Building a better tomorow with hemp. New uses for the old hemp plant

The human beings could not find a more loyal companion in the plant world than hemp. The vicissitudes of the old hard times were alleviated with hemp. Plastic & building materials, clothing & fabrics, fuel, nutrition, animal bedding, animal feed, soap, paper & cardboard products. Of course, in all these areas hemp is an important player! An excellent choice for many different reasons.

One of the first and oldest known human agriculture crops, the Marijuana use in the world has a 10,000-year history. Chinese used cannabis seeds and oil for food in 6,000 BC, while Emperor Shen Neng of China first used cannabis as medicine. Cannabis Sativa was one of the five sacred plants of India in 2,000-800 BC. Dried cannabis leaves, seeds and stems are mentioned as “Sacred Grass”in the Hindu sacred texts. The Histories of Herodotus (430 BC) unveils the ritual and recreation use of Cannabis by the Scythians. Hemp fabric is mentioned in Chinese Book of Rites in 200 BC, while one hundred later, China testifies the invention of paper from hemp. The Greeks used hemp ropes, which appeared in the same period of time. Marijuana’s analgesic effects are praised by Pliny the Elder in “The Natural History” book. From a sacred plant used to communicate with gods and a powerful medicine tool, hemp became pervasive until the modern times when it was deliberately left in the shade… Let’s take a look at “nouveau” hemp. It seems like a very promising time for the plant.

The boundless benefits of Hemp:

  • Organic Gardening

A vigorous plant, cannabis sativa overshadows any competing weeds, being a great help in the garden. We also can use it as a decorative fence. The plant will form a very tall and dense wall of vegetation which will keep weeds away, while the deep roots will work as natural soil aerators. The plant gives us a helping hand by improving the soil in crop rotation. You will not need any pesticides for cannabis, as the wonderplant is not picky.

It is easy to work with hemp as a twine for tying and binding vines or plants like tomato, or staking trees. Being round by nature, it will not cut plants or your hands. Hemp hurds are great when used as horticultural mulch.

  • Hemp Plastic & Hemp building Materials

Concerned about the direction our environment was headed toward, the construction industry began to combine modern building techniques with the use of natural cellulose-based materials. Hemp is one of the most sustainable eco-friendly materials to design and build. Hempcrete, a mixture of hemp, lime, and water is used for green building to the max. Hemp can be transformed into various different building materials like fiberboard, insulation, carpet, stucco & mortar, cement, solvents, coatings and plastic.

Why we are using harmful destructive ways of producing plastic when we can produce hemp plastic? Used containers or any over product from this type of plastic will return to nature without harming us or our environment. A hemp wall will be fire resistant, mold free, rot free, and pest free.

Paints obtained from hemp oil don’t have harmful releases and have very low emissions in comparison with petroleum paints.

“Hemp Board to the forefront of the sustainable building movement, and let people see the amazing plant that it was once and still is. A lot of the solutions for our future are right here right now without having to look too far, we just need to take the time to look.” says Tristan Titeux, a hempboard militant at Custom Carpentry.

  • Hemp Furniture

Furniture made from hemp is one of the most popular category in the green furniture domain. Organic, durable, and toxic-free, the raw material opens doors to a wealth of creative ideas in design. It’s a matter of will to rethink old practices and improve them constantly. If you want your favorite sofa to last a long time & surprisingly handle wear and tear, choose hemp.

The hemp chairs by STUDIO AISSLINGER for Moroso have lightweight features with a strong composite. Both the chair and the manufacturing process are eco-friendly and organic. The designers used a sheet with over 75% of its composition made up of hemp. The sheet is then heat-formed via a process borrowed from the car-making industry.

“This technique ensures extreme ease of modelling which enables the softness of the shapes to be exaggerated to such an extent that they achieve an almost 3D effect,” explained Werner Aisslinger.

  • Automotive Industry

In 1937, Henry Ford made his car of hemp. Surelly we can do more with the advanced technology of present days.

With electric care concepts strongly defined by sustainability, BMW is making the i3’s drivers feel closer to nature by producing door panels made with the use of hemp see. As a ground-breaking concept for sustainable mobility, the visionary all-electric and emission-free vehicles are focused on efficiency, a feature extended to the design.

