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Hemp educate innovate cultivate | Tony Budden | TEDxCapeTown

September 8, 2019

Translator: Katarina Ericson
Reviewer: Cristina Bufi-Pöcksteiner About 15 years ago, I got some cannabis
from a friend of mine. (Laughter) It blew my mind. (Laughter) It changed my life forever,
and I think it’s an idea worth sharing. So I’ve actually brought some here
to share with you today. (Laughter) First of all, are there any police
in the audience? I know you have to identify yourselves. Okay, we’re safe. Here we go. This is cannabis canvas. If you think those words sound the same,
it’s because they are. The word canvas comes directly
from the word cannabis: all canvas used to be
made out of hemp. Our Afrikaans word for shirt: hemp. The Dutch used to wear hemp. It’s got a long history,
it goes right back to about 8,000 B.C. That’s 10,000 years. It’s only been banned
for the last 100 years, so that’s less than 1%
of our known use of this plant. 15 years ago,
being entrepreneurial students, we felt how tough and strong it was
and we started making bags out of it. We started a company called Hemporium, and back then it was
the “wear what you smoke” market. There was no natural and organic market; the only people who had
a positive viewpoint towards this plant were the stoners. Luckily, we live in a country
where that is a fairly big market. (Laughter) As we grew to know the plant more though, we found out that the smoking side is actually, if anything, a drawback
to what the plant can offer because it stops people from seeing the other estimated
25,000 end uses for the plants. We learned about hemp as a fuel,
hemp as bioplastics, medicine obviously, paper, textiles, even livestock bedding
and food for humans. So, this was quite interesting,
like way bigger than we thought. We started growing that market, and then luckily, at the right time, we also learned
what was happening overseas. All these products
are coming out of countries that have recognized the mistake
made in the early 1900s when hemp was associated
with its notorious cousin marijuana. That should never have happened:
they are different plants. They are all cannabis,
but you cannot get high from hemp and you cannot get
good fibre from marijuana. Hemp is not psychoactive. The varieties you grow
do not make you high. They’re grown for fibre,
they look different in the field. It’s a four-metre high, thin plant, compared to a shorter,
bushy plant for marijuana. We learned that Australia, UK, France,
Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, they’re all growing hemp now. They’re making products like – The top left there is a door panel
made for Mercedes-Benz using fibre grass instead of fibreglass. Protein-rich pastas. And there’s animal bedding,
there’s omega fatty acid rich oils, all your omega three, six and nine
coming from hemp instead of coming from the sea, from fish. Obviously cosmetics, and then
the latest is the building industry. Pretty soon, we had our own shops, we had a full range of clothing,
body-care products, accessories, and we were really using the clothing
to spread a message, because there’s no faster way to change
someone’s mindset towards this plant than touching and feeling. The minute you can see
that it’s got value, it changes that paradigm:
hemp is a drug, cannabis a drug, no other use for it,
it’s the devil’s weed. The minute you can touch and feel it,
you can actually change that perception. Why we did it. This is our aim. I want to be that man,
I want to be standing in that hemp field. (Laughter) This is in England, by the way,
with their crappy climate on mud island. Imagine what hemp
would do here in South Africa. We have been doing trials here
since 1998, so 13 years. It grows up to three to four metres
in four months. That is an incredible rate of growth, it’s one of the most efficient
uses of sunlight, a photosynthesis rate
faster than any other plant. It provides way more fibre
per hectare than cotton. If we had a need for fibre,
the whole picture is our need for fibre: that’s how much land we’d need for cotton;
that’s how much land we’d need for hemp. It makes 250% more fibre
compared to cotton, so, basically, we would be able to free up
all the rest of the land for food. Instead of getting our oils
from the sea, from fish, omega fatty acids can come from hemp seed. Instead of cutting down forests for paper, we can grow hemp. On the bottom right there,
that’s a trial crop in Stellenbosch. As you can see,
the birds love it … they know. We were not happy
with the rate of change here. Fibre: we’ve got cotton in this country,
we’ve got sisal, we’ve got flax, it wasn’t really picking up. We saw what happened when we went into meetings
with the government and we pulled out this, a hemp brick. We showed them this,
hemp chipboard, tree-free chipboard. Next, hemp insulation. Who’s not touched
that horrible fibreglass stuff that’s all around you
at the moment in your house? You never get it out of your skin,
it takes a lot of energy to make. This will go back to being plant food,
it’s warm, it’s a hollow fibre, it has very good insulation
properties for your house. This is the Hemp House in Noordhoek. We decided to walk our talk
a little bit more, and take it to the next level,
starting insulation, chipboard, hempstalk. That’s a hempcrete wall over there,
using lime as a binder. There’s a lot of lime in this country, 50% of that wall was grown
in three to four months. There is no other resource
can do that for us. You can’t wait twenty years
for trees to grow. We can’t carry on extractive mining
of clay and cement: you’re taking things out of the planet;
this is about renewable resources. We did it also in a modular way, a much better way
of building in South Africa because it can happen so fast and all your quality control
goes on in the factory. It can be taken to site really quickly, and this was put up
in two-and-a-half weeks. That’s inside, obviously doing
the hempcrete walls, and slowly making it into a home. That is where it is at the moment. We have hemp carpets
in there, hemp curtains, the hemp lampshades are going in, the hemp bedspreads in, and I had my hempseed nut
smoothie this morning. Here we are showing hemp
in its green glory, trying to get us
into a renewable way of building instead of an extractive way of building. The media is loving it,
they are supporting us, so we are hoping this message
is going to really go forward. And that’s us opening
the gates to the hemp field. Thank you. (Applause)


