All the Uses of Hemp

Reading time - 13 minutes - March 17, 2022

Hemp has not only been around for over 10,000 years, but people also recognised it for all of its purposes. Did you know about all the different ways hemp can be useful? Not to worry if not as today we will be telling you about all the different ways hemp can be used, and it’s a lot! To be numerically accurate we found 30 different product uses. We will also go through what exactly hemp is and how it is different to cannabis.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is the same plant species as cannabis. However, what sets it aside from cannabis is the fact that it contains low levels of THC, always 0.3% or less of THC content by dry herb weight. You may be wondering ‘why 0.3%’? 

This number was first proposed back in 1979, in a book by Ernest Small called “The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics.”. Small addresses the fact that it’s difficult to distinguish hemp and cannabis, so he proposed the 0.3% rule. This was Small’s idea of a possible solution. The number was actually used in the legal definition of hemp, in 2018 – as specified in the Agricultural Act of 2018 and other laws in the US. 

Both hemp and cannabis contain cannabinoids such as CBD, CBDC, CBG and others. The main difference is the amount of THC as we have already explained. The THC level in hemp is so low, it is very unlikely to get you high. To read more on Hemp, click here.

What can Hemp be used for?

Now that we have established what exactly hemp is and how it is different to cannabis, let’s look into what it can be used for. There are all kinds of uses of hemp from material purposes to food and so on. Over recent years Hemp’s popularity as a material has grown, for making clothing, rope and all things in between with great environmental benefits.

Since it grows quickly, organically and with a higher yield to boot, it has quickly been found to have a multitude of uses. In fact, you could even go as far back as 8000 BC and find evidence of hemp in action as the main material source for the maritime manufacture of ropes and sails. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

Fuel

There’s currently a discussion going on about the use of hemp to produce biofuel, known as bioethanol and biodiesel. Biofuel is the term given to fuels made from plants. Hemp fuel is a form of cellulosic ethanol, meaning that the biofuel is made from the fibrous stalks of the hemp plant.

Biofuels are much more sustainable than traditional fuels, because the materials used to make biofuels can be grown and harvested continuously at a sustainable rate. And hemp is widely believed to be the most environmentally friendly and cost-efficient fuel crop around. It will have a couple of uses if brought ahead, both the production of biofuel and batteries.

#1 Biofuel

Hemp is the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly fuel crop. Theoretically, hemp could provide the world with a nearly unlimited source of energy. It is probably the most environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient fuel crop on the planet, and it can produce biodiesel and ethanol/methanol. Studies have shown that farming just 6% of America’s hemp acreage would be enough to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power.

#2 Batteries

Hemp-based batteries can be made at 1/1000 of the cost of our current energy systems. They can also outperform current energy storing technologies. Hemp batteries would be a perfect replacement to hazardous and non-environmentally friendly battery units. These batteries could help heal our planet.

Materials

#3 Paper & Cardboard

We currently use trees to create paper. Trees unfortunately take decades to grow. In contrast, hemp regenerates in a matter of months, and it makes high-quality paper. As hemp is acid-free, the paper won’t become brittle or yellow. Also, wood pulp paper can only be recycled three times, however we can recycle hemp paper seven times.

An estimated 220 million pounds of toxic pollution is created annually during wood paper and pulp production. As hemp paper doesn’t need chlorine bleaching, it is a lot safer. It just seems like the all round perfect solution for paper production.

#4 Canvas

Remember when we mentioned hemp was used for sails centuries ago? Or, that pioneers covered their Conestoga wagons using canvases made from hemp? Hemp is one of the strongest as well as most durable materials that we have at our disposal. Canvas can most definitely be made from hemp as it used to be.

#5 Plastic

Did you know that hemp plastic is said to be five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than polypropylene (PP) plastic? Did you know that hemp plastic is strong enough to replace oil-based plastics filled with dangerous chemicals? Or, that hemp plastic doesn’t pose the health and safety risks associated with other plastic materials like glass fibers? Because the hemp plant is so diverse, there are many different types of hemp plastic; from infused plastic to 100% biodegradable hemp plastic. It’s a no brainer! Why are we still even using regular plastic?

#6 Building Materials

Hemp can be used to create building materials such as fiberboard, insulation, concrete, and cement blocks. The evidence that hemp is strong enough to be used as building materials was proved by Henry Ford. He once built a body for a car that was capable of withstanding ten times the impact of steel without denting, and it was also far lighter. What was it made of? Well of course Ford used hemp!

