The hemp plant is used for many things—often as alternatives to products we know and use every day.
Certain household items were originally made with hemp, and others have started to integrate the material more recently. Petroleum products like gasoline, plastics and textiles can often be replaced with hemp, which can grow almost anywhere under most conditions.
Although trees can be cut down and replaced after many years, hemp’s harvest time comes within 125 days of being planted. Additionally, the yield from one acre of hemp plants can produce the same amount of paper as nearly four acres worth of trees. Paper made from hemp is stronger than that of trees and also requires less chemicals in the treatment process.
Eroding soil and possible water pollution is prevented when hemp plants are around, making it a no brainer to grow hemp—but many people still don’t realize all of its uses. Here are five that you might not have known about.
1. Luxury Automobiles
When you think of high-end luxury cars, hemp is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. But BMW’s latest electric car, the i3, has hemp lined door panels in an effort to connect drivers to nature and to give the car a lighter overall feel. However, that’s not the only automotive use for hemp. In 2007, students at the University of Warwick came up with a race car that had an outer shell made completely from the plant.
2. Multi-Purpose Restoration Oil
Using hemp oil is a natural way to waterproof and maintain leather goods like saddles, boots and bags. It treats and protects leather, while also preventing tearing and cracking. But not only does hemp oil work on leather, it can also be used to restore wood and metals and as a top coat over certain types of paint.
Hemp seeds and oil are very nutritious and delicious. Consuming the seeds are an excellent source of proteins and minerals; hemp is the only plant that contains all of the amino acids that the human body needs. The presence of these nutrients affect functions like metabolism, mood, brain, heart and skin. If you have access to some, your body will thank you later!
4. Animal Feed and Bedding
Agrisorb Hemp Horse Bedding
Those who take care of animals and livestock can replace the animal’s diet with hemp since it has many nutritional benefits for them. Plus, in addition to using it as feed, it can also be used for an animal’s bedding. The absorption capacity of hemp wood is much higher than other materials, plus moisture, odors and ammonia are absorbed quicker. The springy bedding is perfect for the hooves of horses, whereas wood shavings can lead to hoof damage.
5. Hemp-Based Concrete
America’s First House Made Primarily of Hempcrete
The fibers of hemp are known as hurds. When they are combined with lime, it forms a material that is called often Hempcrete, which is very similar to concrete in appearance, but is half the weight and much more elastic. Not only is it great for insulation, but it can be used for everything from roof installation to flooring to wall construction. Once fully cured, blocks of hempcrete will float in water. Durability and portability can be made naturally with hemp to improve the world of construction.