An economic winter is coming, but don’t worry; we’ve compiled ten ways cannabis can revive a depressed economy. When many people hear “cannabis,” they may think of it as a recreational activity or a medical necessity. And it is. But it’s more than that. So while politicians will inevitably announce “stimulus” and bailouts, the real solution will come from entrepreneurs in a free market. And since Canada has already legalized cannabis, that’s one hurdle out of the way. Next, cut […]
By now, we know that hemp can be used in place of many things, like plastic, paint, and cement; for which it offers an environmentally safer option. Apart from plastic, paint, and cement, there are another couple places where hemp fits in as a better option to current standards. Hemp for gasoline is one, and the other is hemp paper. Hemp paper has been around for centuries, and creates a superior product to wood paper; which begs the question, when will the world switch over to hemp paper, and stop cutting down trees?
Hemp paper stands as a great way to reduce waste and deforestation issues, but gaining a production market takes some time. Hopefully we’ll see more of a switchover in the future. Our 100% independent news publication focuses on stories in the growing cannabis and psychedelics spaces. We provide the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter for readers to stay updated, and offer tons of deals for a range of products, from smoking devices to cannabinoid products like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC. You can find deals in our ‘best of’ lists, for which we ask you only buy products you are comfortable with using.
What is hemp paper
Hemp paper is what it sounds like; paper made from hemp, rather than from trees. The paper is made from the pulp of industrial hemp fibers, and is good for all different kinds of paper products, from toilet paper, to cigarette papers, to packaging materials. Hemp offers 4-5 times the length of fiber from wood, with a lower lignin fraction, a higher resistance to tearing, and greater tensil strength.
Though everything mentioned above indicates hemp as a better option for paper, as the industry is set up around wood already – including all manufacturing processes, its currently cheaper to make wood paper since the infrastructure is already there. This is always the issue when something new comes out, and sometimes a slow market switchover is less about establishing new production infrastructure, than the desire of corporations not to lose their revenue stream by having a product other than theirs, take over their market.
Hemp isn’t the only other natural material that’s been used for paper in history. Let’s not forget that the Egyptians used papyrus, which is made from the pith of the papyrus plant. Much like hemp, papyrus is very versatile, and back in ancient Egypt, it was also used to make mats, clothing, baskets, and boats, among other applications. Papyrus is not widely grown outside of that region, however, and is therefore not a raw material we focus on right now.
A little bit of hemp paper history
Hemp paper is most certainly not a new invention, and actually goes back way farther than our commonly-used wood paper. In fact, artifacts of hemp paper date back to over two thousand years ago, to the early Western Han Dynasty, which was actually some 200 years before the industry really began.
When processes were improved on by Cai Lun some 200 years later, the paper was made from old hemp rags and clothing. This practice of recycling other hemp products to make the paper, went on for much of the hemp paper-making of history. By the 6th century AD, these hemp paper making processes spread to South Korea and Japan, which already both had long-standing histories with cannabis.
Europe was later to get into hemp paper, with the practice spreading to that area by the 13th century, by way of the Middle East. Germany adopted its use in the 14th century. In Russia in 1818, the Goznak paper mill opened in St. Petersburg, which used mainly hemp for the production of watermarked paper, like bank notes, stamped paper, credit bills, postal stamps, bonds, and stocks.
Wood didn’t come into the equation until the 19th century. Around then, wood pulp production also started, but not because it posed a cheaper method. What it did do, was pose a more convenient method, in that there were plenty of trees all around that didn’t need cultivating, and could be used immediately.
In the US, two scientists in the Department of Agriculture – Lyster Hoxie Dewey and Jason L. Merrill – created a paper from hemp pulp in 1916, and said of it that hemp paper is “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood.” By 1943, things had changed enough that when Dewey went on to write a book about hemp and other materials for raw fibers, he made no mention of its use for paper.
One of the big instigators of the ending of the hemp paper industry, was simply all the bans put on cannabis in the 1900’s, which essentially illegalized the practice in many places. Though I could write a whole paper on why this happened, there is much evidence that William Randolph Hearst had a major part in it, as he was a newspaper publisher who used wood paper, and who wanted no hemp competition.
How does hemp paper stack up against wood paper?
Both hemp and wood are good raw materials to make paper. The main constituent of paper is cellulose, for which dried hemp provides 57% compared to wood’s lower 40-50%. Remember that term mentioned earlier, ‘lignin content’? That term refers to a compound which must be removed through chemical processing, regardless of which plant is used. So having less of this compound means less of this chemical processing. Hemp has a lower 5-24% compared to wood’s 20-35%.
Now remember that statement that hemp has a longer fiber length? This means hemp produces 3-4 times the fiber per hectare yearly than a forest. Plus, hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides. Though trees are more convenient when already grown, in terms of growing hemp vs a tree, it’s a difference of 3-4 months for hemp vs 20-80 years for a tree. Hemp paper also doesn’t require bleaching, like wood paper does, meaning less chemicals used in processing.
