Hemp Building Symposium Coming to France

The 10th International Hemp Building Association Symposium takes place this year in Lacapelle Marival, France, from the 11th to 12th of October. As ever, this event promises to be a showcase of the latest technologies in building with hemp from around the world, along with interesting applications for hemp fibers in other industries, in particular the textile industry.

With the rising interest in environmentally friendly and sustainable building materials, the popularity of using hemp raw materials in building projects is spreading. As a result, new technologies are emerging to make the process more efficient. In this interview with International Hemp Building Association founder, Steve Allin, he explains what people can expect from the 10th edition of this event, the history of the industry, and the implications of working with hemp.

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Question: Why did you start the International Hemp Building Association Symposium?

Allin: It was a result of hosting the first symposium here in my hometown of Kenmare in 2009. That event attracted so much interest from so many different parties from around the world we realized it was time to get together to discuss this technology and the materials, as well as all the implications of using these materials. I was one of the early adopters in the industry, and was in contact with various people. There was a project in France in the 80s, and in the early 90s, other projects popped up around Europe, which is when the industry began to really get going.

Back then, there was a lot of discussion going on, ideas about how best to use the materials that were developing quickly. Many people were coming up with ideas for what to mix hemp shiv with, what types of binders to use. So, it became obvious to me, it was the right time to bring all these people and ideas together, which resulted in the event in Kenmare. We hosted a 3-day event and it was a great success, with more than 70 people from around the world, and from then on, we decided to create a formal association.

Question: What is the goal of the International Hemp Building Symposium?

Allin: We want to do a few things. First, we want to add value to the farm, and give more farmers reason to grow hemp. But we also aim to tackle the question of how to demonstrate hemp as a building material while also taking into consideration the wider implications of the plant.

Question: What are some of the implications of growing industrial hemp?

Allin: There’s no point growing hemp unless you have access to some kind of industrial processor. Unfortunately, it was a huge disaster in the U.S. when lots of people decided to get into growing vast fields of “industrial hemp.” I use inverted commas because they were growing the plants for CBD and that material isn’t really useful for anything else, which meant the market there was flooded, creating terrible outcomes on many levels.

Industrial hemp is a different plant that produces fibers, biomass, wood chips and has seeds. Each one of those has to be part of the processing system and that’s why the topic of hemp connects with so many other industries. This plant can provide solutions to all sorts of problems for humanity in general because it covers the basics: food, shelter and clothing. These are things everyone needs, which is what makes hemp so unique.

Question: What kind of solutions does building with hemp offer?

Allin: We’re offering all kinds of solutions with hemp building. First, the raw materials don’t need a huge amount of processing and are low energy. But more importantly, we’re creating building materials that are carbon-negative, so materials that pull carbon out of the atmosphere, and store it. And even though these materials can store carbon, they drastically reduce the amount of carbon inside buildings, which has huge implications for health. And hemp is easy to work with, doesn’t involve lifting heavy blocks that demand lots of strength. Any healthy person, man or woman, can build a house with hemp. It’s an equal opportunities employer.

Question: What makes the Hemp Symposium different from other hemp conferences?

Allin: The plan from the beginning was to host a symposium in a different place every year. Even though that creates a lot more in terms of organization, the aim is to bring people to see projects in development. Rather than standing around conference halls talking about these things, we want to get people physically involved, and show the raw materials and technologies in action. It’s the best way to promote a new technology because it enables people to get a real grasp of it.

Question: Why is the membership of the Hemp Building Association so diverse?

Allin: When we set up the association there was no real need for a national association as no market was big enough. But when you put all the activity together, and look at the global implications, it’s a different story. Hemp can be grown in so many different locations, and has different implications for energy needs in hot or cold, wet or dry climates. Plus, every country has different codes and regulations. So, to really understand it, and uncover ways to adopt new technologies, a global perspective is required. We’re currently working with the U.S. Hemp Building Association and the European Industrial Hemp Association to create a building code for Europe, and there’ll be presentations about that at this year’s symposium.

Question: What new tech will people see at this year’s symposium?

Allin: This year we’ve got the most amazing collection of new technologies, including demonstrations by at least three different spray machines, if not more. The demonstrations on the program include AKTA-BVP, Baumer, and Tecnocanapa. This is a demonstration of mixing hemp shiv and applying it to walls. We also have a new processor demonstration of a new medium-scale machine, which processes hemp at a scale that many small communities could achieve. It produces both building materials but also high-quality fiber materials to be used by the textile industry.

