Hello, we’re ecstatic to have you back at our CBD blog! While most times we get into the nitty-gritty of the CBD products that we offer at our online shop and our physical store in Fort Collins, today we’re going to switch it up a bit. Today, we’re looking at the source of CBD — the hemp plant!
More specifically, we’re going to dive into all of the different uses there are for the hemp plant. From medicine to fuel to sustainable building materials, there are a myriad of ways that hemp can be used to provide us with the items we need and use practically every day.
We’ll be looking into the different applications that can be used according to the following sections: building materials, paper, textiles, food, and medicine. Prepare to have your mind blown!
Hemp Building Materials
Foundations, fiberboard, paint, varnish, even fuel. These are all integral components when it comes to building practically anything. Unfortunately, most (if not all) of these materials don’t have sustainable production practices, and thus can be detrimental to the environment.
Fortunately, however, all of these materials and more can be created with hemp. Not only can these materials be made with hemp, but their production processes are much more sustainable than their conventional counterparts.
Foundations can be made from a hemp-based concrete alternative called hempcrete. By mixing hemp hurd (simply the inner stalk of the hemp plant, which has a wood-like texture and composition), lime, and water. The material is extremely durable and can last around 100 years; it’s resistant to water, pests, and fire; and it serves as a great form of building insulation. Not only does it serve as a functional, durable alternative to concrete, but it’s also more sustainable. Where concrete produces a lot of greenhouse gasses, hempcrete is actually carbon negative, meaning it actually removes carbon dioxide from the air.
Fiberboard, which is usually made from wood, can be made from hemp fiber. While we’ll cover the specifics of why hemp-based products are superior to wood-based products in our paper section, it’s important to note that hemp is far more sustainable to use for material production than wood. In addition to being a sustainable alternative to wood, and especially plastic, it’s also more durable and stronger than both materials.
Speaking of plastic, hemp is also capable of being made into plastic! Again, like the other materials that can be made from hemp, hemp plastics are stronger, more sustainable, and much more durable than traditional plastics. While we can make anything with hemp plastic that you could make with conventional plastic, in terms of building materials, hemp plastic makes amazing piping.
Additionally, hemp seed oil can be made to make varnishes, paints, wood stains, mechanical lubricants, and much, much more! Sorry if we’re starting to sound like a broken record, but again, materials like these that are created with hemp are more economical, environmentally friendly, and durable than their traditional counterparts.
Finally, this is not necessarily a building material, but it’s an imperative aspect to any building operation, as much of the equipment and machinery used to build a building requires fuel to power it. And yes, hemp can be used to make fuel! In fact, it can be used to make two types of fuel — ethanol and biodiesel. Hemp ethanol is made with hemp fibers, and hemp biodiesel is made with hemp seed oil. Either type of hemp-based fuel is sustainable to create and burn much cleaner than petroleum based fuels.
Essentially, the gist of this section is that we can make literally everything we need to build homes and other buildings out of hemp-based products. Not only is it amazing that this is possible, but it’s also inspiring to know that there are sustainable, practical alternatives to make our building methods more environmentally friendly.
While this is more commonly known, hemp can be used to make paper. Comparing it directly to tree-based paper, it’s honestly baffling that hemp paper isn’t the norm. First and foremost, hemp paper is objectively better than tree-based paper. It lasts so much longer than paper, so much so that it doesn’t yellow, degenerate, or crack over time. Additionally, it is easier to recycle than tree-based paper, and it can be recycled many more times than tree based paper.
On top of hemp paper just being a better product than tree-based paper, it’s production process is astronomically more sustainable than tree-based paper. Think about it, in order to make paper out of trees, mature trees need to be harvested, turned to a pulp, and made into paper. This requires forests of mature trees that either need to be grown (which takes decades) or cut down, which is detrimental to our environment.
When it comes to hemp paper, the process is similar — a pulp is made with hemp fiber, the pulp is pressed and then dried, and paper is made! However, where entire forests need years to mature just to be leveled and made into paper, hemp fully matures and is ready to be made into paper after only 120 days. Plus, you can yield much more hemp fiber per acre than you can yield wood pulp from an acre of trees.