According to BMW i3’s designer Benoit Jacob, the use of natural materials like hemp fibers in door panels and a contoured wood shelf in the dashboard helps give the car the feel of a small loft on wheels.

The use of hemp in the automotive realm is not limited to door panels. The entire outer shell of future cars can be developed from hemp. The next electric cars can replace carbon fiber and use cannabis light-weight material for the car body. One day almost 70% of our cars will rot into our compost.

  • Biodiesel

Sometimes known as “hempoline,” biodiesel produced from hemp is 100% biodegradable and a much cleaner fuel for the air. Bioethanol & biodiesel is environmentally friendlier to produce than palm oil, corn, sugar beet or any of the crops. The alternative energy source is made from cannabis seeds. The plant’s oils are then turned into fuel.

Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine (1892), intended to fuel it “by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils, which earlier were used for oil lamps, i.e. the Argand lamp.”

Unfortunately, the production of vehicle fuel from hemp is very, very small, so driving hemp- powered cars is a dream today.

 

  • Great for the environment, great for our body. Nutrition & Cosmetics

3 most important and usable highly nutritious products from the hemp plant are the seeds, the powder of the seeds (hemp protein powder), and the oil. We also can eat fresh hemp leaves in a salad.

By pressing hemp seeds, we obtain a dark to clear light green in color hemp oil, with a nutty flavour. We all know the hemp oil has extraordinary health benefits, so it’s pity not to use it in our diet. Seeds produce the best hemp oil, although the whole plant can be pressed for oil.

Raw, sprouted, ground, transformed in milk, tea or used to baking, hemp in the cuisine is an added benefit for health and diversity. The seeds are one of nature’s most perfect foods because they are high in omega3 and omega6 and have a great taste. Eating hemp seeds improves memory and learning, helps digestive system, is good for dealing stress and is an excellent substitute for milk.

Hemp’s beautifying properties are known for thousands of years. It effectively moisturizes skin, helps battle aging, helps repair the hair, and helps alleviate dermatitis, and other skin problems. Hemp seed oil can be used as a moisturizing oil which can be applied after a bath. It will nourish the epidermis and will increase the blood circulation.

- Medicinal Cannabis. Human & veterinary medicine
The medical cannabis has a history of thousands of years. As the humans discovered the many benefits of hemp, they studied and tested the medicinal properties of the plant. In the Ancient Egypt, India, Greece, and the Medieval Islamic world, every part of the hemp was used to make potions, creams and elixirs. The doctors used it for treating a variety of illnesses and ailments, including wounds, menstrual disorders, insomnia, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhoids, sore eyes, the nervous system, dysentery, sunstroke, to name just a few applications.

As medication, cannabis can be extensively used not only for humans, but also in veterinary medicine.

The recent studies of plant-based cannabinoids has yielded potentially life-changing results. When monitored and prescribed appropriately medical cannabis can help people with chronic pain. Tourette’s Syndrome, HIV, dystonia, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, incontinence, sleep apnea, pruritus, diabetes, hepatitis C, fibromyalgia, and MRSA.

  • Eco-Fashion, clothing and macrame jewelry

Fashion history is cyclical and, fortunately, returns to the use of hemp, a great source for eco-textiles and clothing. First Levi’s blue jeans were made of hemp, as are the new collections from fashion houses like Stella McCartney, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Adidas or Calvin Klein.

  • Paper & Cardboard products

Compared to wood, hemp is much easier to process into paper, it is four times more productive and less polluting. The result is a strong product which outlasts paper made from wood pulp.Cannabis can grow almost anywhere and is biodegradable and totally renewable. It needs less chemicals, water and processing. So, using the plant for paper helps protect Earth vegetation and wildlife. Take into consideration that a single acre of hemp can yield as much pulp-for- paper as four acres of trees.

You can’t improve on the best.Eco-friendly furniture, fuel, nutrition, construction, medicine are part of a bigger picture. These are just some ways hemp will change our world, but the plant is still not used to its full potential. Industrial hemp is still a controversial crop in some regions of the world. We need to look under our feet for the answers to our many questions and do more. A better tomorrow can start with this plant today.