That versatility drives up the value of hemp by creating a new application, which makes this a very interesting machine. But there’s lots of research going on at the moment about different ways hemp can mixed and applied, and those projects will be on display too. There are lots of projects testing hemp in extreme environments. One project is a 12-story hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, and another is a hostel in the Himalaya Mountains with a hemp envelope.

Question: What is the current trend in the hemp building industry?

Allin: Right now, there’s a move towards pre-fabricated blocks or panels, or modular housing systems. One of the largest markets for hemp is retrofitting. We’re interested in restoring the buildings that people currently use for work and living.

Question: How is hemp used by the textile industry?

Allin: Right now, hemp fiber is used by the clothing industry as a blend for linen, so a percentage of a linen cloth might be hemp to create a more ecological material. Hemp is far more environmentally friendly to grow than flax. Also, there are a lot of supply chain issues in the textile industry at the moment due to the shortage of flax. And it looks like it might be a permanent problem. Which is why the focus has shifted to hemp as a way to produce fine textiles in order to replace flax in the linen industry.

That said the most common use of hemp fibers is for the cotton industry, which is an incredibly fast and complex system of producing yarns. To fit hemp fiber into that model is not easy, as it’s difficult to get the same fineness from hemp. But the machinery that’s in place is designed to work with cotton, which is why they get such good results. The technology to get similar results from hemp is just not there

Question: But this new textile technology to be presented at the symposium gets similar results?

Allin: Exactly. We want to demonstrate how this processor can produce fibers in a way that’s applicable to the textile industry. The machine produces a fairly clean and lined material that can then be used for ribbon making to make woven sheets of finer material. Because it’s lined, the material can also be put through various carding and chopping machines, basically cut into short lengths so it can be used in the cotton industry. This is another huge market opportunity for hemp, and outside of China, the market isn’t being supplied.

Final Thoughts

To see the program for the 10th International Hemp Symposium Building Association, click here:https://internationalhempbuilding.org/10th-international-hemp-building-symposium-programme/

Hotel info can be found here.

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/world-tallest-hemp-building-in-cape-town-new-record-2022-7

The projects in Nepal are instigated by S.H.I.V.  

https://shahhempinnoventures.com/shivcrete/

The project in India: http://www.himalayanhempecostay.com/

This is must-see event for anyone interested in the future of building with hemp.

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Hempcrete for Industrial Building – An Answer to Cement Pollution Problem

Much like with hemp plastic, which has the ability to cut down on our global plastic use, replacing it with a biodegradable material which doesn’t kill the environment to make, and hemp batteries, which are still being investigated as an alternative to the standard, hempcrete is hemp’s answer to building materials, and comes with massive benefits for both industrial and private building projects. Here’s a little on what it is, and how it can help.

There are tons of hempcrete benefits for industrial building, but that’s just one great aspect of the cannabis plant. Most of us are more familiar with it for its medical and recreational benefits. Much like the appearance of hempcrete, there are also tons of new products in the medical and recreational space, like THCV, THCA, and delta-8 THC. We encourage you to use hempcrete for building projects, but if you’re looking to take the edge off after working, take a look at our deals for delta-8 THC, and many other compounds, and be glad that expanding industries means lots of new options.

Standard building: concrete, cement and CO2 emissions

The first thing you’ll notice about hempcrete is that the name of the building material sounds much like the more well-known one that has been used in the last couple centuries for mass production in building materials, concrete. Concrete, and particularly cement, production account for a huge amount of CO2 emissions, meaning the standard building industry creates a lot of greenhouse gases, and leaves a major carbon footprint on the earth. This is more related to cement, while concrete production means digging into the ground and ruining the topsoil, which is the fertile, growing layer of soil.

Concrete is a hard, chemically inert building material made from an aggregate of (generally) sand and gravel, which is bonded by cement and water. Cement for its part, is a mixture of limestone, clay, and sand which is heated in a kiln to about 1450 Celsius to produce ‘cement clinker’, which becomes standard cement after it is cooled, ground down, and mixed with other substances. 40% of the emissions related to cement production have to do with the fuels used to heat the kilns. There is also 60% created in the process of lime being heated in the kiln, which releases CO2 into the kiln, in a process called calcination. This does create a carbon footprint in the manufacture of cement and concrete. All of this accounts for an entire 8% of global CO2 emissions.