Another intuitive and versatile use for hemp is creating textiles. Hemp fiber (in addition to the uses for building materials and paper products) can be used to make textiles that last longer, are more durable, and more sustainable (economically and environmentally) than cotton-based textiles.
To start by comparing the textiles that are made from each, hemp-based textiles are far more durable than cotton based textiles. Additionally, they don’t stretch like cotton and are more absorbent than cotton. This makes them great for clothing, furniture, and really any textile application because they dye easily, last long, and don’t submit to wear and tear as easily as cotton. The only potential downside of a hemp textile is that the material isn’t quite as soft as cotton, so it may not make the most comfortable clothing.
Along with being a durable, effective alternative to cotton textiles, hemp is also much more environmentally friendly and sustainable than cotton when it comes to cultivation. Where cotton is responsible for over half of the world’s use of herbicides and pesticides, hemp only needs a bit of fertilizer to successfully grow. Additionally, hemp only requires a fraction of the water that cotton needs to grow, and hemp also produces about three times the hemp fiber per acre than cotton does to produce cotton fiber.
All in all, hemp fiber is far superior to cotton fiber in all aspects. It’s a more versatile, stronger material, and it’s more sustainable to produce!
Hemp Based Foods
Although to this point we’ve been looking into different materials that can be made with hemp, there are also a wide variety of food products that we can make. Interestingly enough, hemp-based foods are all made from the hemp seed, which is considered a superfood because of its high concentrations of protein. One type of food product made with hemp seed is hemp seed flour, which can be used interchangeably where one would use all purpose flour. This means that you can make breads, pastas, baked goods, and more out of hemp!
In addition to hemp seed flour, the protein from the hemp seed can made a plant-based food similar to tofu, the plant based food made with soy protein. This means that we can make any plant based food that uses soy but with hemp seed protein! But it doesn’t stop there, and you can probably guess what’s coming next.
Hemp seed protein is more sustainable to produce than soy protein! Once again, we have an application of hemp that is practical, efficient, high quality, and environmentally friendly.
Finally, we have hemp medicine — CBD. It’s important for us to note that currently, there is only one FDA approved medicine that uses CBD, which is a medication that was approved in 2018 that helps treat seizures that accompany certain medical conditions. Truth be told, we think that as time presses forward, more and more medicines harnessing the powers of CBD will become FDA approved and more available on the market.
That being said, there is now a massive market of CBD products with CBD businesses popping up left and right. While we think this is great, we have to once again issue our words of warning. Because there is currently a massive CBD craze, you have to be wary of the CBD’s quality that you’re considering trying. There are lots of businesses who are selling low quality, low dose CBD and simply looking to exploit the current obsession. It’s pretty easy to identify quality CBD companies when you know what to look for, which is simply transparency.
Look for companies who provide third party testing, are transparent about the hemp they use, and are open about their extraction processes. Beyond that, we encourage our readers to try a variety of CBD products to see what you a) like best, and b) have an understanding as to which medium of CBD produces the most enjoyable, consistent effects.
There is a huge body of anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD’s ability to de-stress, mitigate pain, improve focus, and much more!
We’re constantly amazed by hemp, and everything we can do with it. We’d love to see a world where we make the most of this incredible resource, and utilize all of the diverse applications that hemp has to provide.
As we wait for the world to catch on, we’re doing our best to make some amazing CBD products unlike any other on the market. We recognize the importance of making quality CBD products, especially with the overflow of companies trying to make a fast buck in the middle of the CBD craze.
Because we care about the quality of our CBD and CBD products, we’re always transparent about every aspect of our process. All of our industrial hemp is 100% USDA Organic and grown in the beautiful state of Colorado. We’re always happy to discuss the proprietary methods we use to extract our CBD, and we always provide Third Party Testing Results for our products.
If you’d like to try some of our high quality CBD, visit our online shop or our brick and mortar store in Fort Collins, CO.
And if you have questions about our CBD or the methods we use, contact us today!