hemp uses featured image

Hemp and all it’s uses

When most people hear the word HEMP it conjures up images of peace signs obscured by clouds of skunk scented smoke. That’s unfortunate though because while hemp is a cannabis plant it is NOT the same as marijuana and it does some pretty amazing things.

What are the general differences?

  • Both are cannabis plants.
  • They both produce a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Both have been used in eastern and western medicines throughout history.

Hemp

  • High in CBD
  • Low in THC (It must have under .3% THC to be considered “industrial-grade” hemp.)
  • No psychedelic properties
  • Legal to sell and buy in all 50 states
  • Pretty much always grown outdoors (Think farm.)

Marijuana

  • Low in CBD (Almost untraceable.)
  • High in THC
  • Psychedelic properties
  • Illegal to sell, grow or possession in most States
  • Can be grown both indoors and outdoors although generally it’s done indoors. (Think greenhouse.)

Visuals

While it’s easy to see from that list that hemp and marijuana are related it’s also easy to see that they are different too. By “see” I mean to actually see. The plants look similar but very different. Look for yourself:

Industrial Hemp plant
In this image, you can clearly see the long stalks of the hemp plant. These fiber-filled powerhouses have a growth cycle of around 4 weeks and can produce enough plant fiber matter to produce 4X more paper per acre than trees that can take years or decades to grow. (The red leaf vines growing are grapevines growing up the side of the industrial hemp plant..)

 

Marijuana bush
This image depicts a pretty typical indoor grow are for the marijuana plant. Clearly, it is shorter and more bush-like than its hemp counterpart. The leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant look very like the hemp plant. The main difference outside of their THC and CBD content and other internal differences is the strength and fiber mass of their stalks.

 

Back to HEMP

Okay, so now we know the differences between the two plants. And we know that only the marijuana plant can get you high, but what does it do? It’s a long list but here are a variety of ways that hemp could be used.

 

Paper

Like I said above the hemp plant fibers are spectacular for use in creating paper. In fact, for every 4 acres of trees, we would only need 1 acre of hemp to make the same amount of paper. That seems like it should be pretty important since hemp has such a short grow time when compared to the years and decades it can take an acre of trees to grow. Hopefully, someday soon this type of paper will be more prevalent than tree paper.

 

 

Hemp Rope and Cords

Hemp Rope cord
The same fibers used to make the pulp for paperwork great in the creation of rope. There are upsides and downsides to this type of natural rope. The upside is that unlike synthetic ropes that tend to stretch and stretch which means you have to retighten and retighten it. Natural ropes typically stop stretching after the initial stretch. The downside is that natural ropes rot when exposed to the elements. So unless you are going to treat your natural ropes with a protective coating its probably best if you do not use them for prolonged periods outside.  However, if you need cord for indoor projects..it’s hard to find better holding stability than hemp.

 

 

Building Materials

hempcrete walls building hemp
What happens when you mix human ingenuity and natures miracle creations together? HempCrete is what happens. There are a ton of building materials that hemp is used for from panel walls to insulation and even hemp seed oil stains and lacquers but none of them are as cool in my opinion as hempcrete. The image above shows hemp bricks being used in the building of a home. I mean how cool is that?!?! Bricks are not the only building materials being made out of hemp either. Since hemp fiber is stronger than wood it’s also used in lumber.  This is a far cheaper building option that may make a real indent on housing in poverty-ridden areas of the world (and in other areas since the stuff is as high quality as it could be cheap.) Are you interested in learning more about what building materials are available and how to get them? Visit HERE for a great place to start.

 

 

Food and beverage

hemp food milk seed

Most of us have heard of hemp seed oil but not many of us realize just how many different food and drink options come from this beautiful plant. Other than the hemp seeds which are edible by themselves there is:

  • Milk
  • Cheese substitutes
  • Beer
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Protein shakes and drink mixes.
  • Tea
  • And a ton of additional foods and beverages not listed here.

Basically, if you are stuck on a desert island with a handful of hemp seeds, your doing better than you may think. It’s chalked full of nutrients and minerals as well as probiotics. So not only will you have a full belly, you will be getting healthy food.

 

Clothes and Fabric

Hemp has been used in fabrics and clothes throughout history. This tough, easy to work with, material is famous for it’s an inexpensive answer to clothing the masses in many countries such as India. Here in America, though up until recently it was not a common thing to find. With any luck that will be changing now that hemp is a viable option for the industrial world.

 

Hemp can be used in many more ways then we have listed here but this is a pretty good overview. If you know of a way hemp is used that needs to be highlighted more leave a comment below. Let’s talk about it.

 

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