Cement only makes up approximately 7-10% of concrete, the rest is the sand, gravel, and water. The making of concrete, and cement, essentially requires use of some of the more basic raw materials found on earth. The cement industry, through it’s release of carbon dioxide, actually accounts for as much as 25% of all industry CO2 emissions. This, along with the statistic that per each dollar of revenue, it produces the most CO2 emissions. While it is cement, and not the rest of concrete production that is responsible for this, cement is an integral part of making concrete, which means cement CO2 emissions have been very hard to get around.

CO2 emissions cement

How widespread is use of these materials? They’re literally everywhere. Think about the majority of sidewalks, many houses, most office building, most building structures, dams, on highways, and in tons of other places. Nearly everything we come into contact with in terms of industrial building, involves the use of cement and/or concrete. With increasing issues related to the destruction of our planet, atmosphere, and breathing air, looking for building materials with less carbon footprint, becomes even more important, and this is where hempcrete comes in.

What is hempcrete?

Hempcrete sounds much like the material it’s meant to replace, concrete. Hempcrete is an alternate building material made from all-natural materials lime and hemp. Lime, of course, is a main component in cement production, with the heating of it leading to the majority of the CO2 emissions involved. In hempcrete production, the inner core of the hemp plant is used which has a woody consistency, called the ‘shiv’. It’s naturally high content of silica makes it great with binding to limestone. This is, in fact, a property unique to the hemp plant among other natural fibers.

The hurds and lime are mixed together with a sufficient amount of water. When this happens, a chemical reaction takes place with the lime and water, which creates a sort of glue which covers the hemp particles and binds them together, creating something called ‘bonded cellulose insulation’. Once everything is set and dries out, the final material is hempcrete. When substances like concrete or plaster are made, the idea is to fill the space between particles to make the substance firm and strong. This is not the case with hempcrete, where the hemp particles are only coated by the lime-binder so they can stick to each other. This means there is void space throughout the material.

Not all hemp is created equally, however, and we already know there is a massive difference between strains when it comes to medical effects. This is true of industrial effects as well. For example, some strains have more fiber. More fiber increases density and strength, which can be good at times, but which minimizes thermal abilities. When building, it’s important that builders use the correct hempcrete for their building project.

Now, when making cement, lime is heated to temperatures which cause the massive CO2 emissions. The interesting thing about hempcrete? Not only is CO2 not released in making it, but it can actually take CO2 out of the air and hold it, or sequester it. How much? According to research, as much as 19lbs of CO2 per cubic foot of hempcrete (approximately what three refrigerators release in a year). In this way, not only would hempcrete not add to CO2 emissions, it would help clear CO2 from the air. Kind of a double whammy in the helping environmental issues department.

Now, one thing to be made clear, is that hempcrete would not actually be a 100% replacement for concrete. Hempcrete doesn’t have a lot of mechanical strength, and therefore can’t be used to support large weights. Obviously this is a drawback when considering that buildings require materials that can hold a lot of weight, like concrete. On the other hand, the idea that more fibrous hempcrete creates a more firm and solid material, might indicate that a form of hempcrete might be made in the future which could do this job.

hemp building materials

What are hempcrete benefits for industrial building?

There are plenty of hempcrete benefits when it comes to industrial and private building. Here are a few of the main ones to consider.