Another interesting difference is that wood paper can only be recycled up to three times, whereas hemp paper can be recycled up to eight times. Hemp paper is also more resistant to decomposition and page yellowing, things that wood paper falls prey to. And though they both pose an issue for deforestation, hemp can be grown in non-forest areas, whereas cutting down trees will always result in deforestation.
How much paper do we use?
We like to think of ourselves as way more paperless than we used to be. After all, we send emails over writing letters, get bills and bank statements online, and write our reports on computers, rather than notebook paper. But this doesn’t mean we don’t use as much paper, and sometimes we use it in places that are not immediately thought of. Like toilet paper, or the paper used for packaging materials. Think of junk mail, grocery bags, paper towels, and napkins.
Here are some of the unsettling facts of today’s paper industry. For one, according to The World Counts, paper products make up 25% of what we put in landfills, and 33% of municipal waste. 1/3 or more of this is related to packaging materials. As each kilo of paper requires 324 liters of water for production, recycling each ton of paper, saves 26,500 liters of water, 17 trees, and 682.5 gallons of oil…yup, oil. (Oil is used to power boilers, cogeneration, process heating, and drive power – which are necessary for paper production.)
Offices in the US use approximately 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year, even in our paperless world. And just one printing of the Sunday New York Times will take out 75,000 trees. In fact, our world isn’t paperless at all, and demand is actually expected to rise exponentially by 2030.
Between the years 2001-2019, a massive 386 million hectares of forest globally was cut down for paper products. This decreases overall trees in the world by almost 10% since 2000. Every 15 seconds, 199 tons of paper are produced.
For a visual idea of some of this, consider that if all yearly paper waste was put together, you could build a 12 foot wall from California to New York. And the 42 million tons of toilet paper produced yearly, is 50,000 times the circumference of our own planet earth. That’s a lot of waste!
With the hemp industry growing, and tons of applications for it, there’s a great chance that we’ll return to our earlier, less environmentally-wasteful roots, and re-employ the use of hemp for paper products. For those interested now, check out the options available for your business or needs, as there are producers and suppliers already getting into it, particularly out of China which has a large hemp paper market. And remember, any step in the direction of hemp, is a step in the direction of a much cleaner environment.
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Without a uniform federal system, it can often be difficult to get hard numbers to paint an actual portrayal of data in the cannabinoids industry, particularly related to sales. Different publications produce their own numbers based on different metrics, but there are holes where a lot of data should be. One metric of late comes from kush.com, and seeks to answer the question of what hemp products its consumers search for most.
What hemp products do people search for most? Well, we have no formal answer to that, but kush.com pulled together some data from its site to show us what its customers are searching for. Is it helpful? You be the judge! We cover everything under the sun in the world of weed, and you can follow along by signing up to the THC Weekly Newsletter, for a daily dose of industry news. Plus, get direct access to deals on products like vapes, edibles, and other paraphernalia, and on cannabinoid compounds, as well. Check out our 420 deals to get the most out of April 20th, and to ensure a blissful and sky-high holiday!
Before getting into what information was released, best to have an idea of who released it. The company kush.com specializes in supply chain solutions that alleviate risk and compliance issues for all transactions. According to the company, over 6,000 professionals currently use its service. “Kush builds bridges between producers, processors and retailers with a carefully curated network of verified and vetted buyers and sellers.”
Aside from that, kush.com’s main purpose is as a standard marketplace, which sells CBD products, ‘hemp-derived’ products, and other cannabis products. Kush.com goes by the standard industry line in terms of its products’ legality. It says that all products are federally compliant by being hemp-derived and having less than .3% THC. However, as we’ve gone over in many posts, none of these products are made without synthetization, meaning they are illegal, as has been backed up by the DEA.
Shopify already banned such products a couple months ago, likely at the behest of the US government, in an effort to curb an industry it otherwise has no control over. While kush.com doesn’t seem to be pulling shadier tactics, like using brand names of other companies to sell products, or putting dispensary logos on products, it is wholly part of what is already a questionable industry.
As such, all information coming from them should be taken with a grain of salt. However, even salty information is sometimes best if nothing else exists. The following is kush.com’s breakdown of what hemp products people search for most on its site. Maybe it’s not the information we technically want the most, but its the crumb that’s been dropped down to us for now.
What did kush.com do?
According to kush.com, it collected sales data from thousands of customers to see what they’re searching for, which included 200,000 search results. The searches come from the last few months, with nothing more said about time frames. All searches are the result of people looking for products directly on the company site, and the results do not include standard Google searches. Therefore, this metric is only related to kush.com directly.
This is also not sales data, just to be clear. None of what’s to follow indicates a direct sale, so if sales were put up against searches, it could show some very different information. These are only search results, and though they may show interest in a product, they are not indicative of company revenue.
Last thing to know is that kush.com was specifically looking at searches for different Hemp Finished Goods. ‘Hemp Finished Goods’ relates to products that come from hemp, and in this case, can mean all products from vapes to oils to edibles to lotions, and so on.
