The Healing Powers of Hemp

My name is Rachel Berry. I am a first generation farmer, an artist, and a mother living in Central Illinois.

I am also an activist. Throughout 2017 I have attended and hosted meetings for farmers, my community, business leaders, and politicians to advocate for industrial hemp; the lanky, multipurpose plant that is related to but distinct from her psychoactive cousin, cannabis. Having a relationship with land that is recovering from years of conventional farming has led me to research methods that push for a revolution in our agricultural system. The legalization of industrial hemp farming in the United States is critical to bringing about the changes I want to see.


Let's Talk Industrial Hemp

So let's talk about hemp! When I mention hemp in a group of people I don't know well, chances are fair that the majority will assume it's cannabis and make a joke; the rest won't know much more than hemp necklaces used to be a thing. In my experience, there are many who enjoy cannabis that are still unfamiliar with the numerous benefits of industrial hemp. This is no one’s fault - a lot of us have lived in the suburbs our whole lives, went to public schools, and may have never stepped foot on a farm. If that sounds anything like you, let me be your guide. Hemp can enrich our agricultural systems, spawn new industries, and help restore our environment if only given the chance.

Modern agriculture depends on chemical fertilizers & pesticides while depleting water reserves. A majority of our dietary needs are currently being met by unsustainable modern farming practices. Hemp is in a unique position to introduce a healthy source of food that is sustainable and can help alleviate the strain that mono-cropping places on our water and soil.

Heart Healthy Hemp Seeds

Heart Healthy Hemp Seeds

Introducing hemp into your diet is as easy as sprinkling seeds on, well, pretty much anything. Other popular choices include hemp milk, hemp oil, or a plethora of packaged foods and supplements that include hemp protein. Along with food, hemp also generates tons of fibre per acre which can be used in a wide variety of industrial processes. The development of industry around hemp is an exciting and expanding opportunity for business owners and farmers. Marketable non-food products include an array of textiles, building materials, bio-fuels, & biodegradable paper and plastics. In fact, a hemp crop can provide all of this while being carbon negative and restoring the soil that it grows in. This plant is a powerful ally to increase environmental resilience and can help revert the disaster that is our current agricultural system.

Hemp can heal the earth

Uniting our voices is crucial to raising the standard of living on Mother Earth. I am calling out to women who understand the healing powers of cannabis to ask for help sharing the ways hemp has healing powers, too. This remarkable plant can reconnect us to our planet and create a new system that satisfies our cultural and material needs while nurturing life.

Join the conversation and let your voice be heard. Contact your representatives and let them know you support ending the prohibition of hemp in the US.

Rachel is the creator of the zine Hempzine and also works with the Illinois Industrial Hemp Association. You can connect iwth teh group on Facebook and Twitter