#7 Carpet

Did you know that traditional carpeting is a big culprit of indoor pollution? The synthetic materials used to create the fibers are not only loaded with toxic chemicals but trap allergens, debris, and other pollutants. However, hemp carpet actually reduces indoor pollution. The carpet is also 100% biodegradable when made with eco-friendly materials.

Paints & Coats

#8 Ink

Is there anything Hemp can’t be used for? Hemp oil can actually be used as a base for non-toxic inks. When compared to more popular ink materials like soy, we found that hemp ink requires minimal processing and dries faster!

#9 Paint

Regular paints usually have VOCs; Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are solvents released into the air when the paint dries. VOCs are exceedingly bad for the environment, and while there are new restrictions on these compounds, paint is still full of them. With a hemp oil based paint, you don’t have to worry about harming the environment or breathing in toxic fumes. Hemp seed oil is extremely effective in paint. It dries quickly, and also results in a durable and reliable finish.

#10 Varnish

As we just discussed, hemp seed oil is extremely effective in paint. It is also a great option for painting porous surfaces like raw wood. As it is quickly absorbed into the surface, hemp oil creates a durable finish. And as we mentioned, it dries quickly, making for an ideal varnish material.

Hemp on Bananas

Food

#11 Food

An appreciable amount of hemp products fall into the food category. You may see Hemp seeds often featured in healthy recipes. They are known for being an incredible source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, dietary fibre, and various minerals.

You can buy hemp seeds with the shell or de-shelled; these are called hemp hearts. Other hemp food products include the following that you are about to read as well as hemp protein.

Hemp protein contains more protein and healthy fats than almond milk. It’s also considered a “complete protein” as it contains all nine essential amino acids that humans require from food. This makes hemp one of the best sources of plant-based protein.

To read more on how to incorporate Hemp into your diet, read here.

#12 Tofu

Some people love tofu but can’t eat it as they’re avoiding soy beans. Well, not to worry, because Hemp tofu may be the answer. It uses the same processing techniques as regular tofu, however hemp tofu simply replaces the soybeans for hemp seeds. While it’s not got quite the same texture as tofu, hemp tofu offers an incredible nutritional profile.

#13 Milk

Everyday, more and more people are converting to plant-based milk. The dairy industry is harmful to the environment as well as the cows, and of course, lactose is another reason to cut out the cow. Soy milk and almond milk are common choices, however hemp milk is a rising contender.

Hemp milk is produced by hemp seeds. First, the seeds are blended with water; then, the mixture is strained. This process is similar to making nut milk. Hemp milk has an earthy, nutty taste, and many people say that it is surprisingly creamy.

Additionally, hemp milk is packed with protein and healthy fat while also being low in calories. It is also far more sustainable than any other plant-based milks so why not try it out?

#14 Chocolate

Hemp chocolate is a thing! You can even add hemp to chocolate to reduce the guilt you feel from indulging.You can even make your own raw hemp chocolates at home. Use chocolate chips, a tiny amount of salt, and coconut oil for the coating and fill it with hemp hearts, dates, maple syrup, vanilla bean, and coconut oil for a delightful treat.

#15 Animal Food

Livestock can be provided with all the nutrients necessary from Hemp meal! Because hemp contains globular proteins (albumin and edistin) it’s easily digestible. While corn is usually the go-to substance for feed, cows cannot digest it without consuming antibiotics. Hemp, on the other hand, poses none of these health issues.

#16 Flour

Unfortunately hemp is too dense for you to use it as baking flour. However, you can use it in concert with other flours in a 1:4 ratio to give your concoction a healthy boost. The hemp seeds used in hemp flour contain fiber, omega fatty acids, and much more. Hemp flour is also great for people with an intolerance to gluten or those with celiac disease.

#17 Butter

Since there’s hemp milk it only makes sense that there’s hemp butter too, right? Made from hemp seeds, hemp butter offers a rich nutty flavor. Its high fiber, protein, and magnesium content make it a healthy option for any diet. It’s also very easy to make!

Hemp Materials

Clothing

#18 Fabrics & Clothing

Before the cotton industry took off, hemp was used to make clothes because of the crop’s fibrous stalks. This means it’s great for weaving into cloth. Hemp fiber is pretty versatile, but its use in textiles and clothing is one of its main claims to fame.

