In a world where we are used to disposable, synthetic and environmentally harmful products and processes, is hemp the secret weapon in this fight against the "plastic age"? A practical and renewable resource, the plant has many applications. Read on to find the top 10.
Often referred to as “the gift of the gods to humanity”, hemp is a sustainable and renewable resource that has many practical uses in everyday life. At the same time, hemp is not yet fully integrated into our modern society, in large part due to disinformation and decades-old prejudices. This is why hemp is underutilized, despite its versatility. Let's take a look at what is possible to do with this revolutionary plant.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP, CANNABIS, AND WEED?
Hemp, cannabis, and weed all come from the Cannabis genus but have different connotations. Contrary to popular belief, hemp is not a separate subspecies, as may be C. indica, C. sativa, or C. ruderalis. Rather, it is a type of cannabis made from selective crosses, primarily cultivated for its seeds and fibres.
Given these applications, plants must contain consistently negligible levels of the mind-altering cannabinoid THC in order to qualify as industrial hemp. This THC criterion is the main legal distinction between hemp and other types of cannabis.
Weed, or marijuana, quite simply describes the type of cannabis that gets you high. These days, the term herb is rarely used to describe cannabis plants, but rather refers to the end product (the buds). The term cannabis is probably the most versatile, as it describes both the plant and all the forms that its components take.
TOP 10 MODERN USES FOR HEMP
Prohibition - which was, and still is, driven by corporate and political interests - caused non-psychoactive hemp to be abandoned as a resource for many years. It is only nowadays when renewable and sustainable resources are desperately needed, that hemp is making a comeback to reclaim its deserved place as a major industrial crop.
Here are the 10 most interesting and significant applications for hemp. You might be able to replace some of your synthetic products with hemp alternatives!
1. CLOTHING AND TEXTILES
For thousands of years, hemp fibres have been used in the creation of clothing and textiles. Everything from the sails and ropes of ships, to the soft and pleasant clothes, can be woven from the strong fibres of hemp. The use of hemp in the textile industry is nothing new, it was simply out of fashion due to pressure from the cotton and man-made industries.
Cultivation of hemp does not require as much water as that of cotton and it also grows very quickly. The end result is a sustainable material, which can help reduce the enormous destructive impact on the environment of cotton production. Despite a higher average cost, hemp clothing is generally of a much higher quality and should last longer.
As an alternative to wood-based paper, it is believed that until 1883, up to 90% of all paper in the world was made with hemp! Because of prohibition, we don't see a lot of hemp paper these days. Some even believe that because of the threat hemp posed to larger industries, many giants like the chemical company DuPont and Gulf Oil campaigned to restrict the use of hemp.
Overall, hemp paper is much stronger than wood-based paper and it stands up to time. There have even been cases where 1500-year-old hemp paper has been found intact. In addition to its used, hemp paper can be recycled many times compared to the wood-based alternative. Thanks to its natural durability, hemp paper is often used to create rolling papers by companies like RAW. What could be better than enjoying your natural weed with 100% natural leaves?
It's no real surprise that hemp as a substitute for plastic is on our list. As one of the most common materials in everyday objects these days, plastic is extremely harmful to our environment, mainly because it is not biodegradable. Hemp, however, is 100% biodegradable.
There are already alternative plastics on the market, many of which are produced from plant cellulose, a critical component found in abundance in hemp. Plastic made from hemp is both stronger and more environmentally friendly than plastic made from petrochemicals.
There are documents showing Henry Ford, the famous car maker and founder of the Ford Motor Company, making a car from hemp plastic. It was considered ten times stronger than steel while being safer and cheaper to produce. To quote Ford himself, a car “grown in our own land”.
Hemp has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry and make housing construction much more environmentally friendly. Builders can use all the significant components of hemp (oils and fibres) to recreate the characteristics of wood, concrete, plastics, bricks, insulation and even siding.
“Hemp concrete” is a popular and revolutionary product, it is a concrete formula made from hemp. Hemp concrete is perfect for building walls and foundations because it is seven times stronger, weighs half the weight, and is three times more pliable than traditional concrete. Hempcrete has proven to be a valuable building material that is environmentally friendly, easy to work with, but currently expensive.
Although this is a subject that is still the subject of scientific research today, there are many benefits of using hemp as a natural skin care product. Hemp oil and CBD oil can be consumed daily to strengthen the diet and promote general well-being and internal balance.
