History of Hemp
Hemp has been cultivated on a global scale for thousands of years. Interestingly, the oldest documented evidence of hemp cultivation is a rope, which dates back to 26,900 BCE, found in today’s Czech Republic. Some of the earliest known prolific uses of hemp began in China about 10,000 BCE, where it was used for making clothing, rope, and paper. The plant was also grown in Japan and used for fiberr and paper. Cannabis played a large role in the Greco-Roman cultures as a source of fiber, intoxication, and medicine. The long history of cannabis in the lands of India date back as far as 2000-1400 B.C. and can be found in The Vedas – otherwise known as the sacred Hindu texts.
Hemp, also known as the Industrial Hemp, grows very tall in length so as to be able to give as much fiber as possible and the mature plants also harvest a lot of seeds. These are the two major uses of the hemp in the Himalayas.It takes years for trees to grow until they can be harvested for paper or wood, but hemp is ready for harvesting only 120 days after it is planted.This is exactly what makes the plant a wonder crop. It not only has numerous health benefits but is also viable in terms of being environmentally sustainable.You would be surprised to know that Hemp can be used for almost anything. The different ways in which it can be used has been dealt with in detail below.
HEALTH, WELLNESS & NUTRITION :-
Health, wellness and nutrition are words that, for the moment, go hand in hand. Hemp seeds are not intoxicating in nature but are in fact very nourishing. There are several health benefits of hemp as well as properties in the plant which promotes heart health, brain health, hormonal balance, assists weight loss, cures skin ailments, enhances hair growth, boosts immune system, enhances digestive health, helps with diabetes prevention and treatment, is beneficial for pregnancy and also provides pain relief for arthritis. The plant has holistic properties making it essential in the practice of wellness.
What makes Hemp seeds highly nutritious is its high source in essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9 and GLA. It is also very high in proteins, which contains every amino acid along with being high in fiber and aiding an animal’s digestive system. It also is a good source of minerals, such as: Copper, Iron, Boron, Zinc, Manganese, Nitrogen and Zinc. Hence it can be rightly defined as a “SUPERFOOD”!
Hemp Oil orHemp Seed oil has curative properties ranging from improving acne to treating cancer to slowing the progression of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.Hemp seed oil and Hemp hearts are good to be incorporated as a part of one’s lifestyle for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-acneic properties, and also provides powerful antioxidants. Hemp seed oil is a healing ingredient to people with eczema, psoriasis & lichen planus and may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.
Medical hemp oil is also nourishing for the skin and brings with it a warm, comforting feeling. Topical products may include creams and lotions, but the most potent products are made from the oil of the seed or root. People value the CBD oil of the hemp plant largely because it is the rare medicine that has virtually no side effects. It’s a low risk, high reward medication that we haven’t even discovered the full potential of yet. One of the boldest and perhaps most exciting applications of hemp or CBD oil has been in the treatment of epilepsy in children.
HEMP OIL: Massage therapists, chiropractors, and other healthcare professional use the medical benefits of hemp oil to relieve many conditions such as:
- Arthritis – The amount of research being done on medical cannabis as a treatment to arthritis and inflammation pain is promising, and more is being conducted all the time.
- Fibromyalgia– Many forums indicate that hemp oil used as a massage oil, especially when applied to tender points significantly relieves their pain. There is also research backing up this claim.
- Joint pain from exertion of injury– Topical hemp oil is used to relieve pain from sports exertion or injury and for general aches and pains.
- Multiple Sclerosis– Medical hemp has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of MS both orally and topically. Hemp seed oil, especially when combined with essential oils, can be particularly useful.
TINCTURES: A tincture is any concentrated herbal extract slowly derived from the plant usually over a period of weeks. Alcohol is usually used during the extraction process. Tinctures are generally considered to be extremely potent, but they still do not contain any psychoactive properties, making them safe for daily use.
