Hemp is the common name given to the entire genus of Cannabis plants, which includes three different species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. However, the word hemp is generally used to refer to Cannabis strains which are grown for industrial purposes. Hemp has long been used for producing fiber, seed-based oils, and seeds as food. Other species of Cannabis are also used as a common street and recreational drug, known as marijuana, which is also used for medicinal purposes. Industrial hemp products are made from selected Cannabis plants to produce an abundance of fiber. (WikipediA)
Industrial hemp has immense value in various industries, including paper, textiles, plastics, fuel, food, medicine, and in the construction industry. Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants known to man, and is also one of the fist plants cultivated my humankind.
The legality of Cannabis varies widely from state to state in the United States due to the use of some species as a recreational drug. In many states, there are also regulatory limits for concentrations of psychoactive drug compounds. Some Cannabis cannot be used as a drug to get you intoxicated because the THC level in some plants are lower than the drug version of Cannabis, which is commonly known as marijuana or “weed” on the street.
Growing hemp can easily address some global issues, such as cutting down trees for the paper industry, the release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, the use of chemical and toxic pesticides, and much more. Hemp can even be used to produce bio-degradable plastic. Here are a few of the products that industrial hemp can be used for.
Hemp fibers are ideal for fabrics. Hemp fibers do not wear out. On the contrary, they become softer every time you wash them. Fabrics made from hemp are non-allergic to skin, and hemp plants do not need herbicides or chemical pesticides while growing. They are, therefore, safer for the environment and for your skin. An acre of hemp produces 3 to 4 times more fiber than an acre of cotton. (Collective-Evolution)
2. Paper and Cardboard products
Hemp is a very fast-growing plant and can regenerate within months, where trees take 30 years to be ready for harvest. The ingredient needed for making paper from tree pulp is the cellulose. Trees are made up of only 30% cellulose, while hemp contains 85%. Converting trees into paper requires converting trees in to pulp and removing other materials until cellulose can be used for making paper. This process produces a great deal of wastage and uses much more energy, fuel, and water. Hemp is a better alternative to cutting trees for making paper and cardboard products.
There are two ways you can get fuel from hemp. Hemp seeds can be pressed and turned into bio diesel. Hemp stalks can also be turned into ethanol and methanol through the fermentation processes. Bio diesel is a much cleaner, bio degradable, and non-toxic alternative to fossil fuels.
4. Plastics and building materials
Henry Ford created the first bio-fueled car. He also made the body of the car out of veggie-plastics, spruce pulp, wheat, flax, and hemp. The auto body made by Henry Ford was lighter than steel, and yet, could endure 10 times the impact without denting. Hemp can be used to make various different types of building materials, sheathing materials, blocks, stucco, fiberboard, concrete, carpet, insulation, and plastic. Hemp building supplies are rot and mold free, pest resistant, and a lot better for the environment. Hemp plastic is biodegradable and more sustainable and durable when compared to the oil-based plastic.
Hemp is great for your health, as well. Hemp seeds are high in nutritional value. They contain high amounts of dietary fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and provide “complete” protein. Hemp seeds taste great with salads or with your favorite dishes.
You can clearly see that hemp can be used for various purposes, which reduce air pollution, pressure on forests, carbon emission through fossil fuels, and also provides nutritional value and addresses other environmental issues.
Would you like to know more about industrial hemp? Please register and learn all about hemp from our next bi-weekly Huddle Webinar guest, Anndrea Hermann, the President of Hemp-Technologies Global and Chief Development Science Officer, Hemp Division of Creative Edge Nutrition. She is also the adviser for Nutiva Foods, owner of The Ridge International Cannabis Consulting, and is an instructor at Oregon State University WSE266 Industrial Hemp.
Source: Nourish the Planet