These days, it's not uncommon to see CBD or hemp products in the supermarket or drugstore in the west and some European countries. This is due in part to the recent popularity of CBD. Indeed, CBD oil is one of the most popular products. While the quality and strength of each product vary, they all use the influence of non-psychoactive, hemp-derived CBD.
Hemp oil (or hemp seed oil), on the other hand, does not contain any cannabinoids, but it is very nutritious and can be used in cooking and in skincare. It can also be used as a carrier in CBD oil to fully utilize the benefits of the hemp plant. It's a no-brainer, the popularity of CBD oil has never been greater.
6. COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE
Hemp is full of natural nutrients, oils and minerals that are beneficial for the skin and hair. This explains why hemp is frequently featured in all kinds of cosmetics and skin care products. Even in countries where hemp cultivation is prohibited, the cosmetics industry has still been able to take advantage of the plant's beneficial phytochemicals.
Some popular hemp-based cosmetic and skin care products include:
Hair care products
With the reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the growth of more environmentally friendly solutions, it is no surprise that hemp is being used as a substitute for traditional fuels. Biodiesel is a specific application, it is a fuel that works immediately in conventional diesel engines.
So why has this totally renewable and sustainable resource not become the basic fuel in our modern society? We can say thank you to the big oil companies and their attempts to stifle the market and make their fuel the “only” option.
Hemp-based fuel has many advantages:
Self-sufficiency - hemp can be grown and it is sustainable.
Can be prepared at home - although it is a complex process, it is totally possible to produce biodiesel at home.
No shortages - as it is a truly renewable resource, there will never be a shortage of hemp.
Non-toxic - processing fossil fuels is harmful, not a problem with hemp.
Biodegradable - biodiesel is biodegradable, which reduces its environmental impact.
8. AGRICULTURE (BIOREMEDIATION)
Besides being environmentally friendly when cultivated, hemp is also useful in restoring damaged environments. A hardy and resilient plant, hemp can be planted where other plants do not survive and it will “clean” the soil around it. It is a process called phytoremediation. The removal and uptake of contaminants in the soil by hemp allows other plants to thrive where they previously could not.
This is an area that continues to be the subject of a lot of scientific research. The potential of bioremediation for the environment is enormous and should not be overlooked. As the need for crops continually increases, the areas where these crops are grown must be nurtured.
9. FOODS AND DRINKS
Hemp has a long and well-documented history as a food source. Evolution over several centuries has given rise to interesting products and developments.
Hemp seeds are very nutritious and packed with the right amount of fatty acids, amino acids, protein and more! In fact, hemp seeds are so beneficial that they are often classified as a superfood! Many healthcare professionals and personal coaches find hemp protein supplements far superior to traditional powders on the market.
For the ordinary consumer who just wants to enjoy a hemp drink or snack, there are many products available. In terms of drinks, you can find refreshing hemp juices and smoothies, as well as hemp herbal tea for a hot treat. However, if you are more into sweets, this is Hemp Crunchy Chocolate for you! A savoury blend of coffee-flavoured milk chocolate, corn flakes and a hearty amount of toasted hemp seeds, this is a delicious snack that you will enjoy from the first bite!
10. ANIMAL FEED
As we have seen how nutritious and beneficial hemp foods and drinks are for humans, it is only natural that the plant is also used to feed animals.
Hemp seeds are often seen in birdseed mixtures because it is a rich form of energy. It is a well-known and documented fact that birds fed with hemp seeds live up to 10-20% longer, have more offspring and can even fly longer due to improved performance. feathers.
For cattle and other animals that need a much more complex diet, there is hemp seed bread. It is a product derived from the pressure of hemp seeds, which is a convenient and highly nutritious animal feed solution. Hemp seed bread meets the nutritional needs of most animals, domesticated or not. Compared to more traditional animal feed, hemp is indeed an effective alternative.
HEMP IS THE FOOT: A PLANT WITH A MILLION APPLICATIONS
As you might expect, we've only scratched the surface of hemp's capabilities. Even though it's a plant that humanity has used for centuries, we are still discovering new and exciting ways to put hemp to good use. Other applications include:
The list of possibilities is endless. Over time, we will certainly see the constant emergence of new hemp products, freed from the prejudices long associated with this wonderful plant.