  • The first benefit, is that it doesn’t leave a carbon footprint like cement, and works oppositely, actually helping to rid the environment of excess CO2. This is like a reverse carbon footprint.
  • One of the main things hempcrete is known for, and one of the major benefits for industrial and private building projects, is its ability for insulation. This ability comes from hempcrete’s capability to stay structurally intact in humidity. Because of the porous structure (space between particles), hemp can absorb moisture directly into its cellular structure. The moisture can be stored or released based on changing weather conditions. According to a French study, one cubic meter of hempcrete can hold as much as 596kg of water. This means it can sustain up to ~ 93% humidity over a long period of time, without ruining the structure.
  • Another benefit is that lime is antimicrobial, and by biding to the hemp particles, it creates surfaces on which bacteria and funguses can’t grow. Other insulation materials can more easily grow mold, hempcrete will not. Mold is a major issue in most insulation materials, making hempcrete a better solution in this vein.
  • While hempcrete can’t sustain the same kind of weight as concrete, it can aid in weight support, particularly when cast around framing – conventional or double-studded. A Canadian study found that under certain circumstances, hempcrete infill along with standard wall studs, was able to increase support ability by 3-4X.
  • Hemp hurd is actually a byproduct of other industrial hemp activities that rely on materials like fiber and seeds. So as industrial hemp is grown more for these aspects, there is a growing amount of hurd left over that can be used in insulation. As of right now, this material can be compressed to fuel pellets, or used in products like animal bedding, but as hurd is not used in primary industrial hemp markets, there is plenty available specifically for insulation purposes, and its use in this way helps more of the hemp plant to be used without waste.
  • When creating hempcrete, there are some issues with lime being caustic, and requiring safety equipment to work with (though minor in comparison to other industrial chemicals). However, once fully dried, unlike insulators like asbestos which are now associated with massive health issues, hempcrete will release no toxins into the air around.
  • The high thermal capacity of hempcrete makes it good not just for insulation, but for structuring/covering walls as well.
hempcrete benefits industrial building
  • Since it’s made from hemp, and contains a porous structure, hempcrete is significantly lighter than concrete, about 1/7th the weight. On the downside, this also makes it significantly weaker in terms of supporting weight, at about 1/20th that of concrete, which is why, unless a newer stronger version can be formulated, it can’t totally replace concrete.

Why aren’t we using this much better material en masse already?

This is a great question, and goes back to why hemp was illegalized in the first place, and is also relevant to the use of oil/natural gas-based plastics instead of hemp plastic. Back in the early-mid 1900’s, there were industrial chemical companies headed by families like the Duponts which didn’t want competition, and still rely on the oil industry today to make products. Oil companies are some of the biggest contributors to electoral campaigns and the sitting ducks in office who never seem to do anything useful. There was also a paper industry and a pharmaceutical industry that didn’t want competition back when prohibition was just starting.

Of course, the cement industry and concrete industries are quite large themselves, with the cement industry expected to be worth $682.3 billion by 2025. The global ready-mix concrete market size is expected to reach 1.2 trillion by 2027. Together in 2020, the cement and concrete products industries were worth $333.26 billion. The idea that those who run the corporations in these industries wouldn’t do a lot to protect against new materials that could cut into revenue, is ignoring basics of general life and industry. The size of these industries will make it hard for newer and better materials to come out, unless such corporations can themselves find ways to benefit from them.

Technically, since hempcrete is made from a plant and lime, it has the capacity to be made much more cheaply than concrete which requires digging into the earth, and much longer processing because of the cement. However, because right now there is opposition by building corporations, not that many companies operate in the hempcrete space yet, making it more expensive at the moment, even though its production is generally less expensive with all other things being equal.

Hempcrete for Industrial Building – Conclusion

There are a couple things to understand about hempcrete benefits for industrial and private building. It has a lot of positive attributes that can make buildings overall stronger and better, but its also, like with plastics, against massive industries that don’t want competition from better materials. The existent industries, however, show the extent of the value that a hempcrete market is capable of having if it can start to divert from these other industries.

Will it happen? I think so. Soon? Hard to say. As environmental problems increase, looking to materials like hempcrete becomes even more important. But the rich tend not to care about their own environment, and so the first obstacle, is gaining momentum to start cutting into these already existent, and dominating, corporations.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Hemp Plastic & the Future of Mass Production

We know about the dangers we pose to the planet – and therefore ourselves – by our use of plastic. Many of us also know that hemp can be used to make almost anything, and at one point, was a contender in the plastics industry. With the ridiculousness of prohibition slowly coming to an end, hemp plastic is a real thing, and the likely future of mass production if we want to keep living on this planet.

Using hemp to create plastic for mass production is an obvious answer to current issues. Just like, using cannabis instead of opiates is a better option for pain relief without addiction. Luckily, today there are more options than there were a few years ago. Like Delta-8 THC. A few years ago, this wasn’t an option at all, now its a great one. What is it? Its a half-brother to delta-9, which comes with slightly less psychoactive effect, less anxiety produced, and less cloudiness in the head (with more energy). Doesn’t it sound good to have options? Check out our selection of delta-8 THC deals, and figure out your own best option.

