Published on July 24th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli
9 Amazing Facts about Hemp
Hemp is one of the most amazing crops. It’s easy to grow (um, just like a weed), it’s beneficial to the soil and to people, and it is super sustainable. We’ve created this short list of super cool facts about hemp to share with you some of the amazing attributes of one of our favorite plants.
According to this post on Grist: A real hemp industry could be as much as 10 times bigger than legal marijuana, which is already a potentially $1 billion industry in Washington and $200 million in Colorado. It can produce 250% more fiber than cotton on the same amount of land with little or no pesticide use.
2. Hemp is sustainably grown
Since hemp cannot be grown in the United States, we rely on our friendly neighbors to the north to grow all the hempseeds we consume. Hemp can be grown without pesticides and it can be cultivated in a variety of areas, even those that are particularly dry, with poor soil and short growing seasons.
3. Hemp can replace or augment plastic production.
The GoGreen blog notes that Hemp can replace most toxic petrochemical products. Research is being done to use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic products like, plant-based cellophane, recycled plastic mixed with hemp for injection-molded products, and resins made from the oil.
4. It’s delicious!
Hemp seeds (or hemp hearts) can be sprinkled onto salads or used in baking for added texture and benefits. It can be used whole (as hearts/seeds), as a hemp butter, as a protein powder, or even as creamy hemp milk and hemp milk ice cream! Check out some great hemp recipes like these Chocolate Energy Bites, Creamy Almond-Hemp Dressing, Hemp Cookies, or Hemp Protein Bars.
5. Hemp is also nutritious!
Hemp is loaded with omega fatty acids, digestible proteins, and has a great nutty flavor (see above!). It is a great alternative for those with dairy, soy or nut allergies, and seems to be mostly hypoallergenic. According to the Nourishing Gourmet, “Hemp is a high protein seed containing all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). It also has high amounts of fatty acids and fiber as well as containing vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio.”
6. Hemp clothing is soft and awesome.
7. Hemp Houses?
According to this site, hemp fiber has excellent sound-proofing qualities and is extremely water resistant, giving it many applications in the building industry. The stalks can be made into plywood and chipboard, leading to potentially building homes with hemp products!
8. It’s easy to make into paper.
According to The Dirt, Hemp yields four times as much fiber per acre than timber and so is a viable replacement for tree paper. As hemp is naturally low in lignin, which has to be removed to make paper, it’s easier to process and. It is also naturally creamy white in color and does not require as much (if any) bleaching.
9. Hemp can be used as fuel.
The Go Green Blog notes that, “hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of bio-fuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Learn more here on CleanTechnica.