This might not surprise some, but guess how many pages of, umm, books/ebooks… come up if you conduct an Amazon books search using the word fart.
That’s right ladies and gents, for me right now it’s showing 100 pages of how to fart, fart jokes, farty facts, a global Spotter’s Guide to Farts, even a Field Guide to Animal Flatulence. The most expensive is the Dictionary of Farts, while the most highly-reviewed weighing in at a whopping 675 is what looks like a child’s book about a farting dog.
Hey, honestly, great. Who doesn’t love to let a good one go? Oh man, do I have a yarn I could spin about a gag-worthy morning in high school history class…I sat front row-far left seat by the window and a moving fan facing the whole classroom was involved.
Another time then.
So, as this article’s being written, how many pages are dedicated when I search for ‘industrial hemp’?
Good lord, that’s embarrassing for the human species!!! I mean do we even need to look at the environmental implications of farts vs hemp here?
Let me put it to you this way:
- I’ve been intermittently writing, researching, and reading about industrial hemp online for 5 years. This includes virtually digging through medical articles/papers/research, hundreds of blogs, lab test results galore, endless user testimonials, etc., primarily revolving around hemp-based cannabidiol, or CBD. Just that one phytocannabinoid out of many within industrial hemp is causing a socioeconomic revolution across North America, and that’s not mentioning its seeds (billion $$$ industry already) or roots…
- I’d still consider myself somewhat of a novice on the subject…considering there’s thousands upon thousands of applications we have yet to explore in textiles, hempcrete, bioplastics, hemp seed-based nutrition, hemp for fuel, hemp sports cars, and so on.
- Technically, hemp’s probably been around longer than human farts.
My two-fold point is…
THANK YOU for reading these books! Thank you for your interest in industrial hemp. Please share what you learn far and wide and give the paperbacks to someone you love when you’re done. Industrial hemp is going to reshape the human world, or, the human world is going to likely see a pretty serious setback soon due to the environmental limits of our choices.
Here are the four books I found most helpful out of the 9 measly pages with my short takes and other pertinent information. I’ll cap off with some tips on what else is out there. Finally, please note, all links in this article are non-affiliate links. Enjoy!
Hemp-American History Revisited
The Plant with A Divided History
Author: Robert Deitch
Without a doubt this is among the finest books on industrial hemp. After reading it once through I humbly tip my hat to its studious and brilliant author. Thing is, I went in expecting it to be wall-to-wall hemp talk, but strangely enough the journey felt more like a senior-level American history class – first two chapters on hemp’s importance to early humankind up through the british outlawing slavery, the opium wars, and the economic depression of the late 1800s…/breathe…but then it jumps into heavy U.S. political evolution – primarily revolving around campaigns and elections from the 1860 election up through the 20th century.
The work definitely expanded my understanding of just how downright corrupt politics in America’s democracy is – at least through the prism of prohibition: alcohol, industrial hemp, marijuana, the War on Drugs, etc. My favorite sections were on the colonial era and the 1920s.
Honestly, it’s big-picture content. A hempen foundation, leading to a divided/tumultuous ride through the American story. If I were a history professor I’d consider this for my classes.
As one of only two Amazon reviewers put it (another embarrassment, I added mine last night though, making it three!),
“This is an important and largely untold history of hemp… perhaps the most comprehensive ever written about Hemp and Marijuana in the United States. Written textbook style, this account is extremely academic and resourceful. It’s perfect for any student of history or just someone who wants to gain knowledge and valuable insight about one of today’s biggest taboos.”
Direct Algora Publishing Link (Non-Affiliate)
If possible, consider purchasing direct from the publisher – they have a few options that all use PayPal. Algora Publishing is an independent publisher featuring top international authors on questions of global scope, which is neat.
Amazon Link (Non-Affiliate)
The next industrial hemp book is a much, much lighter read because unlike Mr. Deitch’s awesome-professor style writing, the author has a friendly and casual writing voice.
Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution
Author: Doug Fine
Doug Fine has a VERY approachable, kind-hearted, and lively writing voice. Not to mention a witty sense of humor that you only really get from gifted writers. Is the book super-finely polished? No. My instincts tell me that wouldn’t be genuine Doug. See, this guy really walks the walk. It’s not all brain work and factoids like Hemp-American History Revisited. Mr. Fine is a modern hempster all the way – a part of the 21st century vanguard. He’s been there, to so many of the fundamental groundbreaking events that’ve built to the current industrial hemp revolution we find ourselves on the precipice of. They didn’t get much attention at the time, or even today, but once you gain a deeper understanding the long-term implications of their work is mindblowing.
Here’s a powerful quote from the beginning of the book, in the Author’s Note:
“Not only do we Americans buy that half billion dollars of Canadian hemp products every year, but the number is growing 20% annually. We’re just not allowed to grow it here. ‘This kind of trade imbalance is why the American colonies fought for independence from Britain,’ Colorado rancher and putative hemp farmer Michael Bowman told me just as he was about to violate federal law and throw a few seeds on the ground July 4th, 2013.”
