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Bad Plant, Good Plant

Wonderful World of Hemp header

One of the main reasons that many people are apprehensive or flatly opposed to trying a hemp-derived product—such as a CBD sublingual oil—is because they are worried that it will get them “high”, and for one reason or another this is an effect they do not desire. Most of the time their reluctance is based on fear of the unknown or fear from antiquated misinformation.

Americans, along with citizens of other countries that take their lead from the U.S., can pin-the-tail on the “ass” by the name of Henry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the U.S Federal Bureau of Narcotics who served in this position under six presidential administrations beginning in the 30’s. His string of lies regarding cannabis resulted in misinformation that has lingered in the minds of Americans for decades. Anslinger used racial prejudice as his number one platform, along with his own professional ambitions, to make cannabis a newly-discovered threat to (white) America. In the world according to Anslinger, and with no substantiated evidence, cannabis was a deadly, addictive drug. He enthusiastically instilled baseless fear into the minds of the American public by demonizing the plant and in 1938 released Reefer Madness, a ludicrous propaganda film. His ignorance was so profound that that he never made a distinction between the ancient, multi-use, utilitarian, industrial hemp and the recreational marijuana. It was all lumped together as one evil plant.

Differences between hemp and marijuana

Through decades of fictitious narratives, the one fact remains—that NO ONE has ever died from a marijuana overdose. But people love to hate this plant and continue to wage a war on an incredibly friendly, misconstrued, green neighbor of our planet. Cannabis has now finally been differentiated into either hemp or marijuana, has triumphantly emerged from the dungeons of shame and has proven to possess more benefit to humankind and our planet than anyone can ever imagine.

Nevertheless, it remains a challenge for those of us in the freshly, re-emerged hemp industry to get people to comprehend the major differences between Hemp—the serious, hard-working, innocent bystander—and its fun-loving cousin with its blemished reputation—Marijuana—who has now turned academic. Since both plants are scientifically classified as species of Cannabis—Cannabis sativa, C. indica or hybrids of the two—they inevitably possess numerous genetic similarities as well.

HelloHemp! is here to offer CR some of the best hemp-derived products from the U.S. market, and more importantly, to help heighten the appreciation, increase public knowledge and remove the stigma surrounding cannabis through the sharing of current news, information and research.

Donna is a Horticulturist and Hemp advocate. She transplanted her business HelloHemp! to Quepos, which offers top-quality, full-lab tested CBD products.
For more info: hellohempar.com, follow us on hellohempar.com, donnaporter@hellohempar.com or call/text/WhatsApp 6007-7779.


The American Arrival

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USS ConstitutionIt is hard to believe that there were times in history when hemp was such a significant economic crop that farmers were punished for NOT cultivating it. Its highly regarded status in England and Europe was a most influencing factor for its arrival into the Americas, along with its continued cultivation throughout Colonial America.

During the reign of England’s King Henry VIII in 1535, hemp cultivation was the law of the land and farmers had to set a portion of their acreage for hemp, otherwise, they would be fined. Henry mandated hemp cultivation to make rope, sails, nets and other naval equipment because it was the fiber of choice for maritime uses due to its natural decay and salt resistance and its adaptability to cultivation. Each warship and merchant vessel required miles of hemp line and tons of hemp canvas, which meant the Crown’s hunger for the commodity was great. Ship captains were ordered to disseminate hemp seed far and wide to provide fiber wherever repairs might be needed in distant lands.

At that time in history, England was a black sheep among European countries because of the Reformation – England’s split from the Catholic Church (the Brexit of today). To prevent another European kingdom from forcing England back into the fold, Henry assembled one of the world’s first professional navies.

The threat of invasion slowly became a reality under the reign of Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I, who faced war with Spain—the global superpower of the 16th century, so Elizabeth ordered even more hemp to be grown and made the penalties for breaking that law even stiffer. Henry’s and Elizabeth’s preparations paid off in 1588, when England’s hemp-outfitted ships destroyed the Spanish Armada. So, in an alternate history, Spanish might be the official language throughout North America if it were not for the hemp plant.

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Hemp Origins, Evolution & History

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Map showing origins It is nearly impossible to write about the origins of hemp without referencing its psychoactive cousin marijuana, because they originated as one, as Cannabis, and their histories are as intertwined as they are separable. Its origins and evolution are as complex and compelling of a subject as its multifaceted utilization and intricate composition. Initially, distinctions between hemp and marijuana were based on the route it took during its evolution, its adaptation and then later by its narcotic effect. Its history has been laced with the confusion of, is it one in the same or are they different and how? But it was not until the last couple of centuries that a scientific analysis of the percentage of one chemical component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), became the one distinguishing (and demonizing) factor that separated and characterized the two.

There is still so much that scientists need to uncover to fully comprehend the ancient history of Cannabis, and there are conflicting theories, but most researchers agree that its origins were in Central & South Asia. To this day, the flowering herb grows wild across vast grassland regions of Eurasia that spans western China and Mongolia through Kazakhstan and south toward India and the Middle East. But this does not explain how this one plant evolved so distinctly into either industrial hemp or the psychoactive marijuana. A much greater force than man could have been responsible—the force of nature.

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The Wonderful World of Hemp

Hello Hemp headerThe Journey

Hola, hola Quepolandians and visitors! It has been years since I last wrote for Quepolandia. My articles will still be plant-based, but this time the focus will be specifically on Cannabis sativa L./Hemp and its countless components, uses and benefits, including the ever-so-popular CBD/Cannabidiol.

First, a little of my background to shed some light as to why I feel sufficiently enlightened to be writing on this topic, which I hope will serve to inform and educate you readers on this extraordinary plant. My degree is in Horticulture, and I have been working with plants for over 40 years. Cannabis has been an interest of mine for decades, and I studied and worked with it it in my earlier years. But it was not until I discovered a book entitled Hemp Bound (at the former Jamie Peligro bookstore in Quepos) in 2017 that I realized what Hemp was and its enormous potential to humankind. This book was published in 2014—before we had even heard of CBD. Soon following that enriching read, Smoke Signals—A Social History of Cannabis by Martin Lee was next in queue. By then I was chomping at the bit for more knowledge and ready to return to the states to further my education on this plant and its blossoming, legal industry.

This is a good place to make this distinction: Cannabis includes both Marijuana and Hemp. Hemp is then categorized as either Industrial Hemp—which is grown for its stalk and seed, or Medicinal Hemp—grown mainly for CBD/Cannabidiol extraction. Medicinal Hemp is basically Marijuana with the THC—the psychoactive compound—bred out of it or to levels not to exceed 0.3%, which is the legal limit in the U.S. More on this in future articles.

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