In 1985, the USA’s indirect influence did what the British, even as India’s colonial masters, couldn’t - it outlawed cannabis. The US government considered the plant little more than a dangerous drug, disregarding scientific evidence. They ignored its many uses besides as a psychoactive substance, and how it could improve both our and our planet’s health.
Though cannabis contains THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical with psychoactive properties, numerous varieties contain negligible amounts. Commonly called hemp, these low-THC varieties have been used for millennia to make fibres, paper, and more. After a brief hiatus in the 20th century, they’re now making a big comeback.
Hemp is hitting new highs
Thanks to strong activism and scientific research in recent decades, we’re learning a lot about hemp and its uses. The plant grows relatively quickly in just 3-4 months and requires minimal pesticides, fertilisers and water in the process. Besides needing few inputs, it also actively helps the environment as it grows. Hemp is very efficient at converting carbon dioxide into biomass, fighting global warming, and restoring contaminated soils through a process called “phytoremediation.”
With this relative ease of growth and varied uses, the global cannabis market has boomed in recent years. From less than $5 billion in 2021, it’s expected to grow to over $60 billion by 2030! To cash in on this, many countries - including the USA, which initially spearheaded its global ban - have been legalising and growing it in large quantities. China, unsurprisingly, has become the world’s largest exporter of hemp, profiting handsomely from global demand.
From food to fibre and even face wash - hemp is as versatile as it is healthy
As people become increasingly conscious of maintaining good health, they’re turning to hemp as a food supplement. Consumed generally in the form of powder, seeds or cold-pressed oil, hemp is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. This boosts heart health by controlling cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical found in hemp, helps protect against a range of mental and neurological health issues like anxiety, depression, seizures and brain injuries. It can also mitigate some negative symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among women and improve overall digestion as well.
Hemp offers a range of skincare benefits, making it a go-to ingredient in high-quality cosmetics. With a comedogenic rating of zero, it can moisturise skin without clogging pores. Hemp is also rich in linoleic acid, which reduces signs of ageing and encourages healthy skin growth. Irritation and inflammation caused by acne, psoriasis, and similar skin conditions can also be soothed by hemp products. These are generally available in the form of body oils, beard oils, lip balms, soaps, body butters, and creams.
One of the oldest uses of hemp, though, is as a fibre, and a really good one at that! Made from the stalks of the plant, hemp fibres are extremely durable - it’s no wonder that they were once used to make ropes for ships! At the same time, when spun they produce lightweight, breathable, and naturally antibacterial fabrics. With a low ecological footprint and high-quality output, these are becoming the material of choice for sustainable brands and consumers. They’re commonly used to make apparel, bed sheets, towels, tablecloths, and more.
We at Suspire believe in the power that hemp has to help create a sustainable world and work with brands like B Label, Create by Gauri, Ecentric, Hemp Republic, India Hemp Organics, Kensho Valley, Terra Tribe, Wildleaf and Pravaah to make this happen.With Diwali around the corner, let us help you celebrate it in an eco-friendly manner. Light up your houses with our artistic candles and diyas while dressing yourself in our fashionable kurtas. You can also find the perfect Diwali gift for your loved ones, and take advantage of our Diwali sale where products across our site are up to 60% off!