Press "Enter" to skip to content

From the Editor – About the Cover

by Mike Rosso

The photo of a hemp plant gracing this month’s cover was taken at a farm in Cañon City in mid-June. We chose this photograph to illustrate our article about this particular strain of cannabis, also legalized by Colorado’s Amendment 64 in 2012, but containing little if any of the psychoactive components found in its recreational cousin.
What hemp does have is a long history of industrial use as well as medicinal properties we are only beginning to learn about. When I first started researching this topic, I had no idea it was going to take on a life of its own and lead me so far afield in pursuit of information about the plant, both past and present.
It began with a phone call to Duane Sinning with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. His office was very helpful in directing me to a list of hemp growers and researchers statewide, as well as other resources to help demystify this unique plant.
I decided to call on a random group of folks in our region found on that list. Each person I spoke with came from a different vantage point in regards to the new industry. Some were only just testing the waters, while others where embracing it wholeheartedly.
I learned from them that one of the most difficult issues of the hemp industry is the confusion between hemp and marijuana, and how most people lump them together, for better or worse. A major part of this budding industry is education, and getting people past the fears and concerns they still have about the product. Also, there are many claims about the medicinal abilities of the seeds, oil and leaves of the hemp plant suggested in this article that have yet to be fully proven in testing. Therefore, we make no claims as to the actual benefits of medicinal hemp, but are simply passing along what is being claimed by a growing number of researchers and developers. In fact, as recently as June 22, the Obama administration announced it is eliminating the additional review of the Public Health Service for studies of marijuana, effective immediately. This will allow researchers a much faster track to analyze the drug for its medicinal qualities.
“The Obama administration has actively supported scientific research on whether marijuana or its components can be safe and effective medicine,” said Mario Moreno Zepeda, spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Personally, I have found that salves made from hashish are very effective in easing joint pain. Many folks I know use marijuana extracts to help them sleep. Others who have been diagnosed with some forms of cancer have used a therapy involving concentrated forms of the cannabis plant known as Phoenix Tears, with encouraging results.
The benefits of hemp stalks are without question, as they have been used to make textiles, ropes and paper products for thousands of years. One recurring theme throughout the interviews and research for this article was that Colorado hemp may even surpass recreational marijuana as a cash crop in the not-too-distant future.
My only regret about this issue of Colorado Central is that we did not have the time to locate a hemp-based paper product to print it on. Maybe sometime in the near future, when this burgeoning Colorado industry takes flight, we’ll achieve that goal.