perfect for creating rope or other fibers, and grow much faster than their cannabis counterpart.
In America, like cannabis, hemp is still illegal in most places. However, around the world hemp has become one of the most valuable cash crops produced today. China is the top producer and grower of hemp, but Canada is quickly approaching their volume, cultivating 66,700 acres in 2013 and expanding every year since.
The value of hemp root
There are over 50,000 known uses for the hemp plant, spanning everything from making paper to clothing to medicine. Hemp is truly one of the most versatile substances we have available in our world. The medical value alone should be enough to cause global legalization of the natural plant.
The hemp root is one of the most important parts of the entire plant. It can be mashed into a paste, dried into a powder, boiled down and concentrated into a thick, syrup-like texture, and smashed for juicing.
The very first record of hemp root being used for medicinal purposes in ancient China, in the third millennium BCE. The root was juiced and used for its diuretic properties and with slowing the bleeding during childbirth. Many women would have lost their lives while in labor if it had not been for the hemp root.
Hemp continued to be a staple crop throughout time. The Romans boiled hemp root in water and drank the contents, believing it reduced joint stiffness and inflammation, as well as gout. It has been used as a treatment for worms, burns, as an antiseptic and as an antipyretic, reducing even the highest of fevers. Our ancestors also used hemp root to alleviate toothaches, abscesses, and ulcers.
What we do today…
Of course, in our time of advanced medicine, where there are 17 different prescription pills to help every ailment, we’ve discontinued use of the hemp root and let it be thrown to the wayside. Many cultures around the world still use practice the use of hemp root, but in most developed nations it’s seen as a lesser form of medication.
A 2008 study conducted in the Netherlands by Leiden University discovered that hemp root contains glycoside, an organic molecule that helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins and poisons. The root binds with this chemical, making it inactive and helping to alleviate any unpleasant side effects it may have caused.
There are many, many recipes available online today to make your own hemp products, including teas, tinctures, and lotions. These products are all said to carry different medicinal purposes and can have outstanding benefits when used properly.