By Melanie Asmar Thursday, Mar 14 2013

George Washington loved hemp.

Our nation’s first president thought so much of the plant that he once famously wrote to his gardener, “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere.”

farmerWestwordCover_FBsBut Washington’s interests didn’t lie in smoking hemp, marijuana’s less famous cousin. A variety of Cannabis sativa that contains little to none of the psychoactive ingredient THC, hemp is good for almost anything except getting you high: you can eat it, wear it, wash yourself with it and build your house out of it. It’s strong, nutritious and naturally pest-resistant.

In the United States, hemp is also illegal.