5 Uses for Hemp You Haven’t Heard of Before

You’ve heard of hemp as it relates to CBD before, right? You’re aware that the industrial hemp plant, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC, was federally legalized with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. You know that the hemp plant is derived from the same cannabis plant that marijuana comes from. You might even be aware that hemp has been farmed for thousands of years for a variety of uses, that many of the founding father’s farmed hemp and that it reached its peak production in the United States in the 1940s surrounding WWII where it was promoted as a necessary crop to win the war.

Photo from 420 Magazine

But did you know the hemp plant is being revitalized, not just for its ability to produce CBD, but for a host of other reasons. Here are our favorites:

Fiber in clothing

The hemp fiber is extremely strong and holds its shape very well. That makes it ideal for form fitting shirts, shorts, canvas shoes and bags. Did you know that the word “canvas” takes its roots from the word “cannabis?” Many clothing companies such as Patagonia and Levi’s are turning back to hemp for some of their clothing lines.

Video property of Patagonia

These companies are recognizing that not only does hemp offer desirable traits from a product standpoint but its low environmental impact make it even more desirable at the front end of the supply chain. Hemp is a phyto-remediative plant so it essentially places the soil it’s contained in in a positive feedback loop; absorbing pollutants, replenishes vital nutrients back into the soil, preventing erosion and using minimal water which makes the hemp plant itself even stronger and makes the surrounding area better for other hemp plants.

Concrete

This recent article by Bloomberg, despite its disturbingly ‘click-baity’ title, highlights how builders around the world are turning to “the boring cousin of marijuana” to create their concrete. Environmentally conscious builders favor it over the traditional oil-based concrete for obvious reasons. Cement makers are responsible for an alarming 7% of entire world’s global CO2 emissions.

The traditional concrete alternative is affectionately known as hempcrete. While we appreciate how impressively close this is to Hemp Crate Co, we don’t think we’ll be including concrete in a crate any time soon. Can you imagine the shipping costs??

Edible Hemp Seeds

We’re proud to include hemp seeds in some of our monthly subscription boxes but if you haven’t had a chance to try some out yet, we hope to help explain why they’re so great. Hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are a nutrient-packed snack that are a perfect crunchy addition to any meal. Throw them on salads, eat them by themselves or with wine and cheese, or grind them up in your latest smoothie concoction.

Hemp seeds property of nuts.com

Whatever method of consumption you choose to take, you know you’ll be getting high protein (25% of the calories from hemp seeds come from their protein) a unique fatty acid profile rich in omega-3 and omega-6, high fiber content and a diverse array of vitamins. You can crunch away to your heart’s content knowing you’re getting some serious nutritional value.

Livestock bedding

This one is a bit more off the wall (stable?) than some of the more mainstream uses. As other parts of the hemp plant are being brought to light, one part that is often overlooked is the “hurd” or the stalk of the plant. This is the part of the plant that transports the water from the roots to the leaves of the plant which undergo photosynthesis and produce cannabinoids and terpenes. The hurd, therefore, must be extremely absorbent in order to transport and store the water; because of this absorbent nature it makes it ideal for livestock bedding.

In addition to this, it has minimal associated dust with it in contrast to pine or wood shavings which can be ideal for high performance animals such as thoroughbreds that often have allergies. Additionally, its high thermal rating makes it an ideal bedding. Move over Tempur-Pedic, there’s a new king in town.

Plastics

Hemp fibers, because of their aforementioned strength and ability to hold their shape remarkably well, also make great preformed plastics. Although standalone hemp-fiber plastics are rare, they can make excellent additions to any polyurethane blend and give the composite many desirable properties.

Hearkening back to the post-industrial revolution, many automobile components especially in the body of the car, were constructed from hemp composite materials. As is the theme when considering hemp, many of the benefits come from its low environmental impact, in addition to the beneficial properties of the component itself.

The final word on the hemp plant

Image property of Purdue University

The best part about all of this? Essentially each different use we talked about today comes from a different part of the industrial hemp plant. That means that it’s an incredibly efficient plant from a yield perspective. We’re able to utilize each component of the plant for a different industry meaning that basically nothing goes to waste and there are minimal byproducts. Better for you. Better for the earth.

— The Hemp Crate Co Team

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