Industrial hemp has been used for thousands of years to make everything from Food to Clothing. but lets get somethings cleared up first. Hemp and Marijuana are two different strains of the Cannabis plant, while Marijuana is harvested for its flowers high THC content which provided the psychoactive effect desired, Hemp is harvested for its stock and their fibers and has a very low THC content. In fact it would literally take 1 ton of hemp to get a psychoactive effect, and lets be honest, if you’re trying to smoke a ton of hemp, you have a lot more problems than trying to get high.
Hemp can be used to make thousands of different products, but here are five that are simply MIND-BLOWING:
This you’ve probably heard of, but hemp is such an ideal plant for making paper and has been used that reason for the past 2,000 years. reasons for it’s low production in today’s market (0.05%) range from propaganda instigated by the timber industry to the age of the processing equipment being so out of date that it would be several times more expensive to make.
However hemp is a far better and quicker source for renewable and sustainable pulp for paper. Hemp grows from seed to harvest with in a few months, where as in trees can take 30 years of more to be ready to be made into paper. Government studies report that the paper made from 1 acre of hemp, is the equivalent to 4.1 acres of trees to make the same amount of paper
DID YOU KNOW?
In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940′s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees would need to be cut down.
If we as a collective society decide that we rather buy hemp paper rather than tree paper, we could SAVE and REPLANT the worlds forests!
2. Building Supplies
Of all the uses for hemp, a real Mind-Opener is all the different sorts of building materials it provides:
Hemp based materials can replace wood and other materials used to build homes and other structures including foundations, walls, shingles, paneling, pipes, and paint. You can make it into insulation as companies in the Netherlands and Ireland are already doing. Hemp can even be used to make ‘hempcrete’, a stronger, lighter, and more environmentally friendly version of concrete, which is lightweight, waterproof, fireproof, self-insulating and resistant to pests..
Houses built from hemp have been found to use less energy, create less waste and take less fuel to heat than conventionally constructed homes.
Just about everything we buy has some form of plastic involved in the product. Almost everything is wrapped in cellophane and our landfills are littered with them. Standard plastic is made from fossil fuels using very toxic chemicals. From packaging to toys, a myriad of alternatives to plastic can be made from hemp.
In 1941, Henry Ford held a media event where he swung an axe at a prototype car body made of hemp and other plant material to prove its strength. The technology was never put into mass production, cars continued to be made of steel, and plastics made from petrochemicals became the norm. Possibly because of the monopolies Carnegie Steel and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil had on the marketplace.
Fortunately, the number of available products made from hemp plastics is on the increase as awareness of the importance of developing sustainable alternatives grows. More recently hemp has been made into shower curtain liners, CD & DVD cases, and all sorts of other products.
Yes, hemp can even be used to make bio-fuel!
Just like many other vegetable oil, hemp oil can be processed into bio-diesel Unlike fossil fuels, hemp fuel is renewable and produces significantly less carbon monoxide. It also stands to reason that hemp could also be utilized to make liquid fuels that are chemically identical to petroleum-based gasoline as well.
However there still are the concerns of converting the amount of land needed that could be used for hemp production, but the bio-diesel is certainly a viable option.
5. Chemical Cleanup
One of the most intriguing uses for hemp its ability to clean up up soil contamination. In 1998 industrial hemp was tested at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine to help heal the soil. by planting in to the ground in Chernobyl, hemp helped to remove radioactive elements and heavy metals from soil and water in the contaminated area. Because of its fast rate of growing each season, up to 250-400 plants per square meter each up to 15 feet tall, hemp shows good potential in cleaning up land contaminated with fly ash, sewage sludge, or other heavy metals.
Food for Thought: The reason for the under utilization of all these amazing uses for hemp is due to other industries efforts in suppressing this information in the hopes of their product continuing to thrive. But in the age of the internet, we are seeing that these previous industries are not sustainable and are ruining our planet. However something we forget is that these harmful industries thrive because we buy their products, if we all petitioned for and bought more hemp products, the marketplace will turn it’s way. Remember, together we are powerful enough to change anything.