Rowan Robinson. The Great Book of Hemp: The Complete Guide to the Environmental, Commercial, and Medicinal Uses of the World’s Most Extraordinary Plant. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street Press, 1996. Large paperback, viii + 247 pp.
Hemp is indeed an extraordinary plant, but also one surrounded by confusion, industrial intrigue, and political machinations. This book, written when what is called “industrial hemp” was undergoing a renaissance, is very much under the spell of the U.S. government’s confusion of industrial hemp with marijuana. Both carry the Latin name Cannabis sativa, but one is psychoactive and the other is not.
Even more than ten years later, this volume contains a great deal of useful information about the history of hemp, but it also is very much dated, and a new similarly comprehensive work is a desideratum. In the meantime, Robinson furnishes all sorts of fascinating facts and figures about hemp, though the reader should make sure to always hold industrial hemp and marijuana carefully apart.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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