  • Reply dee07killer May 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    legalization of this plant does something much worse than its prohibition, it gives the governments the right to decide for us what we can/cannot use.
    what needs to happen is decriminalization.
    i would also like to add as he only touched on it for a moment and did not fully explain it, hemp can produce 4 times the amount of paper pulp when compared to trees, also it takes 4 months from seed to harvest compared to 20+ years for most trees.
    book for more information: 'the emperor wears no clothes'

  • Reply Charles Fraser May 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    "The greatest service that can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture." -Thomas Jefferson

    love you Tony!

  • Reply DWardall November 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Very nice! Patience pays…

  • Reply IntrospectiveGalaxy February 23, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Umm. Calling hemp a different plant from marijuana is incorrect. The plant is called cannabis. There are different strains and by growing it differently it can produce what we know as marijuana and hemp. But it's the same plant.

  • Reply Oregon Hemp December 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Awesome! Nice work! Hemp for the future! 

  • Reply JD DJ December 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Well said Tony!

  • Reply HempOutAgency October 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    We loved this presentation, great work Tony Budden!!

  • Reply Callum Tyler March 7, 2015 at 8:20 am

    LoL on of the most useful TED talks that could change the world & only 4 & a half thousand views :/

  • Reply Chad Harris April 25, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Cannabis and Hemp are the SAME PLANT.  Same Species Cannabis Sativa l, There is no difference from the fibers of one VS the other.  some of what he's saying is obviously slanted towards, the drug war :(.  But the rest of the info is decently accurate.

  • Reply Sisi July 17, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Hemp material for building is also fireproof and mold resistant, regulates the temperature and cleans up the air, but is forbidden to grow in America. The only variety left, not thrown out by politicians in the 50'ies, in Sweden, is also forbidden in Sweden but I did manage to buy some hemp material there for insulation so something they do have now.

  • Reply Julia Lerner August 15, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Does the hemp have any CBD in it?

  • Reply Dennis Gaffney November 16, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    We don't know but suspect that the higher the THC content equals better flowers, equal more seeds. So higher THC makes better hemp, and hemp seed.

  • Reply Plz COMMENT SHARE SUBSCRIBE February 5, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Awesome Tony !