Prohibition and hemp

In 1937 Henry J. Anslinger, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, pushed through the Marihuana Tax Act which instituted massive taxation of hemp products, greatly minimizing the entire industry. He didn’t do it alone though, and the reasons behind this, and the eventual complete prohibition of cannabis, aren’t always understood well.

What does seem to be the case, and which is coming out more and more, is that Anslinger didn’t do this on his own. Sure, it might’ve been a personal move for his anger over failed alcohol prohibition, but he didn’t get a country of people to hate cannabis all on his own. For that, he had the help of partners, who also benefitted from the demonization of all cannabis in the public eye.

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One of the major players in the outlaw of cannabis, was William Randolph Hearst, a magnate of the paper industry, who essentially ruled the roost in terms of paper and publications. The last thing he wanted was for hemp paper to get in the way of his own industry. For his part, Hearst helped spur along hatred toward the black community and particularly Mexicans, filling his newspapers with all kinds of ‘yellow journalism’ and overall smear campaigns, to turn the American public against the plant and the people.

Then there was the burgeoning pharmaceutical industry, which did not have the ability to patent a plant, and which was threatened by cannabis and all of its medical applications. By the time that prohibition started, cannabis was in so many different every-day, and medical products, that something involving it could be found in almost any home. Prohibition cleared the way for these companies to push their own products, without a more natural, and better, alternative available to people.

plastic and environment

Yet another family – and industry – which worked along with Anslinger to push through prohibition, were the DuPonts, and their plastics industry. Around that time, the family had gotten into developing synthetic fabrics, particularly, cellophane, made from petroleum. This – as we now know – ended up being a benchmark for packaging goods in America and beyond, among many other uses, and the last thing that was desired at the time, was for hemp to be a competitor in their business.

All of this pressure led to the Marihuana Tax Act, and then full prohibition in 1970 with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Though most of the stories that were put out for the public involved tying the plant to the ‘drug’ side, it was really the industrial uses of hemp that damned it in the end (even more than medical uses). So instead of not cutting down trees, or not filling our oceans with plastic, or not having a massive opioid epidemic, all those things happened at hyper speed, and for the most part, no one considered hemp at all while these problems grew out of bounds.

A little on plastic

Not everyone is fully aware of just how bad the plastics issue has now become in terms of our environment, and the health of the planet – and therefore, all of us living on it. So, to make it a little more clear-cut, why hemp plastic is so important for mass production, here’s a little info on the awfulness of the current petroleum-based plastics industry.

  • In 1950, about 2.3 million tons of plastic was produced. By 2015, this number reached 448 million tons, with an expectation of this number doubling by 2050.
  • About eight million pieces of plastic get into the ocean per day, making for approximately eight million tons per year. This also equals about one garbage truck worth of plastic, emptying into the oceans every minute.
  • 165 million tons of plastic are sitting around the waterways of the world, getting as far down as 11km deep.
  • Over one million sea birds and 100,000 marine animals die yearly from plastic pollution. Every sea turtle will have plastic in its body. One out of three fish caught for human consumption, has plastic within it.
  • Less then 10% of produced plastic gets recycled.
  • The US creates 80 million tons of plastic waste per year.
  • The plastic microbeads in the oceans are one million times more toxic than actual sea water.

How is all this plastic made? Let’s remember that the DuPont family found a way to create cellophane from petroleum. While it doesn’t always seem like an obvious fact, the plastics industry relies entirely on the oil and gas industries. Though plastics aren’t made directly from oil and gas, they are made from the feedstock that is derived from oil and gas, making for an indirect, but important, connection.

hemp plastic alternative

The US Energy Information Administration will no longer give out information on exactly how much oil is used to make plastics, saying it doesn’t keep track of this information. This is odd, considering its kind of the agencies job to do so. Plus, it most certainly did in the past, putting out in 2010, the number 191 million barrels of LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and NGL (natural gas liquids) for the production of plastics in the US alone. At the time, this accounted for approximately 4% of worldwide oil production. That number is expected to be much higher by now. So why would the US government not release information on oil used for plastic production? Go ahead, and check the site, they don’t give any real information.

