If you spend any amount of time on social media, you have seen meme’s and pictures that claim that through the legalization of cannabis, we will stop all wars because all wars are fought over oil. Some people have even gone as far as to claim that hemp can 100 percent replace oil. While I am sure the people who say these things believe they have has some sort of moment of enlightenment or epiphany, the facts just aren’t on their side.
I would like to start this by saying that I am not against the legalization of cannabis nor am I paid by any oil company to say the things I am about to say.
The thought that all wars are fought over oil is uneducated and narrow minded. There is not one single fact that exists to even start to give that theory any credibility whatsoever. One could possibly argue that all of the recent wars fought in the middle east have been over oil, but that wouldn’t even be 100 percent accurate.
The first recorded evidence of a war was the one between the two city states Lagash and Umma, in the Mesopotamian region, estimated to have taken place in 2525 BC. Needless to say, but wars have taken place thousands of times for thousands of years for many reasons, before oil was being used in society. In fact, more wars have taken place prior to modern day oil usage than anytime after. It may seem like I am being a bit ridiculous, but so is the thought that hemp will stop all wars. Case in point is that there are very convincing arguments that the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. So not only did the usage of hemp NOT stop war, it was apparently the cause.
Since there is evidence that wars have already been fought over hemp, let’s look at the world where hemp has replaced oil.
It is a reasonably educated opinion that wars would be fought over cannabis, much like they have been fought over oil. Cannabis can’t grow everywhere and there are only certain countries and corporations that would have the land, money or technology to farm and process hemp in the amount that it would take to replace oil. Do you not think that there would potentially be wars over those prime growing lands? Do you not think that there would be wars over the hempdollar, much like the petrodollar? These are obviously things that the “hemp will stop all wars” people had not thought of.
So could hemp replace oil and if so, how much would have to be harvested and processed to do so?
Data from 2011, shows the entire world used 93 million barrels of oil per day. One pound of dry hemp is the equivalent of 2 ounces of oil. So let’s do some math! So 128 ounces is the equivalent to 1 gallon, that is 64 pounds of hemp for 1 gallon of oil. There is 42 gallons of oil in one barrel, multiply that by the 64 pounds of hemp per gallon, and that is 2688 pounds of dry hemp for one barrel of hemp oil. If you multiply the 2688 pounds of hemp it takes to make one barrel by the 93 million barrels used pers day, that is 249 billion pounds of dry hemp that would have to be harvested and processed every day. Now I know that hemp has a fast regeneration rate, but not at the rate that it would take to replace oil. But it is fun to dream.
Let us not forget about the technological adjustments and the trillions it would take to change things that currently use or is made by petroleum oil.
There is however a thought that is actually based in reality that hemp could possibly be used to supplement petroleum oil. It would act a bit like oils ALFAC. But a replacement it is not.