Back in 1937, the journal “Popular Science” published an article with the title: “Hemp, the New Billion Dollar Crop” which lists over 25,000 uses for this amazing substance. Recent estimates have updated that number to over 50,000 uses, with more being discovered and improved upon every day. Despite its undeniable applications, hemp is still being relegated to the backwoods of popular scientific discussion. We here at Shop CBD online want to see that change. First, we must examine the reasons why.
The second World War absolutely factors into this unfortunate series of events. The demand for wartime supplies quickly outpaced the limited hemp producers off the time, which helped to suppress what could have been the hemp revolution of the time. Post war propaganda regarding the narcotic effects of cannabis led to production to fall away, with unfair legislation being used to ban the growth of this miracle crop. In many parts of the USA it is still absurdly defined as a Class-A drug, despite the fact that it has NO PSYCHOACTIVE EFFECTS WHATSOEVER!
This ban led the way for the takeover of synthetic fibers which are less durable than hemp and come at a greater environmental cost. Luckily, the culture is shifting, and a new hemp revolution may well be on the way. Hemp’s production has recently been experimented with in the United States on research farms, and there are signs that its full-fledged production may be returning.
This is a great thing, as the U.S. is amazingly the number one consumer of hemp on the planet! More liberal legislation is needed, and seems to be forthcoming from our government. One can only hope that this leads to greater use of the cannabis plant for our industrial causes. More uses for the cannabis plant are being discovered every day, and the possibilities appear to be endless.
But first, we should examine what is so special about hemp.
Historically speaking, strong evidence suggests that hemp is one of the earliest plants to be grown for human use. Hemp plants can reach heights of between 15 and 20 feet, without the use of fertilizer. No harmful herbicides or pesticides are necessary for its growth, and it can be grown anywhere on Earth. Hemp Seeds can grow up to 4 meters in an astounding 14 weeks. It has long roots which draw nutrients from deep inside in the soil that allows for the growth of new crops which feed off the nutrients near the surface. Because of this, it is an astoundingly eco-friendly crop.
But how is hemp different from Cannabis?
In reality, hemp and cannabis are actually the same plant. The differences arise in relation to the levels of Tetrahydrancannabinol or THC. THC is the compound which provides the famous ‘high’ from smoking weed. Hemp becomes classed as cannabis once its THC levels reach a certain point, typically over 2.5%. Cannabis is grown for its narcotic qualities, hemp is grown for its use as an industrial product. Over time it has been selectively bred to have very low THC counts, and high amounts of fibre for industrial and culinary purposes.
Another special cannabinoid found in hemp is known as CBD (Cannabidiol”). This is a widely used natural medicine and health supplement. CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. Even when taken in large quantities it cannot make a person “high”.
Hemp and Hemp Oil Benefits
Hemp as Food
Hemp seeds and Hemp Hearts are known to have many nutritional properties. You can eat them raw and are commonly added to breakfast cereals. Some people also like to eat them with salads, or mix them with smoothies. Even the leaves can also be eaten! Hemp seeds contain an ideal balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids for eventual absorption in the body. They also contain other vitamins and minerals including the B group and iron. Thus making hemp seeds and hemp hearts extremely nutritious and perfect contribution towards a healthy lifestyle
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is derived from cannabis. Though marijuana comes from the same plant, hemp seeds contain just trace amounts of THC (the most active ingredient of marijuana), and as you might be wondering, they don’t get you high.
The oil is replete with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and other essential fatty acids (like GLA, which we will discuss in a while), all of which are known to combat diseases like inflammatory arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Using hemp for textiles is one of its oldest uses. It is thought that hemp was first cultivated in China for this exact purpose, who used it to make clothing of great softness and quality.
Hemp fibers are extracted from the stalks of the plant, and are as long as the plant itself, making it strong and durable. But the benefits don’t stop there. Chemicals found in it contain antibacterial and anti-fungal agents, making it ideal material to make antibacterial textiles. A Colorado company is in the works creating hemp textiles to fight staph infections by replacing the cotton and polyester with hemp-based textiles.