The hemp plastic alternative for mass production

Prior to prohibition, there was a massive hemp industry in America, including use for rope, sails, clothing, and industrial building materials. As much as 3,000 tons of hemp was being produced before the plant was illegalized. The word ‘canvas’, actually comes from the word ‘cannabis’, since cannabis was used so often as a fabric. This is emphasized by the fact that back in colonial times, the US instituted grow laws, forcing those with big enough plantations to contribute to the hemp industry, with fines for those who refused.

In the 1940’s, car manufacturer Henry Ford even created a near 100% hemp car, with only metal for the frame. The car weighed around 1,000 pounds less than a standard car, and the hemp plastic used, was better at resisting damage. Wouldn’t it have been interesting if these industries had not been stymied? What would the world be like now, if oil production had never been a part of creating building materials and packaging materials and even automobiles? It’s impossible to say, but luckily some of these old production uses, are coming back in the form of hemp plastic, hemcrete and more.

Can hemp plastic be as good?

This is a question a lot of people have, and it’s a good one. Yeah, of course it can be, in fact, it can be better. Whether made from oil, or from hemp, plastic relies on cellulose for structural issues. While petroleum can be used for this, so can a plant like hemp. Hemp hurds are about 80% cellulose, making hemp a great option, and, better yet, it can be grown organically, isn’t toxic, and won’t contribute to the soiling of our oceans, groundwater, landfills, and streets. It doesn’t contain harmful compounds like BPA (the stuff we’re told leaches into our food and liquids via plastic containers), and therefore isn’t linked to health issues like infertility, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Unlike oil-derived plastic, hemp products are biodegradable, and won’t add to the detriment of our pollution issues. Hemp is also renewable, unlike oil, doesn’t require dangerous processes like fracking, and creates a plastic that is 3.5 times stronger and five times thicker. This makes it better for the environment, and an overall better product.

So, why aren’t we already using hemp plastic for mass production?

It’s very simple, and for the same reason that prohibition was pushed in the first place. Oil and big business, which so often go hand in hand. The DuPonts weren’t invested in natural resources, and neither are any oil companies today. But we already know that upwards of 4% of oil production went into making plastic in 2010, with that number now being around 10%, and possibly higher. That means, if plastic stopped coming from oil, at least 10% of the industry would tank out.

plastic in oceans

Have we ever known big oil to take a loss like that lying down? In the US alone, in just the year 2020, oil companies contributed over $138 million to political campaigns, through donations to parties, through PACs, as soft/outside money, and from individuals. 84% went to republicans, 16% went to democrats. That money was paid out to ensure that operations could continue despite the known detriment to our planet, and with safer options available, like hemp.

It stands to reason that unless the oil industry finds a way to monetize hemp for itself, it will make switching to safer options, that much trickier. We all know how politics work at this point. That $138 million buys votes, and it will never matter what the voting public does, as long as that money is able to filter into politician pockets. The funniest part? Those people have to live on this planet too, so not only are they willing to damn other people with their greediness, but they’re actually dumb enough to hurt themselves in the process.

Can the industry be upended? Sure, most can be with the right catalyzer. And information itself can be a catalyst. But in a poor world, which has grown poorer due to the recent pandemic, (and the reaction to it), getting people to understand the value of making this switch, is difficult. People are fighting to survive, and caring about the status of the oceans, or what might happen in even as little as 20 years, won’t put food on the table right now, or keep the heat going. As long as people are kept poor, and uneducated, the oil industry will prevail.

For those who understand the gravity of the situation, and are looking to the future, these companies are leading the way in getting us back to hemp plastic for mass production purposes, and safer industrial materials: The Hemp Plastic Company, Cannopy Corporation, and Hemp Inc.

Conclusion

There are probably plenty of people that think we as a species can survive anything. They are incorrect. The more damage we do to the environment, the more it comes back around to smack us in the face. And the only reason we continue? Because it puts money in the pockets of people who care so little about the rest of us, that they’re willing and ready to continue on, making a mess of everything for their own profit.

Should we continue using standard plastic? No! We have alternatives like hemp plastic, and it’s what we should be using if the future is considered important at all.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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The Best Uses for the Hemp Plant

For the most part, mainstream markets today are completely missing out on the benefits of the versatile hemp plant, from its tiny seeds up to its hardy stalks.

Hemp is an excellent crop for farmers because it requires far fewer resources to grow than traditional crops, replenishes the soil with nutrients and has a relatively short harvest cycle. Hemp products contain only trace amounts of THC if any at all, and will not cause a positive drug test result or any intoxication.

