Source: SavannahNow

One of the issues being hotly debated among veterinarians today is the benefit and usage of hemp. Its protein, Omega 3 and Omega 6 properties have drawn attention for its potential use as a dietary supplement.

To begin the discussion, we need to explore the understanding of hemp as a plant. Hemp is a different variety of the same plant species cannabis that has been used for years in the United States. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was actually illegal for individuals to refuse to grow hemp in America. And in 1941, Henry Ford built a plastic car comprised of hemp materials. It is a fun fact that hemp can produce bio-fuel and ethanol better than corn.

The U.S. government does not recognize the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana. Cultivation has been prohibited since 1950. A recent change in federal law will now allow for colleges and universities to grow hemp for research. That means that after 50 years on hold, America can get on track to once again become the predominant manufacturer of hemp.

Hemp is the only plant in the world that is a complete protein. Hemp plants mature in four months, while it would take 20 years for trees. It would take four times as many trees to produce fiber pulp from hemp. Hemp is rarely affected by pests or diseases. Plastics made from hemp are biodegradable.The oil contained inside the hemp seed is 80 to 90 percent unsaturated fatty acid.

Hemp contains about 0.3 to 1.5 percent of tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC), a chemical that is in marijuana. Because of this low level of THC, hemp is considered non-narcotic. Hemp plants are grown like bamboo, to be about 10 to 15 feet high. The stalks and seeds are used for textiles, food, paper, body care products, plastics, and building materials. It is a fact that hemp was used in the construction of the great pyramids, as well as sails and rope.

Hemp seed oil has the perfect ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. Without the potential side effects of fish oil, such as heartburn, bad breath, loose stools, and rashes, hemp oil helps moisturize dogs’ skin and fur. With its high content in Omega 6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA), hemp oil can help reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, and skin allergies. The British Journal of Cancer has reported that THC in hemp seed has been found to stop brain and lung cancer. The GLA found in hemp seed also reduces arthritis symptoms and joint pain.

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