It seems like every day there is a new use for hemp being celebrated and advertised, and it's really very exciting. Believed by archaeologists to be the earliest example of a plant cultivated for textile purposes, hemp was once a mandatory cash crop grown in the United States, including on the acreage of Mt. Vernon by George Washington himself. The flag Betsy Ross sewed together in 1977 was made from hemp fibers, records illustrate its uses in 6000 BC China, and remnants of hemp cloth were found dating back to 8000 BC Mesopotamia. There are quite a few contributors to the decline and criminalization of the plant so many ancient (and not-so-ancient) civilizations have relied upon - not the least of which is cotton, lumber, large synthetic companies such as DuPont, ignorance, greed….I could go on… - but lucky us, the 2018 Farm Bill finally legalized hemp and removed its Schedule I controlled substance designation, bringing it back to the status of agricultural greatness it deserves. This plant is as versatile as it is sustainable, which I don’t think anyone can deny is an excellent thing to be. Don’t we all want to be versatile and sustainable? I know I do. There are truly countless uses being explored regularly for hemp as an Earth-friendly textile and building material. It’s a tree-saving crop, 1,000 times over.
My personal favorite use for hemp is in the form of a humble wick, coated in bees wax, and it is pretty much the first thing I recommend to anyone when discussing smoking cannabis, regardless of experience level. Ultimately, there are far healthier methods of medicating with cannabis than smoking, but despite legalization in states across the country, smoking remains the most popular form of consumption due to efficacy and appeal. Inhalation boasts the quickest delivery for effects - which is essential with severe pain or anxiety/PTSD – and carries with it the ceremony of partaking for the canna-purist. There’s something medicinal in the rolling of a joint and the pulling of the smoke that serves its own function in a wellness lifestyle. Yet, with all that excellent intention, with all the aid and comfort to be appreciated, all of that care taken in “gutting a Dutch” and tact in packing a bowl, to jeopardize the cannabinoids and destroy the flavor with the introduction of harmful butane is just a shame.
Butane burns hotter than hemp wick, scorching away the medicinal molecules, and introduces an alkane to the combustion that inevitably alters the effects on transmitters within the body. In other words, hemp wick is cleaner and will allow you to not only taste the terpenes more than ever before, but enjoy their intended purposes in a purer way. The wick itself will have to be lit by either a lighter or match, but only once versus over and over or match after match, saving on fossil fuels, waste, and trees. Did I mention hemp is sustainable?
The only negatives in a sea of positives I’ve ever heard back from those I’ve recommended wick to have been regarding an awkward feeling of carrying around an entire spool of wick and the fear of setting it down lit and forgotten until it’s a ball of flame. Well, that is easily solved by simply trimming off a smaller piece to light from (even wrapping it around a lighter or bowl for safe keeping) or getting one of these really awesome and handy-dandy wick dispensers from @hempbulbs.
This clever creation stores wick safely to snuff out any forgotten fire, and is way more fun than holding a 200’ spool of twine. Creator Amanda, a one-woman-show and Jersey Girl like myself, told me she “knew there had to be a better and stylish way” when an entire ball of wick went up in flames on her. I guess you could say a lightbulb went off over her head, and she fashioned herself a dispenser. Folks were so impressed by her ingenuity that they requested their own, and “boom, hempbulbs was born!” I ordered my bulb for $15 with free shipping for her 420 special, and have been extremely pleased with my purchase. The twine feeds well without falling in or sticking, and the top unscrews easily for refill. It can be personalized at home with paint or stickers, and the creator has pictured a few special custom bulbs on her Instagram. I reached out to Amanda to tell her how much I love her product, and she has generously offered free shipping for readers when you mention “LizardCannaQueen” with your order! Yay! My bulb even came with a generous sampling of twine, which is a really nice touch. As far as full spools go, I purchase 200’ of organic wick from Twisted Bee for $16.99, and have always been happy with it. They offer free samples on their web page!
Suffice it to say, I could sing hemp’s praises for days-es, but I’ll end with this…
Imagine you tossed yourself a lovely and healthy salad with fresh, crisp greens, ripe and juicy tomatoes or perhaps strawberries, and for the dressing you ground up a bit of pepper, squeezed a little lemon, and dashed on a splash of lighter fluid. You don’t want flammable solvent in your salad bowl, try going without it in your medicinal bowl, too.