We are working with Mike Lewis, the farmer featured in this film, to develop hemp paper products from fiber grown on his family farm in Mt. Vernon, KY.
Please take a moment to sign and share! We will be delivering this petition on hemp paper in September and need as many signatures as possible. It is time to lift the nonsensical ban on cannabis. Time to grow!
When people ask what the difference between hemp and marijuana is, I find myself saying that they are both cannabis sativa and it’s kind of like a sweet pepper vs. hot pepper- both members of the same plant family, but expressing very different characteristics. The hemp farm bill amendment legally defined industrial hemp as Cannabis Sativa with less than .3% THC. We can describe hemp as low THC and marijuana as high THC. I dislike using the term marijuana because it has racist roots, and am using it for the sake of clarity. I am beginning to become tired of the word hemp as well, even though I use it to market my products under the Artisan Hemp name. We can even go further to speak of cannabis variations in terms of their end use – for example, cannabis for fiber, oilseed, and drug/medicine. Maybe that would just make things simpler and help clear some confusion.
People say hemp produces more pulp than trees. Hemp is much higher in cellulose, the component used to make paper – and has less lignin (which is removed pre-pulping) than timber. So, is there a way to measure cellulose content in plants? Maybe we can rate the paper according to how much land was used to make it, the effects on the ecosystem and how it effects the atmosphere…for 6 month old hemp plants with higher cellulose than trees, how much trees would be killed for the same amount of let’s say an acre of high fiber cultivar hemp seeded generously. How is the air and soil quality affected, how many animals and have lost their home and food source, how much topsoil may now blow away, and will there be more flooding as a result? There must also be a rating for how toxic the water becomes and what chemicals are used in processing, as they inevitable end up in the water and surrounding land. How does this compare to recycled paper? Is it worth looking into making items such as toilet paper and paper towels from raw hemp, or is continuing to make more of those products with recycled paper a better idea? Eventually, when more hemp paper is available en masse, recycled paper will be made with hemp. The great benefit of hemp is that it is such a strong fiber and can be recycled many more times than tree paper.
Earlier, I posted to Facebook asking people what kinds of hemp paper products people want, and someone mentioned hemp toilet paper and paper towels. That is definitely not fit for artisanal production; however, this would be great to see more hemp paper in the market!! We still need to reduce paper consumption, so get a bidet if that helps. ;) I have some thoughts and questions about the most sustainable ways to produce paper. After all, before the automatic printing press was invented, most paper was made from rags! For more efficient production, is it better to take a waste product of something that has already been processed somehow, and turn it into paper for certain items (disposable products like toilet paper, coffee cups, food packaging, etc.) The artisan hemp paper is especially good for artwork when it is made archival. Handmade paper is stronger than machine made sheets – the cellulose fibers are not in a straight line, which strengthens their bond. Recycled paper goes through a de-inking process resulting in chemical waste (maybe we need natural non-toxic ink then…) and also there is no CO2 offset to the output from trucks and factories like their is with cannabis paper.
I definitely need to do more research, and if anyone has info or ideas, please comment.
Also, here’s an informative Wikipedia page about the environmental impact of paper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_paper
Paper is a medium…
Like water, a carrier of information.
Like money, not good or bad.
Paper is neutral.
It’s all about intention and how it is used.
It can preserve culture, educate, inspire, heal, or destroy.
The process of paper making is transformative. It is using the mind, heart, and hands. It is a teacher of patience and concentration. Observation and presence. Paper making is a great master, weaving the fibers of life, water activating the process, leaving the elements to bond and create a vehicle for humanity.
That is paper.
In case you missed this video – check it out! Special thanks to Adam Eidinger (DCMJ, Capitol Hemp, Dr. Bronner’s), Robin Bell (Bell Visuals), and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.