Hemp has become popular in the alternative medicinal world due to its long list of health benefits. Even though this plant is praised for its uses, in some countries it is still illegal and plagued by the negative stigma associated with marijuana.
While hemp has been noted for improving one’s way of living today, it is actually one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man. As a matter of fact, the Columbia History of the World states that the oldest artifact of human industry is a scrap from hemp fabric dating all the way back to 8,000 B.C.
So, what exactly is hemp and what can this plant be used for? From paper to construction to hygiene products, the uses of this plant give a new meaning to what a greener earth can look like.
What Is Hemp?
Many people assume that hemp and cannabis are two completely different plants, but contrary to popular belief, hemp is cannabis. There are many different varieties of the cannabis plant and hemp happens to be one of them. Hemp has also been referred to as industrial hemp, which is attributed to the non-psychoactive varieties of Cannabis sativa L.
Both hemp and cannabis come from the same species, but both are genetically distinct and are distinguished by use, chemical makeup and the way it is cultivated.
So What Can Hemp Do?
Hemp can actually be grown as a renewable source of raw material that can be made into hundreds of products. The seeds and flowers of this plant have been used in health foods, organic body care, and other food products.
Aside from these commodities, the use of hemp products can also help improve our economy as well. Just last year the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) estimated the total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. at $620 million.
As an added bonus, hemp is also more environmentally friendly than other traditional crops as well because it requires much less water to grow and no pesticides.
With the potential to change the economy and the environment, it seems the question is what can’t hemp be used for?
5 Amazing Uses of the Hemp Plant That You Didn’t Know About
Move over concrete, there’s a new material in town and it’s called “hempcrete,” which is made out of hemp minerals and core fibers. The hemp plant can make strong and durable materials for construction to build walls, insulation, flooring and roofing.
When hemp is used to make homes, they have a stronger resistance to bad weather and results in less damage.
2. Toilet Paper
Did you know that Americans use over 36 billion rolls of toilet tissue a year? If you think about it, that’s almost 253 tons of bleach used to whiten this toilet paper. Hemp, on the other hand, already has a white color, so there is no need for bleach.
Consider using hemp paper instead of the more common printer paper. It’s more economical and ethical to make hemp paper because it saves trees while protecting the wildlife and forests.
It’s no surprise that we use a lot of plastic. In fact, just last year 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide and out of that, 19 billion pounds of garbage ended up in our ocean killing millions of marine life.
Hemp can be used for plastic and is also biodegradable, which can help reduce pollution and potentially save marine life.
Can you imagine running our car on this versatile plant? Hemp can be used for making fuel such as biodiesel, which is a domestically-produced, clean-burning, renewable substitute for petroleum diesel. It can help to improve air quality while increasing energy security.
The uses of hemp are nothing short of amazing. With benefits that can save our trees, wildlife, economy and energy making, the switch to using more hemp products will help our world tremendously.
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Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America*. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-284.html