Hemp & Marijuana are different forms of the same species of plant – Cannabis.
Both forms of this plant offer significant benefits to mankind in general, yet for commercial and competitive purposes it has been vilified and banned over the past century.
Hemp farming is a growing industry worldwide for sound commercial, health-related, and ecologically-friendly reasons.
Its products are varied, and its benefits are numerous, with new research pointing towards significant medical breakthroughs for a wide range of conditions.
Hemp contains virtually zero active compounds meaning that it is no different to any other grains such as oats, rice, or wheat in terms of narcotic effects.
Ecologically it is a crop that needs virtually no pesticides to grow to a commercial standard, uses significantly less water than most crops, produces greater volume of product per hectare, and provides a natural product that is fully biodegradable. It also puts essential nutrients back INTO the ground rather than consumes them as many other crops do.
The largest opponents of the hemp industry have always been the cotton and timber industries, as hemp is easier and cheaper to grow, has a far wider range of use, and produces a stronger and more versatile final product which would significantly impact upon their production and profits.
Hemp has been used in civilisations for thousands of years, in fact, seeds were first brought to Australia with the First Fleet to provide the new colony with a fast growing, hardy crop that could be used to make, cloth, sails, and rope.
Hemp seeds can be used and are recognised as a ‘superfood’ containing protein (20-25%), carbohydrates (20-30%), and fibre (10-15%), and provides all 9 essential amino acids utilised in the human diet, as well as being gluten free.
Hemp oil contains a perfect balance of the essential ‘fatty acids’ – Omega 6 and Omega 3 – as found in fish oils, which possess anti-inflamatory properties, and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Currently paper manufacturing consumes approximately one third of the 4 billion + trees cut down world-wide annually. Hemp produces 4 times the amount of pulp per acre compared to trees, has a far higher cellulose content (70-85% v 30%) which requires far less chemical processing, produces a usable crop every 4 months (20 – 80 years for trees), and can be recycled up to 8 times (3 times for wood pulp produced paper).
Hemp hurd (the inner core of the stalk) is also used in paper manufacturing, and as an effective and natural additive to building products such as concrete and insulation.
Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica species and contains three active compounds – THC, CBD, and CBN.
Medical marijuana is used for treating pain, nausea, muscle spasms, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, low appetite, sleep problems, autism, epilepsy (seizure disorders), Parkinsons Disease, and other conditions.
Research is limited at present, but studies of the endocannabinoid system suggest that the health benefits of medical marijuana include relief from pain and muscle spasm, nausea associated with chemotherapy, and anorexia.
These benefits are seen in improvements to immune function, neuroplasticity, emotional and mood regulation, vascular health, and digestive function.
It is clear that significant further assessment on this subject is warranted, and we will fully support this investigation and development.
The Equal Australia Party will ensure that the legalisation and regulation of the hemp and cannabis industries within the commercial and medicinal fields will be fully assessed, developed, and prioritised.
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