Did you know that hemp can be used to make all of these things?

Published Jul 3, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Tinnakorn Jorruang

Cannabis gets all of the attention, but that’s only because most people don’t realize how useful hemp can be. It’s, of course, popular for having a high CBD content which makes it great for medicinal patients, but there is a whole world of hemp products out there that you probably don’t know about yet, and we’re here to reveal some of the most useful ones out there. By highlighting those that give us the power to change the world, we hope to raise awareness and inspire a shift towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable options that are all available thanks to hemp and innovative individuals.

1. Fuel

Right now, we have a major reliance on fossil fuels, and this habit is absolutely terrible for the environment which has inspired a movement to find other more suitable alternatives. That search eventually led to the discovery of hemp fuel which is made by processing hemp seeds into an oil and then adding some other ingredients to create a combustible fuel that is completely environmentally friendly, because it leaves behind no carbon footprint to make or use.

2. Clothing

A good portion of the population uses clothing materials that do not breathe or last through long term use, and yet, once they make it to the landfill, they can take decades to break down completely, which leads to a problem once we’re ready to toss them out. Hemp fibers that are harvested from the stems of these incredible plants are a more sustainable alternative, that results in longer-lasting and more durable materials that are great for everything from sweaters, shirts, and jeans, to rope or string.

3. CBD oil

Pretty much everyone has heard about a success story that happened thanks to the natural benefits of CBD oil, but many still don’t realize what it takes to make this in-demand hemp product. CBD oil is often associated with cannabis, but in reality, this silent yet powerful cannabinoid is found in the most significant quantities in certain strains of hemp. The hemp flowers are the part that is used to infuse a high-fat oil such as olive or coconut oil, which makes for an easy method of delivery that can help to treat a variety of health conditions, with no psychoactive effects, like those you’d find with cannabis.

4. Smokable products

The hemp plant is useful for so much more than its CBD content, but in this case, that is exactly what consumers are after. Though many assume that those who smoke do so mainly for recreational purposes, the truth is that some love a good hit from a hemp cigarette or blunt. Both of these, along with many smokable concentrates, are made with fully matured and dried hemp flowers, and people love them because they allow them to harness the natural benefits without any adverse or hazy side effects. Everything from RSO, to budder and dry crystals, can be made using hemp flower, for a dose of CBD through vaping, or regular smoking.

5. Paper

We, as a society, have evolved to a point where paper is not always as needed as it once was. With the help of email, Facebook, and other platforms for communication, we use a whole lot less, but we still use envelopes, scrapbooks, and a million other paper-based goods, which has led to the destruction of forests that may never entirely recover, especially if we continue at the pace we are at today. Luckily, the strong fibers inside of industrial hemp stems serve as an excellent alternative to the wood pulp that we use to mix into a paste and form into paper, and it doesn’t require the decimation of trees.

6. Tattoo ink

Tattoos can be completed with several different kinds of ink, and the process that makes them is a bit of a trade secret thanks to cosmetic labeling by the FDA, which means that they don’t have to disclose the exact recipe to the public. However, in general, every tattoo ink requires four main ingredients, including the pigment, binder, texture altering solution, and a carrier substance that helps your body to accept the ink more successfully. In many cases, the carrier is irritating or can cause an adverse reaction, but oil made from hemp seeds can help to reduce that risk because it’s entirely organic.

7. Glue

Most hemp products are made using the fibers, leaves, flowers, or seeds, but glue utilizes a little known layer called pectin, which is an incredibly sticky substance that surrounds the fibers and keeps them from poking through the outer portions of the stems. This all-natural adhesive can replace many petroleum-based alternatives that are so common on the market today, and it is entirely plant-based, which makes it a less toxic option for those who choose to use it. The pectin can be used to make all different types of glue, from those that are used on models and cars, to school glue, and it’s completely environmentally friendly.

8. Plastic

We have a serious issue with plastics, and that is something that we have known for a very long time, as the mounds of bottles, toys, and other containers continue to build up in landfills. This problem is one that could take decades to come back from, but it’s possible to fix it if we choose a more sustainable option moving forward. The tough hemp fibers are perfectly suited for the task, as they can create plastic-like products that can replace virtually all single-use plastics without affecting strength, and once hemp plastic is exposed to the elements, it can break down to feed the environment, and leave virtually no trace in its wake.

9. Food

Hemp seeds are filled to the brim with high doses of proteins and antioxidants that are excellent for your health, and that is why the plant is so useful in the food industry. Products like hemp hearts, flour, milk, all have hemp-based versions that taste just as fantastic as the ingredients that so many of us now use, but they are much healthier. Cereals, baked goods, health supplements, protein powders, and other immune system boosting foods can all be made with a little bit of hemp.

10. Building materials

For many years we have relied on concrete and other strong building materials to construct homes that can last, but the things that we use today aren’t good for the environment, and overall, don’t last nearly as long as they could if they were made out of something better. This is where the hemp plant-based options are taking over, as they can last for up to twice as long as traditional building materials. To make hempcrete, and hemp drywall, the process is very similar to what we’ve always used, by combining the base ingredient with binders that will harden into shape. The main difference is that they are not petroleum-based, so they are sustainable and a better choice for literally the entire world.

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