  • Reply spacepeace April 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Thankyou in anticipation of a constructive consideration and a positive response to this report by Henri Dowd, Chairman of the Church of Nature, and Director of Green Hemp Peace. The truth is our greatest foundation. The truth is in Nature and the Truth has set us FREE in the peace, love and harmony, hope, faith and trust in Mother Nature to meet the challenges with confidence in the pursuit of excellence. Hemp for Victory.Facts on Hemp & Prohibition – Internet Research on the cause and effect impact of Prohibition of Hemp and the resulting Dupont based systems monopoly of paper, plastics, fuel and fibre processing, and the supply and demand effects of subsequent human activity on Climate Change post 20th Century Industrial Age and the Plight of the Green Age Revolution in the name of survival success and further Evolution of the Human species and Industry harmonization throughout the Third Millennium @ Peace with Mother Nature: Prohibition of Hemp which begun in the 1930's in the USA has caused global climate change. Crude Oil and Deforestation as we now know are the major causes of the change in climate controls. Alternatively Hemp produces Ethanol which is a clean burning bio-fuel and is a carbon negative solution, it is the safest bio-fuel known to mankind. Hemp also produces archival quality paper which was used to invent paper in China over 2 thousand years ago. Hemp extracts 5 times more carbon emissions than we produce at a ratio of 2 hectares to one human. This ratio represents 50 million hectares in Australia to reverse climate change and must be grown worldwide before 2045 when crude oil ends. Australia was originally planned to be a hemp colony. Queen Elizabeth the first ordered all her farmers to grow 10% Hemp for the survival of the colony. Hemp is a carbo-hydrate/oxygen model and is carbon negative with carbon dioxide extraction process whereas crude oil/petroleum is a hydro-carbon/carbon dioxide model. 10% of Australia's farmspace is equal to 50 million hectares.
    Global Warming is REVERSABLE with Hemp Carbon Sequestration. Hemp produces 4 times more paper per hectare than trees. Hemp has 77% cellulous and grows in 110 days on farmspace, compared to trees which have only 33% cellulous and grow in a lifetime and are our forests carbon banks / oxygen supply.  Hemp was the world's largest crop before prohibition. Cannabis Cures Cancer in 5 ways – Anti-Proliferative, Anti-Metastatic, Anti-Angiogenic, Apoptotic, Anti-Oxidant. Hemp is as safe and simple as a cup of herbal tea. Cannabis Oil is a medicinal plant extract which has been successful with treating 250 types of Health Problems including scientifically proven cure for cancer, depression and aggression et al. Hemp has 50,000 green age uses including paper, plastics, bio-fuel which is clean burning and non toxic, textiles, food, medicine, building materials, hempcrete, paint, solvent, cosmetics, automotive parts, fibre-composites,UV repellant sun screen, bread & milk, vitamins & minerals.
    Hemp also produces the strongest textile fibre known to man, stronger than nylon made by Dupont. Hemp also produces a bio-degradable plastic which is eco-friendly because it self destructs in landfill over time to zero waste as in nature all matter in the forests and permaculture reduces to zero waste. Hemp is Natural and Safe. Hemp seeds are a vital food source which contains no THC. Hemp seeds contain vitamins a,b,d,e and 3 micro and 3 macro nutrients and minerals and omega 3 and 6. It also contains a rich oil. THC found in the Flowers of the Hemp plant is a cure for cancer and a euphoriant which stimulates theta brain waves. The chemical THC acts like the naturally occurring anandamide and works like a key in a lock in CB1 and CB2 receptors known as the endo-cannabinoid biological system.
    THC relieves stress, relaxes the muscles and enhances pleasure by stimulating the neuro-receptors in the brain. THC is known to induce feelings of happiness, laughter, contentment and joy. THC is safe. There is no Over Dose with Hemp. THC does not effect driving skills and is not an excuse for revenue raising nor driver's license cancellation which subsequently would cause a crisis worldwide in victims of political harassment. THC, CBN, CBD and the other 63 chemicals found in the plant have been used as medicine to treat approximately 250 health problems for 5,000 years in China.
    Hemp as a "Recreational" Drug is often compared to Alcohol and Tobacco, yet both these addictive substances are not medicine and are legal and cause illness and death. Hemp is safer than both Alcohol and Tobacco and less addictive than coffee and doesn't ever cause illness or death.
    Prohibition of Hemp as renamed with the alias "Marihuana" by Harry J. Anslinger was a conspiracy begun in the 1930's to protect Dupont and his four patents including paper made from forest trees which contributed to 45% deforestation of our carbon bank/oxygen supply and endangerment and extinction of species and global warming. Plastics which cause landfill problems for a thousand years. Fuel which pollutes our atmosphere and causes health problems and Global Warming which causes climate change, sea level rises and dangerous storms which causes flooding, destruction and depression in the economy.
    Prohibition causes mistruths from Government & Nation, poverty, mental illness, unemployment, suffering, fear, incarceration and death (murder and suicide) and causes family crisis worldwide. Government support of Dupont is to blame.
    Dupont is responsible for the conspiracy which caused the prohibition of Hemp, the genocide of species, drug war, civil war, oil wars and subsequent climate change. Dupont is also responsible for causing the incarceration of approximately 20,000,000 people in America. Dupont is responsible for prohibition of the cure for cancer and 250 other illnesses. Dupont is one of the richest men in the world because of the prohibition of hemp conspiracy. Dupont's leading scientist committed suicide two weeks after prohibition began.
    Dupont funded several movies and newspaper reports by William Randolph Hearst, designed to attack Hemp the competition to Dupont's paper, plastics, fuel and fibre patents. These media broadcasts where used to brainwash the government and the public into believing Hemp under the new name "Marihuana" was dangerous and "maddened victims" yet the truth is Hemp medicine was marketed in chemists as safe medicine used for thousands of years. A report in the Popular Mechanics magazine outlined Hemp as a Billion Dollar crop which threatened the viability of Hearst's Newspaper Company and Dupont's Chemical Company. The US treasurer was Dupont's Banker and related by marriage to Harry J. Anslinger the Head of the newly formed Drug Enforcement Agency of the late 1930's when prohibition began.
    Hemp has been farmed for approximately 12,000 years. One of the oldest man-made artifacts is of hemp clothing. The first USA flag and constitution were made from Hemp fibre and paper. The first Bible was made of Hemp. Hemp was the first crop grown in America. Dupont is the most dangerous man in Human History and committed "the greatest crime of the 20th century" responsible for 10.5 million cancer deaths a year which equates to 790 million deaths since 1937. The Nazi's, USA, Australian and British Government all support Dupont. Dupont is guilty of industrial sabotage.
    Prohibition is basically laws based on lies. It is a classic case of conspiracy to sabotage the Hemp industry which would otherwise compete well with Dupont and Pharmaceutical Companies.
    The Universal Human Rights Act (UHR48) states "Everyone has the right to Medical Care" since 1948. Basically there is no logical reason why Hemp should be banned. Hemp is Safe and Superior and Historically Successful from Seed to Salvation @ Peace with Mother Nature. 
    The Bible, 12 US Presidents, 124,000 Doctors, Royalty, Green Hemp Peace, 18.75 Million Australians, the Prime Minister, 96% of all Americans, and the current US President all support the Full Legalization of Hemp for Medicine – known also as (Medical Cannabis or Medical Marijuana), Hemp Paper, Hemp Bio-Plastics, Food, Bio- Fuel, Fibre, Hempcrete, and 50,000 different bio-products for the 3rd Millennium as a positive, safe and secure natural solution to global warming, deforestation, crude oil end, crude oil wars and the cancer crisis in accordance with the Universal Human Rights 1948 LAW.
    How Change Happens… Whether it was the gay rights movement, the civil rights movement, the women's movement, ending the drug war or the fight for $15 minimum wage, change always happens when millions of people demand it. When the American people stand up and fight, they win.Thankyou.

