Hemp has been known to be cultivated specifically for industrial purposes 1000s of years. In fact, it was used in China and the Middle East back in 8000 BC. The hemp plant has a fiber that is used to manufacture a wide range of textiles and as well as seeds that are good for human consumption. Hemp has versatility and quite useful for many things. In fact, hemp is connected to thousands of commodities and household items and is used to make There are currently over 60,000 known industrial uses for hemp including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, biofuel, canvas, boat sails, clothes, paper, ship rigs, twine, fish nets and so much more.
It is important to know that hemp is different from the marijuana plant. You could call hemp, marijuana’s cousin, if you looked at it as a family relationship. Yes, they are family, but they are both different in more ways than one. Hemp is a taller plant than marijuana. Most of its leaves are located toward the top of the hemp plant, keeping closer together as it grows. Additionally, the hemp plant has the ability to be grown in a wide range of conditions. It does not need the same care as the marijuana plant. Moreover, it grows quicker and easier than the marijuana plant. Let’s look at some of those hemp uses.
Human Food and Nutrition
Hemp uses include human food. You can use it in quite a few recipes. Because of its health benefits, humans can consume it. You can make salad oil using hemp. Hemp seeds are eaten in the same way you eat regular nuts. You can add hemp seeds to your cake batter to produce baked goods. Hemp is high in essential fatty acids and amino acids. These are important to your diet. You can crush the hemp seed and make oil or flour. Both the complete protein and the oils contained in hempseeds (rich in lanolin and linolenic acids) are in ideal ratios for human nutrition.
Pet Food and Bedding
The hemp plant can be used in pet food since it has so many healthy proteins. When given to cats, it makes their coats shiny and healthy. It can also be used as a dietary supplement for nourishing dogs, cows and horses. Hemp seeds are also enjoyed by birds. Hemp uses also include pet bedding for animals such as guinea pigs, rats and other rodents. It is good to use in cat litter.
Body Oil and Lotions
The hemp plant is known for containing oils used in body lotions and essential oils. It has an EFA content, which aids in the regeneration of cracked and dry skin. It is an amazing moisturizer.
Oil Based Products
Hemp uses include oil for candles, lanterns and paint. The oil from hemp is used to make any oil based products. Paint is one of them. In fact, when used to make paint, you will find that the paint job last much longer. Hemp oil is non-toxic and not harmful to the environment.
Hemp is used to manufacture clothing such as jeans and sport clothing, lingerie and other high fashion apparel. Hemp uses makes clothing last longer. Some of the celebrity clothing labels that use hemp fibers are Ralph Lauren, Armani and Calvin Klein.
Plastic products made from hemp are usually biodegradable and can aid in reducing landfills. In the past, hemp uses spanned packing materials and products like CD jewel cases.
Paper is sometimes made using hemp. It is more economical to use hemp to make paper. It saves the trees and protects the wildlife and forests. This is a nice way to protect the environment.
Construction Materials and Housing
70% of the hemp plant’s total weight is made up of the ‘hurd’ or woody inner core. This part of the plant is THC free and is used in housing construction materials. The silica leached from the soil by the plant combined with unslaked lime forms a chemical bond similar to cement which is fire and water proof. Hemp plant can make strong and durable materials for construction. For example, cement made from hemp uses minerals and core fibers. When hemp is used to make homes, there is stronger resistance to bad weather and less damage incurred during bad weather.
Hemp uses includes making fuel such as bio-diesel. The petroleum industry has embraced the use of hemp in making its products. Ethanol production is also popular in the hemp industry. Fuel can be a by-product of hemp cultivation. One fuel would be biodiesel because of the oils in the seeds and stalk of the hemp, another would be biofuel from the fibrous stalks.
Until its rediscovery in the late 1980s, the use of hemp for fiber production had declined sharply over the past decades, but hemp still occupied an important place amongst natural fibers as it is strong, durable and unaffected by water. The main uses of hemp fiber were in rope, sacking, carpet, nets and webbing. A hemp clothing industry was reborn in the West in 1988, and hemp is being used in increasing quantities in paper manufacturing.
Smallholder plots are usually harvested by hand. The plants are cut at 2 to 3 cm above the soil and left on the ground to dry. Mechanical harvesting is now common, using specially adapted cutter-binders or simpler cutters.
The cut hemp is laid in swathes to dry for up to four days. This was traditionally followed by retting, either water retting whereby the bundled hemp floats in water or dew retting whereby the hemp remains on the ground and is affected by the moisture in dew moisture, and by moulds and bacterial action. Modern processes use steam and machinery to separate the fiber, a process known as thermo-mechanical pulping.
For an extensive look at the used of hemp review the paper titled, Hemp: A New Crop With New Uses For North America written by Ernest Small and David Marcus
For an example of numerous hemp products and and to purchase hemp produces visit Hemp Basics.
Wikipedia also has a fairly lengthy list of items that can be produced with hemp