10 things you didn’t know about hemp

February 16, 2020

Hemp

By now you are probably completely across the health benefits of eating hemp but the story doesn’t just end here. Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant and is said to have more than 25,000 different uses. It just keeps getting better!

So let’s look into some of the lesser common facts about hemp.

1. Hemp was one of the first cultivated agricultural crops in the world. 
It might look beautiful and youthful but this plant is old… really old! The first traces of hemp date to 8000 BCE in Ancient China. It was said to be used in rope and pottery and as a source of food, making it both useful and delicious!

2. Hemp is one of the strongest fibre sources. 
Useful, delicious and STRONG! In the 1700’s hemp was an incredibly popular fibre crop to grow because it was resistant to rot and abrasion. This strong source of fibre is now making a big comeback in the clothing industry! With hemp fabric being not only strong but soft, breathable, UV resistant and environmentally friendly.

3. Hemp paper is better than wood based paper. 
In comparison to wood based paper, hemp is far more environmentally friendly to grow and is also stronger, acid free and does not yellow as quickly. 

4. Hemp fibre can be made into a biodegradable plastic. 
Hemp fibre can create a simple solution to our plastic problem! Hemp plastic is made from cellulose which is found in the stalk of the plant. The benefits to this include it being biodegradable, recyclable and non-toxic. 

5. You can build a house out of hemp.
Fancy an eco-friendly house? Well hemp fibre can be turned into a product called hempcrete which is a combination of the hemp plant, water and lime. It is said to be better than traditional building materials because it is sustainably sourced, mould resistant, durable, fire and pest resistant and a great insulator. 

6. Drive around in an eco-friendly hemp car. 
In 1941 Henry Ford unveiled the first hemp car! It was made out of hemp cellulose plastic and proved to have an impact strength 10 times stronger than steel. Not only was the car body stronger than steel, but far lighter, more cost effective and safer. 

7. Run on hemp biodiesel. 
Making his car even more eco-friendly, Henry Ford created it to run off hemp biodiesel. The biodiesel is created from hemp seed oil and can be used in any conventional diesel engine. 

8. Fantastic for the environment.
As we all seek different ways to become more environmentally friendly, we should start paying more attention to hemp!

This small plant has far more of an impact on the environment than other agricultural crops. To start with hemp acts as a purifier, it captures carbon dioxide from the environment which in turn helps clean the air. An acre of hemp actually captures more CO2 than an acre of trees! Talking of trees, hemp could solve our deforestation problems, as its 4 month growth cycle means it can produce more paper than our beautiful old trees. Plus, hemp grows like a weed and therefore does not require large amounts of water or chemicals (herbicides and pesticides) to grow in comparison to traditional agricultural crops such as cotton and flax. 

9. Hemp cleans up after us. 
After planting hemp around the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant they found that the soil toxicity had dramatically decreased. This is because hemp absorbs man made toxins from the soil and replaces them instead with healthy nutrients, replenishing the soil. This also greatly helps farmers regenerate their soil as other traditional crops pull the good nutrients out, hemp puts it all back in. 

10. It’s easy to grow.
Lastly, hemp is currently grown throughout America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It can be grown in a range of different climates and its short growth cycle of 4 months makes it an ideal rotational crop for farmers. The varieties grown for food are also easy to introduce into traditional cropping farms as it requires the same machinery.

How amazing is that! Fingers-crossed we will see more awesome hemp products popping up in Australia soon. 



References
http://www.hemptrade.ca/eguide/background/history-of-hemp
https://ministryofhemp.com/hemp/history/
https://nationalhempassociation.org/facts-statistics-hemp/
https://www.eartheclipse.com/energy/hemp-plastic-features-uses-benefits.html
https://nationalhempassociation.org/some-interesting-faces-about-hempcrete-as-a-building-material/ 
http://www.verymagazine.org/magazine/216-overview-issue20/877-henry-fords-hemp-car-1941
https://www.cannabistech.com/articles/driving-toward-a-greener-future-with-hemp-biofuels/
https://www.goodhemp.com/hemp-hub/environmental-benefits-of-hemp-how-good-is-it/
https://www.cannvas.me/Articles/Science-and-Tech/Chernobyl-and-the-power-of-the-hemp-plant
https://www.cannvas.me/Articles/Science-and-Tech/Chernobyl-and-the-power-of-the-hemp-plant





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