The Many Uses of Hemp
CBD oil isn’t the only way hemp benefits the world. It has a long history of use, spanning a whole range of industries. In fact, it is widely thought that hemp was one of the first crops to be cultivated by humans. It is only in the last century that hemp has fallen out of favour – but even this is coming to an end. With the resurgence of hemp as an agricultural crop, the many and varied uses it has are also making a comeback. So we thought we would take a look at some of the other ways hemp is used.
Did you know the very first engines were designed to run on peanuts? They could quite literally be made into a bio fuel diesel. The same can be said for hemp, which is now being eyed up as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Why? Hemp is highly resistant to mould and pests, it is easy on the soil, and grows quickly, leading many to see it as a sustainable and renewable source.
FOOD: FOR BOTH LIVESTOCK AND HUMANS
It just so happens that the seeds hemp produce are highly nutritious. They are a complete source of protein, and full of vitamins and minerals. In fact, throughout history, Australia has relied on them to get them through times of drought. Not only this, they are full of other beneficial nutrients and oils, are easy to digest, and can be produced in vast quantities due to the ease with which hemp is grown.
When it comes to livestock, the cake left over from seed oil pressing is also highly nutritious and makes for a cheap, renewable and healthy source of food.
The fibres of hemp can be used to produced fabric and textiles – including for clothing. Furthermore, hemp becomes softer the more you wear and wash it, to the point it is much more comfortable than cotton. It is also much more sustainable to grow than cotton. Hemp has been used as a source of textiles for centuries and continues to be used so.
Much in the same way hemp can replace petroleum in the production of fuel, it can also replace it in the production of plastic. However, unlike normal plastic, hemp plastic is not only strong but biodegradable – offering a solution to the world’s growing plastic problem. It makes it sustainable and clean! Henry Ford even built his first car using a hemp plastic composite, which was said to be 10x stronger than steel.
The fibres of hemp are ideal for producing paper, and up until around 100 years ago, were the primary source of its production. Hemp grows faster and more sustainable than wood and able to produce far more fibrous material per acre – making it an ideal source. Once again, hemp is making a resurgence in this industry, and it is helping to preserve forest land.
Concrete made from hemp, also known as hempcrete, is another use this versatile plant has to offer. Within the eco-build sector, hempcrete has made waves. Due to the plant sustainability, it is an obvious choice for many looking to build a home in an environmentally friendly way. Not only this, but hempcrete is stronger than traditional concrete, and is carbon negative – literally taking carbon out of the air as it solidifies, locking it away. It can also be used as insulation, further adding to hemp’s value.
Hemp can be used to make sustainable and healthy cosmetics. The oil pressed from hempseed is full of vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining skin health. It is also known to help calm and sooth rashes. In fact, it is such a potent ingredient, that many leading cosmetic chains are now using it in their products. Its main uses within the industry are to moisturise, cleanse and soothe!
As you can see, hemp is an extremely versatile plant. Sure, it is not being utilised to its full potential, but this is slowly changing as the emphasis on finding sustainable ways to live grows. While CBD oil production is one of the many advantage hemp has to offer, there are so many ways it can benefit the world. It may not be a miracle crop (or maybe it is), but we can say for certain that hemp has a large role to play in a society looking to improve itself. So get out there and start using hemp-based products!