Wow! See what I’m sayin?
That 20% number has held strong – 2016 through late 2018 has shown a gargantuan increase in sales for independent companies like Hemp for Fitness. That’s another thing, even though the book was printed in March, 2014, it’s fascinating to see so much come true and how it’s ended up playing out
As I write these words, it’s early Nov, 2018, and we’re in a full-fledged ‘Trade War’ with China, and the next Farm Bill is shaping up to be a real game changer as Doug predicted. Well, not so much the China thing, but the legalization of industrial hemp farming.
Okay, obviously I’m a fan of this book. It’s great. Informative and fun.
To directly support Mr. Fine and his hard hemp-supporting work, consider making purchases on his personal website. If I’d of known about it beforehand, I would have. Although I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you using his…
Amazon Link (Non-Affiliate)
Our next title is the quickest read. It’s actually the book I started with on my hemp-reading journey. What makes it unique is the writer’s also a hempreneur, or was at the time – 2013. He helped co-found a venture called HempStrong.
Unleashing The Power of Sustainable Growth
Author Scott Sondles
To me, I consider this one more of a 150-page industrial hemp study guide that’s very well broken down into the categories of common industrial hemp knowledge – ancient history through U.S. prohibition in the early 20th century to 2013 when the book was published, then into the many core uses of the plant (textiles, bioplastics, paper, food & body care, energy, etc.), and a final chapter on the writer’s industrial hemp brand.
Another must-have for any student of industrial hemp. Easy read. Very reference-friendly. Historically accurate and also dense with facts/dates, but it feels lighter because you can bounce around. It’s less narrative-based than our previous two titles.
Now, on to the writer’s small business: I think it failed. I could be wrong, but after Googling around it looks like he and a partner tried starting HempStrong as a holdings company for industrial hemp ventures including something they called Hemp & Honey Plus, but both the primary domain and the store for that product no longer exist. I found something to do with body care from 2013, but nothing new.
That’s the thing folks, it’s been HARD to be in the American industrial hemp business (unless you’re Canada, China, Europe, etc.) between 2012-2019. Marijuana-based cannabis has taken off like crazy, most recently with Canada federally legalizing it. Hemp for Fitness started in 2012 as well, and it’s been a real uphill battle for the team, but we’re still here thanks to our supporters! The market itself, like most these days, is laid out where a couple corporations with big-pocket funds are raking in a good chunk of the pie. The rest is just a HUGE amount of small companies, like pie slivers, getting their small piece.
Hemp for Fitness appreciates every single one of our clients!
Amazon Link (Non-Affiliate)
The final book in our lineup is like a mix of the first three, plus Matin Lee’s ‘Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational’. An amazing writer, incredible voicing, such colorful information. It’s old school as well, originally published in 1994.
Hemp: Lifeline to the Future
The Unexpected Answer for Our Environmental and Economic Recovery
Author: Chris Conrad
I’d consider this a quasi-industrial hemp bible. It’s 300 pages, dense, comprehensive, and outside current drama. You’ll also get a balanced amount of data on both industrial hemp as well as marijuana – a handy cannabis tome. It’s so dense I had to put it down and take a break by Ch. 2, “The Premier Plant of the Planet” which goes into depth about the plant, it’s ecology, economic potential, then into a much more thorough look at the common applications the other three titles touch on to a more generalized degree.
I love the nice little ‘Chronology of Cannabis’ at the end, along with the incredibly valuable bibliography. Being born in the late 70’s, here’s my childhood up through the beginning of high school when it was published. Marijuana use wasn’t legalized in my state until around 2012 though, and industrial hemp farming legislation last failed (2017/18) because of an unrelated budget battle between R & D’s.
Simply put, if you want to start with the most comprehensive book I can find on the subject currently, this is it. Chris Conrad is without a doubt, one of the OG’s of American hemp advocacy and I believe as of right now is still going strong.
Direct from Chris Conrad Link (Non-Affiliate)
As always, consider purchasing direct from the writer. The site’s still out there!
Amazon Link (Non-Affiliate)
In conclusion, what’s left on Amazon when you search for industrial hemps in the book category is pretty thin. Interestingly there’s some government work going back over a century and tons of building-based content: hempcrete, bioplastics, hemp paper making, hemp-based herbal supplementation/healing, but in terms of ‘books’ for the average reader…we’ve covered them. The other title on my list is ‘Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of the World’s Most Promising Plant’ by John W. Roulac – Founder of Nutiva and huge activist.
Thanks again for your interest and support of industrial hemp. You’re going to love these books, but the research will be troubling in a variety of ways. Also, hey, if you have books to recommend please do so in the comments section below.