What hemp products do people search for most?
Kush.com’s search results show that the most searched for hemp products are vapes, with 28.7% of searches relating to these items. Second up was edible candy, which accounted for 18.1% of searches. Dabs and concentrates took the third spot for most searched-for hemp items, with 13.1% of searches, and packaged flowers found themselves in fourth place with 10.6% of searches pointed in that direction.
The rest of the search results go as follows: 9.8% for pre-rolls, 5.2% for tinctures, 4.6% for drinks, 3.3% for lotions, 3% for edibles, 2.3% for capsules and tablets, .8% for pet treats, and .6% for bath bombs. It should be noticed that many of the categories overlap. For example, edibles got 3%, but drinks got 4.6% and candy got 18.1%, which equal 22.7% together. Or you can put together flowers and pre-rolls for 20.4% of search results.
Vapes, edibles (particularly candy), and flowers were the most searched for finished hemp products on kush.com’s site. If nothing else, vendors on kush.com can use this to determine the best way to list products. After all, if selling infused chocolates, it looks like more people will search under ‘candy’ than ‘edibles’, making it easier to get to consumers by listing the product as ‘candy’.
It bears repeating, this has nothing to do with sales information, and though the data could be similar, searches don’t predict sales. It could be that kush.com had its highest sales in flowers, not in vapes. Or that only 1% of clients went on to buy a tincture, though over 5% of search results indicate interest. If kush.com had released accompanying sales data, we’d be able to more closely investigate how close these aggregated searches are to final sales data, but for now, this is the most we’ve been given.
Of course, that’s also one of the bigger questions of this hemp-derived industry in general. Just how big are sales? The cannabinoid market is a very controversial one, but its also a very below-board one, which means not many companies are willing to release their data. Or I assume that’s why it’s been so problematic finding data.
For whatever the reason is, answering the simple question of how much money do these companies bring in, has been a black hole, with infographics like this offering the most anyone wants to give. Did we really learn a lot here? Not really. Apart from vendors possibly getting insight on how to list products, we aren’t increasing out knowledge base with anything interesting.
Other questions it raises
Apart from how this relates to sales data, there is also the question of what particular goods were searched for. Like, in the category of vapes, what percentage of the searches were for delta-8 products, how many were for CBD, and how many for HHC? It could be that one of these categories clearly dominates, or that they rather evenly share the field. It would be very useful to know what products in each category are searched for most.
The same goes for a category like ‘candy’. Gummies have grown in interest all over, but how do they compare to chocolate bars? And are other baked goods in this category, or in another? Then there is the question of whether kush.com counted searches in multiple categories. For example, if a person searched for infused sodas, would it count in just ‘drinks’, or in ‘drinks’ and in ‘edibles’? Same question for gummies, and pet treats that are also edibles. And it can be applied to flowers and pre-rolls, as well.
I’m also curious, when looking at this kind of data, of how many searches each searcher did. It could be that the majority are just people going through the site, with each searcher checking out tons of different categories before making a purchase, or leaving without purchasing. How many categories did the average searcher check out? If its 10, then this data wouldn’t relate well to sales figures, but if its one or two, it indicates that searchers were more specific in what they were looking for, and probably more likely to buy.
How useful an infographic like this is, is hard to say. Sure, it provides a tiny peak at some information, but if you’re like me, and you want more expressive information on the field, something like this not only falls short, but appears to be more a marketing scheme to get traffic, then an actual scientific output meant to add to the understanding of the overall market. I’m not terribly impressed in the end. I’d be more impressed with real sales data, something that’s never released in this industry.
Whether that’s because these companies don’t want the federal government knowing their true sales information, or a lack of result to meet the built-up facade of sales, I have no idea. But they should be out there, and they’re not, and this offering is a paltry substitute, for real and useful information.
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Cannabis is such an incredible plant because it can be used in so many ways. In female form, each strain offers a pharmacopeia of medicine, including the cannabinoids that get you high. A male plant is different. Known as hemp, male cannabis plants won’t get you high but you can use them to make some […]
Today, hemp products are definitely all over the place. Because of the high demand, dispensaries and manufacturers alike have met the demand and come up with these products to please the public. New customers and loyal patrons alike who have made the switch to natural hemp products don’t see any turning back. Once you get […]
Hemp is a variety of the cannabis Sativa plant, which is known as a good source of industrial fiber, as well as oils and medicine. CBD products that are slowly entering the mainstream market also come from hemp, and more and more users are vouching for the benefits that they reap from it. To take […]
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.
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.
PHOTO Art Du Chanvre
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
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
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.
PHOTO Prensa 420
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
In 2020 it’s possible to buy hemp rope, soap, shoes, and even beer. The question is, are these hemp products moving us to a more sustainable future? Hemp an eco-friendly fibre There is often an underlying confusion in society between hemp and marijuana, and whether they are the same thing or not. They do both […]