Biocomposite and “Zeoform”
A bio composite made with hemp’s fibre can be just as strong as fibreglass but much lighter. This biocomposite is currently used in cars made by Audi, Ford, Chrysler, BMW GM, Mercedes, Lotus and Honda. Most recently the BMW 13, an electric car, was able to lose 10% of its weight from the door panels using hemp composite in the place of traditional materials.
Recently an Australian company has even created plastic from it’s fibers, bypassing the use of fossil fuels or other toxic chemicals. This new product has been called “Zeoform”, and is a mixture of plant fiber and water and is fully compostable. Zeoform is extremely tough and also biodegradable because it relies on the natural process of hydrogen bonding that happens when cellulose is exposed to water. No glue is required because the bond id so strong, and it can be moulded into any shape. Zeoform can be molded to form almost anything such as jewelry, lamps, auto prints, furniture, even musical instruments
“We should be able to live in an environment that is non toxic; one that helps clean rather than contaminate the air, the Earth, and our bodies” -Anthony Brenner
When Anthony Brenner built the first hempcrete house in the USA in 2010, he had created the first house with a breathable wall system. This allows for healthier air quality and a more stable temperature and humidity. Experiments with smaller hempcrete homes have been attempted in Europe in the past 20 years and are especially popular in France.
Traditionally Europeans have preferred to build their houses using traditional methods, but this is fast changing. Hemp is being exposed as the clearly superior building material, only recently being utilized to its full potential. Hempcrete is super light and good for the environment, energy efficient and costs less for its use in construction.
Hempcrete is created by combining the wood core of the plant with a lime-based binding agent. The core contains a high silica amount. This characteristic makes it easier to bind effectively to the lime. Because the hempcrete is bendable, it will not crack under movement making it three times more effective at protecting against earthquakes compared to regular concrete. Another thing you can use it for is to repair old wattle and daub buildings because it lets the natural materials breathe beneath it. In addition, it is pest, mould and mildew resistant due to the alkaline qualities of lime. It is also non toxic and will not release gaseous (and dangerous) organic compounds into the interiors air. But the benefits don’t stop there! Hempcrete has excellent aucoustic properties, and is easily molded to make exact openings for windows and doors of buildings, all while being watertight. It can also be used as excellent insulation, and regulates humidity while capturing airborne pollutants over time, along with carbon. A simple six inch coating of hempcrete can drastically improve insulation and even reduce energy costs by up to 50%!
To summarize, hempcrete houses help us to reduce our carbon footprint and cut our energy bills in half. Hempcrete is part of the future in reducing our reliance on coal, oil, natural gas and dangerous nuclear energy.
As if hempcrete wasn’t amazing enough already, it is also fully recyclable! While the traditionally built modern house has the expected life span of maybe 80 years or so, hempcrete homes are estimated to last been 300 to 800 years, after which they can be recycled into brand new hempcrete walls!
Reported by the United Nations in 2007, somewhere between 3 to 6 million trees are harvested each year to make paper in the United States. “There appears to be little doubt that under the present system of forest use and consumption the present supply cannot withstand the demands placed upon it” said the Department of Agriculture.
Even in spite of all the laws enacted to make sure tree harvest are sustainable, it is impossible to ensure the replacement of a healthy forest. The solution of this is… wait for it… Hemp! Quality paper can be sustained because it is manufactured from incredibly fast-growing hemp.
Hemp as paper has in fact been used for thousands of years. Because of its ability to be recycled so many more times than wood-based paper, and the fact that hemp is so fast to grow, this is the obvious solution to deforestation for the purposes of paper.
The main argument against hemp these days is that unrestricted production will lead to the country being flooded with unregulated, psychoactive cannabis. This argument is flawed for one main reason, it cannot be grown for any psychoactive effect. Its THC levels are so negligible, and the plant itself grown so skinny and fibrous that it would be useless for use as a drug crop. Secondly, Cannabis is being legalized all over the United States and is already being moved to fully legal status in the entire country of Canada. Such archaic views of marijuana are on the decline, and pretty soon both hemp and cannabis will be grown to their full potential. We here at Shop CBD Online couldn’t be happier!