For centuries humans have been using hemp as an industrial resource. But do you know just how many modern day items it’s possible to make from hemp? The answer might surprise you.
Hemp has a multitude of uses and, throughout history, can be seen all across the world. It was and still is used for medicinal and dietary purposes in China. One Chinese village with a population living to over 100 puts their longevity down to hemp seed in their diets. But hemp is so much more than just a dietary supplement.
There really are thousands of uses for the mighty hemp plant. From providing nutrition to making clothes, there’s not much hemp can’t do! Here’s 7 surprising things that you might not know can be made from hemp.
It’s no secret that plastic is destroying our planet at a worrying pace. And believe it or not, hemp could be the answer to our plastic problems. A substance called Cellulose is commonly used for making plastics. However, this natural material is found in big supply in the hemp plant. Hemp plastic is not just a more ecological answer to the plastic crisis. Its production process is cleaner, less toxic and the plastic itself is better for our health. You can read more about hemp plastic here.
Hemp houses have been around since the 6th Century. Now they’re making a comeback and it’s not without good reason. Hempcrete walls utilize waste products from the industrial hemp industry to create a building material which is super light but also incredibly strong. Hemp houses have excellent thermal performance, have the ability to stay damp-free and also absorb tons of CO2. This actually gives them a better-than-zero-carbon footprint. Check out my article on hemp housing for a more in depth look at the benefits of hemp housing.
One huge innovation with hemp is its ability to be made into fuel. There are two types of fuel which can be made from the plant – hemp biodiesel and hemp ethanol. As a fuel crop, hemp is one of the most cost-efficient an environmentally friendly fuel crops. If we fueled our machines with hemp instead of fossil fuels, we’d be looking at a more sustainable alternative that causes less pollution.
Hemp paper has been around for thousands of years. Name any paper product and chances are at some point it’s been made from hemp. Even America’s Independence Declaration was signed on hemp paper.
Because of hemp’s renewability and short growth periods, as a crop it is more sustainable than regular trees. Hemp takes 4 months to grow on average, compared to 20-100 years for trees. As a result, it also produces a higher paper yield than normal trees and doesn’t contribute to the problem of deforestation.
When you finally find the perfect pair of jeans, it’s important that they stand the test of time. Hemp denim is not only durable and comfy, it’s also odour resistant. Ecologically, hemp is better the environment than your standard cotton clothes. Eco denim brand Hemp Blue say that hemp uses half as much water as cotton when it’s being produced. Even denim giants Levi’s recently started a line of clothing made from hemp.
Yes, hemp beer is a thing! Beer brands like New Belgium have revolutionized the alcohol industry by adding hemp to their formula. Scientifically, it works because cannabis and hemp belong to the same family as the hops which are commonly used to make beer.
“The Hemporer” is a craft ale which uses hulled hemp seeds as it’s base. Other brands like Sweetwater Brewing Company are also adding hemp terpenes into the mix, to create an alcohol drink that mimics the taste and smell of your favorite cannabis strains.
7. Make-up and Skincare
Hemp seed oil is a great base for many popular cosmetic items thanks to its non-comedogenic nature and high vitamin content. There are tons of ways to add hemp to your beauty routine.
It’s rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are great for dry skin. On the other hand, it also has the ability to reduce acne thanks to its sebum balancing properties. In truth, it’s great for all skin types. Even ageing skin, for which it’s been said to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
In the same way make-up can be made from hemp, so can skincare. In fact it’s possible to switch out your whole cleanse, tone, moisturise routine for products made from hemp.
There are also bath soaks and bath bombs containing cannabis that give an extra dose of relaxation to your down-time.
As you see, you can make almost anything out of hemp and this list only scratches the surface of the hundreds of uses out there.
Hemp is a fantastic source of nutrition and it’s kind to skin, making it a great addition to food products and skin products. It’s also great for animal feeds and pet nutrition.
There’s no doubt that as technology advances, we’ll see more innovative products made from hemp plastic. Who knows – maybe one day you’ll be driving a hemp-fueled car back to your hempcrete home!