As hemp requires little or no herbicides or pesticides to grow, it is safe on your skin. An acre of hemp will produce triple the amount of clothing as an acre of cotton, and it keeps you cold in warm climates and warm in cooler climates; it is capable of being up to four times warmer than cotton. The material also gets softer each time you wash it!

#19 Shoes

The strong and durable fibers of hemp make it perfect for shoes. Not only are hemp shoes lightweight and breathable, but they are also animal-friendly. You will be amazed at how comfortable your feet can be in some hemp shoes, try them out!

#20 Jeans

A good pair of jeans should be durable, stylish and of course, comfortable. Well, lucky for us, Hemp ticks all these boxes – and remember, it gets softer with every wash. As a result, hemp is the perfect material for jeans, and it’s water and odor resistant!

Toiletries

#21 Skin Cream

Most pharmaceutical products will often cause more harm than good in the long run. Not if they are made from hemp seeds though – as hemp seed oil is filled with vitamins A, C, and E, and is also full of antioxidants, fatty acids, and amino acids. As you may or may not already know, all of the above are essential components for healthy skin. Hemp oil could potentially reduce acne, clear pores, and it even has some anti-aging properties. So next time you’re looking for a new skin cream, try out the hemp based one!

#22 Nail Polish

Hemp is slowly being recognised in the beauty industry for all of it’s benefits. One of the latest innovations is hemp-based nail polish. The chemicals found in standard nail polish products are harmful not only to us but to the environment. However, hemp oil offers a more natural alternative capable of restoring and repairing nails. Hemp is packed with protein, vitamin E, and fatty acids, all of which are essential to maintaining healthy nails. And no harm to the environment!

#23 Nappies

The UK disposes of around 3 billion disposable nappies each year, representing an estimated 2% to 3% of all household waste. By the time one baby is potty trained the baby could use 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies. This problem could be solved by using hemp-based nappies. Hemp-based nappies are durable, but not bulky, comfortable, and environmentally friendly.

#24 Shampoo

Within the past couple years, it has come to light that some expensive shampoos actually strip away your hair’s essential oils, making it weaker and more likely to break. Hemp oil contains endless amounts of vitamins and nutrients for healthy hair. The high level of vitamin E in hemp also helps reduce hair loss by boosting blood flow through the stimulation of capillaries.

#25 Makeup

Hemp seed oil is high in Vitamin A, C, and E while also being rich in amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This unique composition of nutrients offers a number of benefits for our skin. In fact, hemp oil can reduce acne, slow aging, and clear pores just to name a few. Therefore, just imagine how amazing your skin would look if your makeup was made with all these nutrients inside!

#26 Lotion

Hemp lotion leaves hands feeling smooth while also helping the environment. It includes all those lovely things we mentioned when talking about skin cream. So just imagine what it would do for your hands! Unlike petroleum and mineral based oils found in many lotions, hemp oil is totally renewable and sustainable. At Nectar we sell Hemp Pain Relief Cream, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Hemp

Other Uses

#28 Bags

How many plastic bags do you see littering your streets? Aren’t you fed up with it? Because we certainly are! Not only is hemp eco-friendly, hemp is extremely strong so bags made from hemp can survive severe wear and tear. They are also biodegradable, so if it were to end up on the streets like the other bags, it would take care of itself.

#29 Mulch

Often used as a surface application, hemp mulch improves the soil around plants. Because hemp mulch provides high thermal insulation, it is protective in warm and cold temperatures. In addition, mulch made from hemp provides a dryer surface area keeping weeds at bay.

#30 Surfboards

This one may seem a little random, but hear us out. Hemp fibers are strong and UV resistant. When used with other natural materials, hemp surfboards are 100% bio-derived. Now imagine what else you could make from Hemp. Maybe some Hemp skis, Hemp skateboards… the possibilities are endless!

Conclusion

The possibilities that Hemp provides us with are endless. It is incredible how many purposes hemp serves, from everyday essentials to extreme sport supplies, hemp really does it all! The thing that makes this material source so much better than any others is its sustainability. Hemp grows fast, it has no impact on the environment, it is the most sustainable source for so many reasons. It also offers biodegradability which many other materials don’t. Who would have thought that a plant as simple as hemp could be so amazing for the world and for us.

The plant itself has so many nutrients packed into it, why wouldn’t you want to consume it or wear it on your skin? Why cut down so many trees and farm so many animals when this is our solution? If you can incorporate hemp into your daily life by just one of the products we listed above then that is already making a world of difference! 

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