With the passing of the Farm Bill, hemp has become a hot topic for many people. While hemp oil has become recognized as offering some great health benefits, many fail to appreciate how versatile this plant is. So, here we’ll explore some general information about the other uses of hemp.
Hemp can provide a fantastic material instead of cotton. Just one acre of hemp can produce similar amounts of fibers as three acres of cotton, with stronger and softer fibers. Hemp can also last longer than cotton and is not prone to mildew. Additionally, while cotton will only grow in a moderate climate, hemp only requires a moderate amount of water and is frost tolerant. This means that it can be grown throughout America. Finally, while cotton requires large amounts of herbicides, up to 50 percent of pesticides and herbicides in the world are used to produce cotton, hemp only requires a moderate amount of fertilizer.
Annually, an acre of hemp can produce the same quantity of paper as up to four acres of trees. This can be used to create all types of paper products, from tissue to cardboard. Hemp paper is also superior in quality to tree based papers, and hemp paper can last far longer without degrading. Hemp paper also requires less toxic chemicals during manufacture and can be recycled far more times. Additionally, while trees can take years before they can be harvested to create paper, but hemp can be ready for harvesting within four months.
A Source of Protein
Hemp seeds can also provide a nutritious and economical source of protein compared to soybeans. Hemp seed protein can be transformed into virtually any product that would use soybeans, such as butter, cheese, ice creams, milk, veggie burgers, and tofu. Hemp seeds can also be ground to make flour for baked goods including bread, cookies, and pasta.
Hemp seed oil can also be used to produce a nontoxic diesel fuel. Just like using corn to produce a clean burning ethanol, hemp can be used, and it can create more biomass than any other plant species, creating great potential for a major ethanol fuel source.
Up to 70 percent of the total weight of the cannabis plant is a woody inner core or “hurd.” This part of the cannabis plant is free of THCs and can be used to construct houses. When the silica leached by the plant from the soil is combined with unslaked lime to create a chemical bond that is similar to cement. This compound is also water and fireproof, making it an ideal construction material to produce homes.
Finally, hemp can be used to create fibers to produce nets, webbing, sacking, carpets, and rope.
Hemp is a wonder plant that literally has hundreds of uses, including the health benefits offered by hemp oil. With the passing of the Farm Bill, we should start to see hemp making more and more of an impact in our day to day lives.