Increasing consumer demand for hemp products is more important now than ever, as our planet’s resources face exponential stress, but knowing where to begin can be a bit overwhelming. Here are six uses for this versatile plant — including how to wear it, eat it and even use it to power the world.

PHOTO Gracie Malley

Textiles & Paper

The fibers of the hemp plant stalk are strong and durable and can be used to create textiles for clothing, ropes, linens and more, as well as processed into pulp to make paper. There’s a tendency for hemp clothing to “wear in, not out,” becoming softer and more comfortable over time while still outlasting cotton thanks to the strength of the hemp fibers. Hemp is more environmentally friendly than cotton or synthetic materials and, because the lifetime of hemp textiles is long, we could produce less clothing overall if everyone wore hemp. Paper made from hemp is “tree-free,” meaning it does not contribute to further deforestation of our planet, and can be processed into results that are nearly identical to traditional paper.

Cannabis Oil Skincare

PHOTO sangriana

Skincare & Soap

Lotions and soaps made with hemp are readily available in stores around the world and the benefits for your skin are plentiful. Through the cold press extraction method, hemp seed oil retains amino and fatty acids, as well as minerals and vitamins A and E. Hemp seed oil also prevents loss of moisture in the skin and can alleviate dermatitis or dryness. In addition, it’s non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. Hemp seed oil cleansers gently pull dirt and excess oil from skin, leaving it clean and glowing. The cleansing properties of hemp oil also make it a popular component of natural laundry soaps, where it removes grime without stripping the fibers of their dyes.

hemp homes

PHOTO Art Du Chanvre

Housing

Grow your own home with hemp — no, really! The hemp plant can be grown and processed into building materials that replace large portions of the plywood, traditional drywall and insulation, as well as glues and sealants. At harvest, the hemp plant stalks are run through a decortication process and the fibers of the stalk are concentrated into a pulp, which is then mixed with lime and water to create the composition known as hempcrete. Hempcrete is naturally mold, pest and fire resistant. Plus, each cubic meter of hempcrete can pull over 220 pounds of carbon from the air. As a carbon-negative material, it is an obvious choice for an eco-minded builder and anyone who enjoys a warm comfy home will love the fantastic noise and heat insulation hemp housing can provide.

PHOTO Joe DeSousa

Fuel

Hemp can be processed into two types of biofuel: biodiesel and bioethanol. Hemp seeds can be used to make biodiesel, which will extend a diesel engine’s life with better lubrication than petroleum diesel fuel, and the remainder of the plant can be processed into bioethanol Hemp biofuels provide alternatives to the current dependence on fossil fuels, emit less ozone-damaging pollutants both in production and use and can be grown quickly with significantly fewer costs than corn.

PHOTO Hemp Eyewear

Plastic

If you can make it from plastic, you can likely make it from hemp plastic instead! Traditional plastic takes hundreds of years to break down. Hemp plastic waste is safe to dispose, while traditional plastic waste may be releasing toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, hemp plastic is not yet being produced on a large scale, in part because it is more difficult and expensive to produce than petroleum-based plastic. However, a few companies are taking the lead on developing hemp plastic and the future looks bright.

A pile of hemp seeds waiting to be sowed and save the American economy when all grown up.

PHOTO Prensa 420

Protein

Hemp seeds are powerful little things. The oil within hemp seeds contains all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids, and is rich in the “good fats” of omega-3s and omega-6s. Hemp seeds also boast fiber in each serving, which helps the digestive system. The little seeds are also a cost-effective and nutritious option for livestock feed. Try hemp seeds on top of a salad or in a veggie burger patty blend, or mix the seeds or powder into a protein smoothie and enjoy the benefits of hemp without breaking the bank.

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Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

The post The Best Uses for the Hemp Plant appeared first on Cannabis Now.

7 Surprising Everyday Items We Can Make From Hemp

For centuries humans have been using hemp as an industrial resource. But do you know just how many modern day items it’s possible to make from hemp? The answer might surprise you.

Hemp has a multitude of uses and, throughout history, can be seen all across the world. It was and still is used for medicinal and dietary purposes in China. One Chinese village with a population living to over 100 puts their longevity down to hemp seed in their diets. But hemp is so much more than just a dietary supplement.