SKIN CARE & COSMETIC INDUSTRIES:
Extracts from the industrial hemp plant are increasingly appearing in cosmetics, skin and other personal care products. Hemp seed oil is an effective moisturizer, providing the skin with a barrier to pollutants, can soothe muscle aches and is non-comedogenic. It can also be used for your hair as it helps with utmost nourishment. Several personal and skin care products may include refined hemp seed oil in soap, conditioners, shampoo, face washes and scrubs, lip balm, styling gel, hair spray, hand creams & lotions, deodorants, lipstick, sunscreens (While in sunscreens, natural hemp seed oil is said to have an SPF rating of 6) ,etc.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which can also be extracted from the hemp plant, is another rich product. Some cosmetics experts have argued that it possesses antioxidant and anti-aging attributes when applied topically to the skin. It is also said to have properties that can protect the skin from environmental damage after extreme exposure to sunlight. In addition, CBD oil is reputed for being able to promote skin repair and rejuvenation. By using it in skin care & cosmetics, brand owners can market their products on the international level, and produce locally, i.e. avoid transporting finished products too far.
HEMP: AN EDIBLE SOURCE
Hemp seed protein can be used to produce virtually any product made from soybean: tofu, veggie burgers, butter, cheese, salad oils, ice cream, milk, etc.Hemp seed can also be ground into a nutritious flour that can be used to produce baked goods such as pasta, cookies, and bread.Hemp tea and coffee are essentially exactly what they sound like—beverages infused with CBD. People ingest these drinks with the same intentions that they might any other CBD product.
Hemp powder is considered a superfood by many, high in fiber, protein, and filled with healthy fats and acids, it makes an excellent dietary supplement, especially for vegan lifestyles. In fact, Hemp CBD capsules are perhaps the most common way to ingest this substance. The capsules are pre-dosed making it very easy to get the exact amount that you require to see your intended effects.
HEMP PROTEIN POWDER- A Great source of Protein!
Hemp protein powder is made by grinding pressed hemp seeds into a fine powder. It has an earthy, nutty taste and is often added to brownies, grain free cereal, muffins, shakes or smoothies to boost protein intake.
Since protein powders are popular nutritional supplements used by most people which includes athletes, bodybuilders and those trying to gain weight or increase muscle mass. The kind of protein powder one consumes also plays a critical role in terms of providing adequate nutrition with minimal side effects.
Hemp protein is a complete protein and the oils contained in hemp seeds (rich in lanolin and linolenic acids) are in ideal ratios for human nutrition (3:1). It’s a great choice for everybody since dairy based protein may potentially not suit some people given the fact that more than half the world’s population is lactose intolerant. In fact, one study even found that the amino acid profile of hemp protein is similar to egg whites and soy, which are both high-quality protein sources.
HEMP CAN BE USED AS FOOD FOR LIVESTOCK/PETS:
Did you know that hemp can benefit health and increase performance when used as feed for the cattle? Hemp can be given to animals via crushed seed meal, pellets or oil given as a supplement. With the extraction of oil from hemp seeds, the residual seed cake is left.
The relatively high crude protein content of the hemp seed cake can make the hemp meal a protein substitute in the diet of pets and livestock. While the waste materials - hemp seed meal - that is left after the oil is extracted from the seeds, can be used in animal feeds.
Hemp leaves in a few farms are used as absorbent bedding for animals. Hemp seeds are commonly used as birdseed and in seed mixes too!
The amount of plastic that we throw away every year is the fact that approximately 40 percent of the plastic that’s produced worldwide is for packaging, which is used just once then thrown away. There are lots of ways to do this. An obvious one: Choose reusable bottles, containers, and bags. Another surprising solution to the plastic problem? Support Hemp plastic.
That’s right, in addition to the thousands of other Hemp products available, there’s Hemp-based plastic. It’s an alternative to conventional plastic that is much kinder to our environment and our health.
Hemp is the plant that has the potential to help us reinvent the future of plastic and other materials. It is a clean, ecological, sustainable and renewable alternative. And it can replace the use of polluting materials in the production of goods in many fields, such as construction, automobiles, fashion, design, sports, and many others.
