HEALTH TIP: Hemp is a true “miracle plant.” From the dawn of civilization, hemp has been used to make clothing, which is more absorbent and provides more insulation than cotton, keeping the wearer warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Hemp is considered to be a superfood (like spirulina and chlorella) due to its high essential fatty acid content and the unique ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Hemp seeds are a rich source of phytonutrients and a nutritious source of easily digested protein, providing 20 amino acids, including all nine es essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. I eat them almost every day. Hemp oil is also highly nutritious. Its nutty flavor makes it a good ingredient for salad dressings, mayonnaise, and dips. Hemp oil contains up to 5% of pure GLA, a much higher concentration than any other plant.

A February 1938 Popular Mechanics entitled “New Billion-Dollar Crop” stated that there are more than 25,000 uses for hemp … from food, paint and fuel to clothing and construction materials ( http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/popmech1.htm ). There are even hemp fibers in your Lipton® tea bags. And several cars made today contain hemp. One acre of hemp can produce as much raw fiber as 10 acres of trees.

For millennia, hemp has been used for medicinal purposes. It is a common treatment for relieving eye pressure from glaucoma and as an anti-nausea drug for chemotherapy patients, but these are only two of many uses. Hemp is also used for muscle spasms, chronic pain, loss of appetite, asthma, epilepsy, stroke, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and a host of other diseases.

And, YES, it is an effective treatment for cancer. It not only relieves pain and helps with the appetite of cancer patients, it also has been shown to have curative properties. The chemicals in hemp (aka cannabis or marijuana) which are responsible for many of the medical benefits are called “cannabinoids.” The most notable cannabinoid is “Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol” but most folks call it “THC.”

We have known this since 1974 when the first experiment documenting hemp’s anti-tumor effects took place at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest of the U.S. government and the National Institute of Health (NIH). In 2000, researchers in Madrid learned that the THC in hemp inhibits the spread of brain cancer through selectively inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting surrounding healthy cells. A 2007 Harvard Medical School study showed that the THC in hemp decreases lung cancer tumors by 50% and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to metastasize (spread). A recent study out of Thailand demonstrated that THC can also fight bile duct cancer, which is rare and deadly.

As late as the 1930’s in the USA, medicinal hemp tinctures with THC were available in most pharmacies. The medical evidence for the effectiveness of THC at treating cancer and also reducing pain is overwhelming. The FDA’s own website admits that over 100,000 people die each year from prescription drugs, yet not one single death has ever been attributed to hemp. So why is hemp illegal? The real reason is plain and simple: its medicinal effects, specifically in the world of cancer treatments, are a direct threat to Big Pharma’s chemotherapy drug monopoly.

Many of our founding fathers (including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) grew hemp and were very vocal about their support of this amazing crop. It is interesting to note that the first and second drafts of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence were both drafted on hemp paper. Did you know that Henry Ford produced a car with a plastic body made from hemp, sisal, and wheat straw that was ten times stronger than steel (though lighter) and his car was made to run on fuel made from hemp? I’ll betcha didn’t! Unfortunately, he rolled out his car right about the time hemp cultivation became a federal offense.