There really are thousands of uses for the mighty hemp plant. From providing nutrition to making clothes, there’s not much hemp can’t do! Here’s 7 surprising things that you might not know can be made from hemp.

1. Plastics

hemp uses

Plastic pollution is rampant, hemp could be a viable alternative

It’s no secret that plastic is destroying our planet at a worrying pace. And believe it or not, hemp could be the answer to our plastic problems. A substance called Cellulose is commonly used for making plastics. However, this natural material is found in big supply in the hemp plant. Hemp plastic is not just a more ecological answer to the plastic crisis. Its production process is cleaner, less toxic and the plastic itself is better for our health. You can read more about hemp plastic here.

2. Houses

hemp uses

Hempcrete can be used to build luxury homes

Hemp houses have been around since the 6th Century. Now they’re making a comeback and it’s not without good reason. Hempcrete walls utilize waste products from the industrial hemp industry to create a building material which is super light but also incredibly strong. Hemp houses have excellent thermal performance, have the ability to stay damp-free and also absorb tons of CO2. This actually gives them a better-than-zero-carbon footprint. Check out my article on hemp housing for a more in depth look at the benefits of hemp housing.

3. Fuel

hemp uses

Hemp fuel is sustainable and cost efficient

One huge innovation with hemp is its ability to be made into fuel. There are two types of fuel which can be made from the plant – hemp biodiesel and hemp ethanol. As a fuel crop, hemp is one of the most cost-efficient an environmentally friendly fuel crops. If we fueled our machines with hemp instead of fossil fuels, we’d be looking at a more sustainable alternative that causes less pollution.

4. Paper

Paper is one of the oldest applications of hemp

Hemp paper has been around for thousands of years. Name any paper product and chances are at some point it’s been made from hemp. Even America’s Independence Declaration was signed on hemp paper.

Because of hemp’s renewability and short growth periods, as a crop it is more sustainable than regular trees. Hemp takes 4 months to grow on average, compared to 20-100 years for trees. As a result, it also produces a higher paper yield than normal trees and doesn’t contribute to the problem of deforestation.

5. Jeans

Even companies like Levi Strauss are manufacturing hemp denim

When you finally find the perfect pair of jeans, it’s important that they stand the test of time. Hemp denim is not only durable and comfy, it’s also odour resistant. Ecologically, hemp is better the environment than your standard cotton clothes. Eco denim brand Hemp Blue say that hemp uses half as much water as cotton when it’s being produced. Even denim giants Levi’s recently started a line of clothing made from hemp.

6. Beer

Hemp beer is delicious!

Yes, hemp beer is a thing! Beer brands like New Belgium have revolutionized the alcohol industry by adding hemp to their formula. Scientifically, it works because cannabis and hemp belong to the same family as the hops which are commonly used to make beer.

“The Hemporer” is a craft ale which uses hulled hemp seeds as it’s base. Other brands like Sweetwater Brewing Company are also adding hemp terpenes into the mix, to create an alcohol drink that mimics the taste and smell of your favorite cannabis strains.

7. Make-up and Skincare

Hemp seed oil is a great addition to cosmetics because it does not clog pores

Hemp seed oil is a great base for many popular cosmetic items thanks to its non-comedogenic nature and high vitamin content. There are tons of ways to add hemp to your beauty routine.

It’s rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are great for dry skin. On the other hand, it also has the ability to reduce acne thanks to its sebum balancing properties. In truth, it’s great for all skin types. Even ageing skin, for which it’s been said to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

In the same way make-up can be made from hemp, so can skincare. In fact it’s possible to switch out your whole cleanse, tone, moisturise routine for products made from hemp.

There are also bath soaks and bath bombs containing cannabis that give an extra dose of relaxation to your down-time.

Final thoughts.

As you see, you can make almost anything out of hemp and this list only scratches the surface of the hundreds of uses out there.

Hemp is a fantastic source of nutrition and it’s kind to skin, making it a great addition to food products and skin products. It’s also great for animal feeds and pet nutrition.

There’s no doubt that as technology advances, we’ll see more innovative products made from hemp plastic. Who knows – maybe one day you’ll be driving a hemp-fueled car back to your hempcrete home!

The post 7 Surprising Everyday Items We Can Make From Hemp appeared first on CBD Testers.