It is becoming increasingly easy to find products aimed at various sectors made from vegetable fibres, such as flax, coconut and, of course, hemp. The aim is to replace the polluting materials that have been produced for decades. As we have said, hemp can replace many of these materials, such as plastics, thus helping reduce pollution worldwide.
The use of hemp not only entails an ecological benefit. It also improves the quality and performance of the products containing it. For instance, hemp fibre has long been used, instead of fibreglass, to make surfboards as it makes them much lighter, more flexible and resistant, and gives them sensational grip and buoyancy.
Hemp is good for the planet and has many environmental benefits.
- Hemp Breathes in Co2
Hemp is basically nature’s purifier. The plant rapidly captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and makes what we breathe much cleaner. In fact, for every tonne of hemp produced, 1.63 tonnes of carbon is removed from the air (which makes hemp a much more effective sequester of Carbon Dioxide than trees).
- Hemp Regenerates the Soil
The stem and leaves of the hemp plant are jam-packed with nutrients. As the plant matures and the seed grows, leaf matter falls to the ground and decomposes, replenishing the soil with goodness ready for the next crop. And after harvesting, the remnants of the hemp plant can be returned to the soil to make for a richer yield the following year.
- Hemp Supports Sustainable Farming
An important aspect Sustainable farming is all about rotating crops according to the season in order to keep soil nutrients up. Because hemp is an annual crop which grows within just four months of being planted, it’s an ideal candidate for rotation and makes for a wonderful environmental benefit for hemp. Farmers all over the world rejoice – this means richer, cleaner soil and a greater crop yield.
- Help Against Pesticides
Unlike other natural fibres like cotton or flax, another environmental benefit of hemp is that it doesn’t require any pesticides or herbicides to grow. Exposure to these nasties has been proven to cause environmental problems like water contamination, and has also been linked to health issues like cancer. Use hemp all over the world and reduce the amount of toxins and pollutants in our air and water.
- Hemp Prevents Soil Erosion
The roots of the hemp plant grow strong and up to nine feet deep. These kinds of root networks can help to hold soil together and prevent erosion, which is one of the greatest problems facing farmers today. In some cases, the environmental benefit of hemp is that it has even restored soil that was already damaged. It’s the real deal.
- Hemp Needs Little Water
Hemp has the miraculous ability to irrigate itself naturally, which means it requires very little water to grow. This sets hemp apart from other plant-based milk options like soya or almond and other natural fibre plants like cotton which are very thirsty indeed.
- Nothing goes to waste with Hemp
Hemp can be used to produce over 25,000 products. That means that absolutely nothing goes to waste with this plant. Another miraculous environmental benefit of hemp, once harvested the seed is used to produce healthy food products, the flowers are leaves are used to make beauty products and the stalk for natural fibre.
- Hemp Absorbs toxic Metals
We’ve looked at how hemp can clear the air and replenish soil, but it can also eliminate harmful toxins by absorbing them. Famously, the plant was used following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl to remove radioactive strontium and cesium, and has even been considered for removing radiation from Fukushima.
- Hemp Provides a Habitat for Wildlife
Another benefit of hemp is that its plants grow up to three feet tall which makes them an excellent little hiding place for wildlife. Oh and when hemp flowers bloom there are good pollen sources for bees.
- Hemp can help in the fight against deforestation
Scientists across the world now believe that within 100 years, there will be no rainforest. But there is hope in hemp. While trees take years to mature, hemp can be grown in just four months. The plant could therefore replace trees as the source of raw material for paper. Hemp is good for the planet, and it might just save it.
The maximum recycling capacity for wood pulp is three times. In comparison, materials from Hemp can be reused up to seven times, making more use of less plant material.
- Hemp’s high cellulose (the main ingredient in paper), means that less plant material is needed to produce the same quantity of paper.
