Hemp, or cannabis, is a plant that is currently legally prohibited in the United States of America. This is because some strains of the plant include delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which, when ingested or smoked, can produce mind altering effects. Refined hemp products, however, can legally be imported to the United States from other countries. Before importing any of these products, however, shoppers should be sure that they can be successfully cleared by customs and are within their legal jurisdiction to import.
The plant has many uses that have nothing to do with recreational drug use. Its fibers are incredibly strong, and they can be used to make strong, long-lasting rope, paper, clothing, as well as other fiber-based products. The strain of cannabis that produces THC does not have strong fiber and is not applicable for use in these products.
Extracted hemp oil has uses in both cooking and industry, and it can be used as a base for beautiful paints. Edible seeds are sold in small quantities in health food stores in North America, and they can also be purchased via mail order. In keeping with the above caution, because some forms are illegal in the United States, shoppers need to make sure that the products that they are ordering are perfectly legal, especially if they are buying them from another state or country.
Hemp seeds are comparable to sunflower seeds in their nutritional properties. They can be used in baking, added to waffles, and combined with cereal and granola. Some health food companies process the seeds in order to create a nutritious protein powder, and they also contain Omega-3 fatty acids. While hemp seeds are very nutritious, their dietary values can be replaced by other foods. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example are present in many kinds of fish, especially salmon.
Because of industrial value of hemp fibers, many American horticulturists and farmers are working to overturn the ban on this plant in the United States. At the present, refined fibers must be grown in and imported from other countries. The process of importation, of course, incurs taxes that can be prohibitive to some consumers and manufacturers. Many American farmers, horticulturists, and economists feel that it would make great sense to grow it locally in order to decrease the base price of the fiber and, therefore, make it more accessible to American manufacturers.