What is the difference between hemp and cannabis?
Hemp is commonly confused with marijuana. Hemp and marijuana both belong to the cannabis genus of plants. Marijuana contains high amounts of THC, the chemical that is responsible for its psychoactive properties.
There are different types of cannabis:
Industrial hemp is a variety of Sativa with trace amounts of THC. Unlike marijuana, hemp is easy to grow and does not require fertilizers or chemicals. Hemp has been used for centuries to make rope, sails, fabrics and industrial materials.
Why was hemp illegal?
Some blame the textile and paper processing lobbies and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who waged a campaign against hemp since it threatened his paper processing plants. In 2018 hemp was legalized. From the FDA:
‘In December of 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law. It removed hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis), from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).’
Hemp is incredibly versatile, durable and sustainable. So what can be made from this amazing plant?
Which products can be made from hemp?
The primary difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is where the oil itself is derived from the hemp plant. Hemp Oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant only. CBD Oil is derived from the stalk, stems, leaves or flowers of industrial hemp plants.
Full spectrum oils contain more active bio-ingredients that may be more beneficial to the user depending on their ailment or problem.
You cannot get high from CBD oil.
What can it do?
- Relives pain
- Might have a positive effect on anxiety or depression
- Helps reduce nausea from chemotherapy
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Might be able to control acne breakouts
- Reduces frequency of seizures
- is being tested for numerous other health benefits, such as diabetes prevention and anti-tumor effects.
Hemp Milk & Seeds
Hemp seeds can be consumed or used to produce a variety of food products including:
- hemp milk
- hemp oil
- hemp cheese
- hemp-based protein powder
Hemp is a plant based source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great plant based source of protein containing all ten amino acids. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium.
Clothes made of hemp
Hemp fabrics are stronger, more absorbent, more durable, and better insulating than cotton. Although hemp can be rough on the skin, it gets softer with consecutive washings. Hemp fibers can also be blended with cotton for softness and spandex for ease of movement. It can also be made into shoes!
- Protects your skin by filtering UV light.
- Resists bacterial growth
- Prevents odors
- 4 times stronger than cotton it won’t weaken with washing
- Hemp uses only 1/20th the amount of water as cotton to grow and process
- Hemp can be grown consecutively for over twenty years without depleting soil. Hemp plant roots aerate the soil, leaving it rich for future crops. Hemp will produce 1500 pounds of fiber per acre, whereas cotton will produce only 500 pounds per acre
- Doesn’t require the amount of pesticides that cotton does to grow
Other hemp fabrics
Its durability, strength and ability to hold color make it a perfect choice for upholstery materials
The main obstacle seems to be that processing plants are set up for wood production. However, hemp has a fast growth cycle and is much more durable and sustainable. Additionally, fewer chemicals are needed to process hemp than wood. Right now, it is expensive, since it was illegal for most of the 20th century and there is not enough of it being grown in the United States.
Deforestation is one of the most serious problems we face on Earth today. It’s driving climate change and the extinction of species globally. The Ministry of Hemp writes:
Hemp vs Trees – and how hemp can help solve the deforestation crisis.
- 1 acre of Hemp can produce as much paper as 4-10 acres of trees over a 20 year cycle.
- Hemp stalks grow in 4 months, whereas trees take 20-80 years.
- Hemp has higher concentration of cellulose than wood, the principal ingredient in paper.
- Trees are made up of only 30% cellulose, requiring the use of toxic chemicals to remove the other 70%. Hemp, on the other hand, can have have up to 85% cellulose content.
- Hemp has lower lignin content than wood. Hemp contains 5-24% lignin whereas wood has 20-35%. This is advantageous as lignin must be removed from the pulp before it can be processed as paper.
- Hemp paper is more durable than trees. Hemp paper does not yellow, crack, or deteriorate like tree paper.
- Wider use of hemp paper can help sustainability efforts to reduce deforestation.
Houses can be made from hempcrete, which is comprised of hemp hurds, water, and powdered limestone. The mixture will harden into a rock hard stone like material, that is both breathable and long lasting.
Hemp has the advantage of being extremely fast growing ( it can be harvested in three months) and environmentally friendly. It is also:
- Mold resistant
- No off-gassing
- Fire and pest resistant
Please read our previous post for more details and videos pertaining to hempcrete and houses made from hemp.
The Hemp Car!
In 1941, after twelve years of research, Henry Ford debuted an incredible car that might have revolutionized the way we impact the environment. That car was made from hemp ( aside from the steel frame) and could run on hemp fuel or vegetable oil. The body was said to be 10 times stronger than steel. Unfortunately the oil/ gasoline industry lobbied hard against it and at the same time the prohibition against hemp was instituted.
Fuel and the hemp car resurrected!
Hemp can be used to create two types of fuel:
- Hemp biodiesel – made from the oil of the (pressed) hemp seed.
- Hemp ethanol/methanol – made from the fermented stalk.
Hemp is certainly more friendly in terms of being a clean source of fuel which would potentially minimize global warming and pollution. However, the deforestation necessary to planting enough hemp crops to create this fuel could create even more of a problem. Hemp farmers claim that they would plant on “marginal” land. However, that land is home to both flora and fauna.
In the meantime, hemp has already made a comeback in the European automotive industry and is used in fiberglass panels, doors, trim and interiors. Additionally, hemp is biodegradable.
Take a look at the all new hemp car below.
Hemp is a miracle plant that requires little effort to grow. It’s sustainable and eco-friendly . It can be used in the production of the following:
- Vegan friendly foods
- Industrial materials
- Clothing and fabrics
- Health giving CBD oils
- Paper products
- Hempcrete for building construction