- Trees can take 20-80 years to mature, whereas Hemp only takes four months.
- Hemp paper can be more durable than wood paper, with less yellowing and cracking with age.
- Hemp is easier to harvest than trees.
- The plant is thought to be more effective than any other commercial crop or forestry at converting CO2.
- The part of Hemp used to make paper is often a waste product of other uses (e.g. CBD and Hemp skincare).
The benefits of switching to Hemp paper production are evident. However, there are a number of obstacles currently preventing the switch. The continued prohibition of the plant throughout the world – many countries require farmers to have a special license, which comes with strict restrictions.
Although Hemp paper is easier to produce than paper from wood, it requires different equipment. This would be a large outgoing cost to the industry. However, this cost would likely be offset by the cost savings that Hemp paper production would deliver.
Natural building materials require minimal refining and processing, while simultaneously reducing the detrimental impact the construction industry has on the environment.
After processing the stems of the plant, two different materials are produced: hurds and fibers.
Hurds can be turned into products such as roofing tiles, wallboard, fibreboard, insulation, panelling, bricks and more recently, structural timber/hemp building blocks.
Fibers, on the other hand, are used in place of straw for bale wall construction or alternatively can be blended with mud for cob style construction.
No, you can’t smoke it. The cannabis plant is resourceful in many ways and hemp happens to be one of them. This post will explore some of the top benefits of building with hemp, plus some examples of diverse hemp projects from our work and other designers.
Benefits of building with hemp:
◦ Low embodied energy – doesn’t require much processing in its production, meaning that it is beneficial to the environment.
◦ Carbon storage – in its lifespan, it absorbs a large amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. During its growth stage, it will lock away up to 2 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of fibre harvested.
◦ Great thermal insulation properties – it’s a medium density insulation material which is safe, efficient and durable. Low conductivity and a higher thermal mass enable it to retain heat and regulate thermal performance for a comfortable internal environment.
◦ Breathe Prevent condensation – it can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture without deterioration in its performance, unlike most other insulation materials. It can then release this moisture when required, regulating the internal humidity. Hemp is also mould-resistant.
◦ Non-flammable – When mixed with lime in Hempcrete construction, it is completely non-flammable.
◦ Lightweight – which increases its range of applications in the construction industry, can be used in lofts, walls and inter-floors.
◦ Recyclable – it’s biodegradable and non-toxic so it’s truly circular – it can completely decompose.
◦ Sustainable – hemp can be grown year-round and only takes up to 100 days to reach full growth.
◦ Low maintenance – it requires very little water to grow and does not require herbicides or chemical pesticides.
Hemp fiber is better quality than cotton and is also more environmentally friendly. So for both the consumer and for the world, hemp beats cotton.
There are several different reasons why hemp fiber is better:
- The fiber itself is more porous, making it more breathable. A great example of why high quality mixed martial arts combat gi is made out of hemp rather than gi. It's lighter than cotton, especially when you're sweating a lot.
- Hemp is more durable. Hemp fiber was known to make the world's strongest rope.
- Hemp fiber is mildew resistant. This is great for clothes, especially in humid regions.
- When you think about sustainability, hemp is way more eco-friendly. Hemp uses 50% less water than cotton during its cultivation and manufacturing. Hemp also requires no pesticides during its growth, whereas cotton uses up 25% of the world's pesticides.
The key reason hemp clothing is more expensive than cotton right now is because there is limited supply of hemp. In India, the utilization of the cannabis plant is deemed illegal; only industrial hemp is made legal now in Uttrakhand.
Apart from one of its strains being used as a drug, there are several other reasons in the history why hemp became illegal. The circumstance is exceptionally diverse in China which presently represents in excess of 50 percent of the worldwide hemp generation and holds an enormous portion of licenses on hemp filaments and fabric creation.
With all the many uses of hemp, it is great to see that this plant is no longer under scrutiny. Hemp is so versatile. It can be used in textiles, nutrition, construction, the fuel industry, and so much more.