Hemp! What is it good for? Absolutely everything! Well not quite, but it is capable of a tonne of really useful stuff. Throughout history, the human race has cultivated hemp for industrial use with minimal impact to its surroundings, and as a fibre, hemp has been spun into textiles and cloth for millennia.
Whilst global C02 emissions skyrocket and saturate our very existence, and as the world wakes up and begins to replace the toxic concept of plastic, we look at the multi-functional, highly versatile hemp plant by way of an alternative product - what can you use hemp for?
Currently making waves among consumers, are CBD products. From oil to e-liquid juice and from gummy bears to wax extracts, the sight of CBD is becoming a common one. Rather than its psychoactive cousin, cannabis that contains THC, hemp is rich in CBD which is extracted from the plant and sold as a food supplement. Whilst a lack of medical research can pinpoint the potential benefit that CBD might have on our health, anecdotal evidence has suggested that it can alleviate pain and symptoms for a variety of ailments.
Hemp seeds have incredible nutritional value. High in fibre, protein and minerals, hemp seeds also contain all the essential fatty and amino acids the human body needs including omega 3 and more.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Hemp is used as an ingredient for a plethora of health and beauty products. From moisturiser to lip balm and soaps, The essential fatty acid content is great for the regeneration of skin and can help heal those pesky cracks that you come across from time to time.
FABRIC, ROPE & TEXTILES
Similar to cotton, though far more durable, hemp fibres can be spun to make textiles for clothes and shoes. Less intensive to farm and grow, hemp is a much more environmentally friendly fibre to cultivate than the popular and widely spread used cotton. In 1533 Henry VIII made the cultivation of hemp law in order to support the production of ropes, sails and other naval equipment. Farmers were actually fined for not growing hemp if their acreage allowed.
Why the heck do we not use hemp to produce more of our paper? At a far speedier growth rate compared to its distant relative, the tired tree, it seems like madness that we don’t use it more. Hardier than the fibres created by wood pulp with up to 4 times the longevity, here at VSAVI we think it would it be cool to cut down fewer trees and ‘free the seed’.
ALTERNATIVE TO PLASTIC
With impending plastic bans coming into force in every corner of the globe, we wonder whether hemp may yet save the day as industries look to alternative materials to use. Henry Ford famously built a prototype car made from hemp and other plant-based materials to demonstrate the hardiness of the material. The car sadly never made it to market, but perhaps one day, we’ll all be driving one?
As we’ve said, hemp is strong and sturdy, akin to the iron man of plants and is being used more and more in the construction industry. Hempcrete is a bio-composite of hemp and lime and serves as super insulation for the home due to its moisture regulating qualities.
Taking just three months from seed to product, biodegradable, and with a comparable strength to fibreglass, it would be great to see the more widespread use of hemp within industries as we champion a charge for a healthier planet.