  • Reply Bruce Ryan May 21, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Food, clothing, shelter, fuel & medicine. Plus it sucks up CO2 like a demon. P.S. "Hemp" is a breeding exercise dating from 1974 in France as part of the global "drug war"…. not the other way around. Prior to that, all "hemp" was cannabis ie: marijuana. The MAJORITY of strains worldwide are directly and genetically related to the "drug" strains according to Robert Clarke.

  • Reply Bruce Ryan September 24, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Horsefeathers. Very SUPERIOR fibre comes from 'dope' rather than "hemp" …hemp is a breeding program from the 1970's as part of the Drug War Agenda. Semantics. Pure Orwellian BS. Hemp=Marijuana=Cannabis

  • Reply Trip on THIS ! February 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    So much talk about climate change, here is a plant that locks up carbon, cleans the soil.Then we can use it to built a home, make cloths to wear, and eat the seeds to live. WTF.The only problem, the 1% will start losing profit, so it is supressed.

  • Reply WEDO.BOY.420 November 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    the government knows and has the way to make things right and green but are to worried about their wallets instead of the people thay are supposed to represent

  • Reply Margaret Durrant February 4, 2018 at 3:11 am

    I've heard of hemp and alpaca sheets tested in hospitals they had much less mold and mildew if any at all something to think about

  • Reply Nature's Serenity February 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    It's a beautiful herb! ☮

  • Reply Karen Scotland Kirosingh March 8, 2018 at 12:22 am

    Great work in South Africa and yes it can do so much to help many

  • Reply Taffy Tafgong June 24, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Nice talk Tony!

  • Reply Tai Le January 14, 2019 at 2:57 am

    the potential is endless when your down to grow it.

  • Reply Gamers Land May 9, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    now sharks want to profit from it. why not 100 years ago?

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