Hemp Uses

This category explores the many uses for the versatile hemp plant.

New car to be made from hemp

Monday, September 10th, 2012

A Canadian company hope to build an environmetally freindly car from Hemp

“Motive’s entry included exploring the use of a hemp-fibre composite thats as strong as fibreglass, but lighter and less expensive.

The material will be used to replace other metal components, Armstrong said, except for the structural frame.”

Read more here

The benefits of Hemp

Monday, September 10th, 2012

So why would you buy a hemp based product over one made from another material? Well some prefer the aesthetic of hemp based materials but there are also very many other benefits which it is worth considering.

Hemp fibre is ten times the strength of cotton and can be used to make many types of clothign and handbags. Cotton will only grow in warm climates and requires huge amounts of water to grow.

Hemp requires much less water and will grow in many varied climates

Hemp has the natural ability to repel weed growth and has few insect enemies. This means there is much less need for pesticides or herbicides.

Hemp can produce twice as much fibre per acre as cotton! 24 square miles planted with hemp will produce enough fibre in one year to make 100 MILLION pairs of denim jeans!

Technological breakthroughs have meant that new building materials that can be used as a substitute for wood can be made from hemp. These materials are cheaper than wood and mean slow growing trees do not have to be chopped down for their production.

There are many other benefits of hemp and hemp products and we will continue to post them here in our blog

Hemp Paper: The Future

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Continuing from our previous post about Hemp Paper, we have found an organisation who (among other things) are doing work in the UK in the area of hemp paper production and its feasibility.

The BioRegional Development Group, a charitable organisation who provide consultancy and solutions for sustainable living had the following to say:

“In 2003 we made a trial run into researching making hemp paper/textile production as a viable economical option in the UK, we used 80% London sourced post consumer waste paper and 20% Essex hemp. The paper was turned into writing sets and are available for purchase.

Hemp paper is stronger, finer and longer lasting than wood based paper which is why it is still used to make the finest grades such as cigarette papers, bibles and bank notes. The long, strong fibres of hemp can be used to upgrade shorter recycled paper fibres. Our work has now turned to developing machinery that can make paper pulp from wood and non-wood resources such as hemp; the BioRegional MiniMill is currently running paper production trials using straw and may trial hemp in the future.”

It’s interesting to note that not only did the group use a recycled/hemp paper mix, but they also sourced the materials from geographically close locations, further reducing the environmental impact of the hemp paper production process.

Read more on the feasibility of hemp production.

Read more on BioRegional MiniMills.

Hemp Paper

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Hemp can easily be processed into paper and because of it’s high growth rate (a tree may take two decades to mature where as the hemp plant takes four months), hemp pulp is better suited to be used as paper than wood pulp, whose harvest destroys forest eco-systems that are depended on by many organisms. Hemp paper’s eco-credentials are further promoted by the fact that it does not require chlorine bleach which can be a pollutant. Unfortunately, the cost of hemp pulp paper far exceeds that of wood pulp paper. These costs are largely related to the small scale of farming, antiquated machinery and also the fact that due to it’s once a year harvest, the hemp needs to be stored. In this way it can be seen that if hemp paper is going to be a solution to deforestation for paper (around 25% of the global lumber harvest), then plant investment and research into cheaper storage needs to take place.

It’s also interesting to note that up until the late eighteen hundreds, hemp fibre was used to make most of the World’s paper.

Hemp Food and Nutrition

Monday, September 10th, 2012

One of the many uses of Hemp is as a food source. Examples of Hemp foods are hemp milk, hemp seed oil, hemp protein, hemp granola bars and even hemp tortilla chips.

Hemp seed oil has been proven to contain omega 3 fats that help protect the human body from heart disease. Although the low smoke point of the oil means that it is not suitable for frying, hemp seed oil is used as a culinary oil and diet supplement. The oil is extremely nutritious being extremely high in protein and containing essential fatty and amino acids. The seeds can also provide calcium, iron, manganese, copper and zinc.