The hemp plant offers a variety of benefits and numerous applications. For centuries, people have been using different parts of the hemp plant for various reasons and purposes. Among the plant’s many products, many people know about cannabis oil since it is legal in the USA.
Today, advanced processing technologies and techniques have increased the use of hemp plants to benefit customers. From textile and paper to alternatives for plastic, gas, and petroleum products, hemp plants have many applications. This miracle plant has the potential to help reduce our reliance on costly fossil fuels.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed the cultivation of hemp plants across many state lines. The versatile plant is all the rage, and you can find it in many household products. Even small items like paper, fishnets, and ship rings use parts of the hemp plant. Because of its usefulness and versatility, the hemp plant is gaining popularity.
Still unsure about the alternate uses of the hemp plant? Continue reading to see this unique plant’s top five applications besides gummies, salves, and tinctures.
What is the Hemp Process
Hemp is a cannabis Sativa species and has specific industrial uses. Manufacturers extract its fibers from plant’s stalk using different methods. They may include retting (water absorption to soften the plant), crushing, shaking, and drying. All these processes separate the fibers from hemp’s woody portion.
Hemp is generally taller than marijuana/cannabis plant. It has broad leaves on the top of the hemp plant and can grow in a range of weather conditions. The leaves grow closer together as they grow in size. The hemp plant is simpler to grow as it doesn’t require the same care as a marijuana plant.
Hemp oil, however, comes from hemp seeds and manufacturers use it to make a variety of different products like paints, soaps, and varnishes. Hemp seeds make nutritious edibles as they contain an adequate amount of fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6. The tiny seeds are not only incredibly nutritious but also a great source of protein. This is the reason hemp seeds are famous as a superfood.
Five Alternate Ways to Use the Hemp Plant
Nutrition and Food
You might not hear about this before, but hemp oil and hemp seeds are delicious and nutritious. Hempseeds come enriched with plenty of dietary fiber, proteins, and minerals. Hemp is one of the plants that contain all the essential amino acids and fatty acids your body needs. The vital nutrients impact your body’s functions, including skin, behavior, metabolism, mood, the heart, and the brain.
You might have seen many people eating fish or taking fish oil supplements to obtain the essential fats. The concerns over chemical contamination of seafood have made many people switch to products of the hemp plant. It is especially true if you’re a vegetarian and looking for a healthier alternative.
It doesn’t end here; the hemp plant is an exceptionally great option for animals and pets. Some vets recommend adding hemp plant products to pets or livestock’s diet. In various European countries, fishers pour hempseeds in the water to entice fish. The delicious hemp seeds are the favorite food of man birds, especially songbirds.
That is to say, the shelled hemp seeds make an excellent way to incorporate Omega fatty acids and proteins into your diet. Whether you add them into cereals or mix them in the salad, the seeds will offer you tons of nutritional benefits. They can find healthy, nutty treats for your pets.
Hemp food has become more popular as people are discovering the culinary uses of this versatile plant.
Although the hemp plant makes up less than 2% of textile products, it can be a useful fabric resource.
Hemp fabric contains high tensile potency and includes anti-microbial qualities. It might sound bizarre to you, but hemp fabric has better breathing features than cotton. This is the reason it takes longer to loosen threads. It is softer and durable, meaning it lasts longer than other materials of fabric.
As mentioned above, hemp fabric has antimicrobial qualities. Due to these natural anti-fungal and pesticide properties, it doesn’t require any other chemicals for treatment. Cotton whereas grows with pesticides and undergoes several chemical treatments that affect its quality and durability.
Many recent studies show hemp as an exceptionally environmentally friendly plant. In general, you require 725 gallons of water to cultivate enough cotton to make a shirt. On the other hand, the hemp plant requires half the amount of water as cotton that makes it an ideal alternative to cotton grown for fabric.
The hemp plant is also referred to as a “carbon sink.” It is because it stores up to 9.8 tons of CO2 per acre. It significantly offsets the impact of carbon to produce hemp fabric.
Did you know that countries with coastlines discard approximately 5.3 million tons of plastic into the ocean annually?
From shrink wraps, bags to straws, you may find plastic in every form in the oceans. Unfortunately, it takes a great deal of time for the plastic to decompose in the sea. Note that the standard plastic you use in different products uses toxic chemicals and a massive amount of fossil fuels. Almost everything you buy comes wrapped in plastic. That is why landfills overflow with plastic.
Henry Ford, in 1941 organized an event where he talked about the strength of the hemp plant as an alternative to plastic. Companies then used the idea in mass production to reduce the use of plastic that come from petrochemicals.
This is when versatile plants like hemp make a great alternative to reduce environment-related issues. You can use hemp plastic to make a variety of products. The plant type is biodegradable and doesn’t use many resources compared to other plastic sources.
The plant also contains a high concentration of cellulose- a critical ingredient used in plastic creation. The high biodegradability of hemp plastic makes it the best option to replace oil-based plastic with dangerous chemicals. A renowned brand Porsche introduced vehicles that have hemp- bioplastic bodies.
Fortunately, there are a significant number of products manufactured from hemp in the market. Companies are developing or manufacturing sustainable alternatives using the hemp plant.
There is no way you will have a guilty conscience if you throw product made of hemp plastic into the compost heap
Yes, you read it correctly! The hemp plant produces a substance that you can use in several construction materials. You might not be able to construct an entire house with a hemp plant, but you will get close to a hempcrete material.
The substance is typically a mixture of pulpy wood of hemp’s center part and a lime-based binder. As a result, you get a building material that is stronger and feels like concrete. It weighs 1/8th and has 20% strength of concrete.
When manufacturers use hempcrete as structural support, it increases a sturdy wall four to five times. Moreover, the substance is carbon-negative and mold resistant. It can work as a powerful insulator. It is easy to work with hempcrete as it is less brittle and doesn’t need expansion joints for building.
The substance has remarkable resistance to withstand harsh weather conditions. That is why it is less damaging. It is a durable material for buildings or construction projects.
Paper and Fuel
According to a recent survey, pulp production and wood paper approximately create 230 million pounds of pollution. Using hemp plants for making paper can drastically reduce deforestation.
An acre of plantation can produce as many papers as five acres of forest every year. Plus, you can grow hemp plants multiple times over the years using the same land. There is no need to use chlorine bleaching for making hemp papers. That makes hemp a lot safer than the traditional methods.
Fortunately, the use of hemp plants is legal in the USA. That makes it an ideal alternative to make tons of paper. You can regenerate oxygen-producing plants in the farms within months, in contrast to trees that take 20 to 30 years to become productive and harvestable.
There is no denying that switching to hemp plants for papermaking can save the forest and world from global warming.
Theoretically, hemp can provide an unlimited and pure energy source. It is perhaps the most cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly fuel crop on Earth. The hemp plant produces ethanol/methanol and biodiesel. Some latest studies show that planting only 6% of hemp acreage is enough to substitute nuclear power and fossil fuels.
It is hard to think of a naturally grown plant or substance with many benefits and uses as this plant in a nutshell. You can wear and eat hemp, protect hair, skin, and nails, use it as cement, paint your home, and whatnot. It can become a safe alternative to wood to reduce deforestation. The plant has become a must-have for industrial uses. Thus, if used correctly, the hemp plant can benefit in many ways.
Disclaimer: The Content is not meant to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek your physician’s advice or other qualified health providers with any questions regarding a medical condition.