Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated plants on the planet. Research has shown that people grew hemp for use in a variety of products as far back as 10,000 years ago. Throughout history, people used the fibers to make clothing, rope, sails, and other items, those in ancient times used it as an important source of food.

Hemp fiber

Ancient Fabric Hemp

The world’s oldest hemp scraps

Origins of Hemp Cultivation

Hemp can trace its origins back to what is now Taiwan over 10,000 years ago and may have been the first agricultural crop planted and harvested by man. The oldest known example of hemp use is a small scrap of hemp cloth from 8,000 years ago from ancient Mesopotamia (now Iran and Iraq). Using hemp to “manufacture” an assortment of items may be one of the first examples of human industry.

According to the Lu Shi writings from the Sung Dynasty of 500 A.D. include references that indicate Emperor Shen Nung (28th Century B.C.) taught his people how to cultivate cannabis Sativa. The people would then weave the hemp into the cloth that had any number of uses from clothing to sails. Researchers believe hemp came to modern-day Europe somewhere around 1,200 B.C, from here this incredibly durable and useful plant spread out across the rest of the world.

In approximately 150 B.C. the Chinese were the first people in the world to turn cannabis Sativa fibers into the paper. The oldest examples of documents written on paper are those from Buddhist monks dating back to the 200 to 300 A.D. The paper contains a mixture of hemp, old rags, and bark.

Hemp forest

In Roman times (2,700 B.C.), both flower tops and seeds could help relieve the symptoms of many medical ailments. Among these are arthritis, convulsions, difficult childbirths, dysentery, insomnia, and rheumatism.

Hemp in the Middle Ages

Fast forward to the middle ages 476 A.D. to 1453 A.D. when sailors discovered that hemp from the cannabis sativa plant could make rope and canvas (from the word cannabis) made from hemp. These materials are far more resistant to saltwater than cotton and three times stronger.

To better understand how important growing the cannabis sativa plant used to make hemp was to the world, you have only to look at the reign of Henry VIII. During his reign, a new law ordered all landowners to plant a minimum of one-quarter of an acre of hemp. Those who failed to do so faced a large fine and other possible punishments. From this period until the 1920s, people used hemp to create a vast array of textiles such as clothing, towels, rugs, and more. In fact, people made 80% of their clothing from hemp!

Hemp Use and Traditional Chinese Medicine

In China hemp has been a part of traditional medicine as far back as 14 CE.  However, the first written record of its use was seeds in 2700 BC. Hemp is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They believe that because hemp has both male and female plants it represents the Yin and Yang.  Because the female plants bear seeds, they have the highest value and are the yin of the pair.

Traditional Chinese Medicine makes use of Cannabis sativa to aide with a number of maladies. It is an excellent laxative, in the treatment of pain, nausea, nervous disorders, and as a sedative. This is just the beginning, it can help treat edema, as an antiseptic, a diuretic, and an anti-inflammatory. It can also help with destroying worms, and to assist with childbirth. Today Traditional Chinese Medicine is becoming more acceptable in the western world. Here it is being analyzed, undergoing testing, there are research studies underway to determine its effectiveness and more.

Hemp in Canada

Cannabis sativa became a very popular and lucrative crop at the turn of the 19th Century in Canada. It appears that Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, Edward Allen Talbot Esq. (1801) authorized the distribution of seeds to the farmers. This made it the first crop any government would subsidize. By 1820, Talbot wrote that if Canadian farmers could grow enough cannabis Sativa to supply the needs of manufacturers in Britain, Canada might no longer have to rely on other foreign powers.

Two years later the provincial government of Upper Canada gave manufacturers a stipend of £300 for new hemp processing machinery along with a stipend of £50 per year for 3 years to keep it running. The government put together and such a stipend for the plant farmers in 1923. Before the ban on growing hemp became law, the government would finance the construction of seven hemp mills.

Throughout history, hemp and its byproducts have been a major player in the development of many human societies. The monks who wrote the Gutenberg Bible over 600 years ago chose hemp paper. The English ships who won their battle with the Spanish Armada flew sails made of hemp.

 

Hemp in U.S. History

Historians believe that Cannabis sativa grew in North America long before the arrival of the first European explorers. In the 16th Century, Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, wrote in his journals that North America was ” frill of hemp which growth of itself, which is as good as possibly may be seen, and as strong.” By the time the Puritans set foot on Plymouth Rock, it was found growing in areas that would go on to become several states. This list includes; Massachusetts, Texas, Missouri, New York, California, Oregon, Utah, New England, Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

Hemp strands

Before the Europeans set foot on the shores of North America, the Native Americans were growing Cannabis sativa for its fibers. They made thread and cordage to use in many items including clothing, paper, and food.

The first written record of cannabis Sativa use in America came from the records of the Virginia Assembly in 1632. New legislation read, “that every planter as soon as he may, provides a seed of flax and hemp and sow the same.” Neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut would enact similar laws shortly afterward. For the next 200 years, the government would continue with this encouragement.

During this time America would export countless tons of hemp to England where it would become many different products. These list of these products include baggage, books, clothing, maps, parachute webbing, sails, shoes, ship’s rigging, tents, and more. Following the War of Independence, hemp would remain a staple crop in the new United States, where both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew large crops and Benjamin Franklin would make paper from it.

Hemp Meets Its Match

Some historians believe that those who wrote the first copy of the Declaration of Independence chose hemp paper. American use of hemp in the manufacture of many products during the 19th Century. In 1841, Congress put into place a law requiring the U.S. Navy to purchase products made from U.S. grown hemp.

Declartion of Independence

Cannabis Sativa would finally meet its match in the petroleum-based synthetic textile industry. Both the timer and petroleum barons saw hemp as a major threat. New machinery significantly increased the speed of separating the fibers from the stalks. Many manufacturers were showing interest in the seed oil (considered a byproduct). The oil was ideal for use in paints and lacquers, while the hurds became a popular additive when making paper. In fact, in a 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics, an article about cannabis Sativa made then statement “hemp will be a billion-dollar crop.”

In the early part of the 20th Century, some states along with the U.S. Government began to enact laws criminalizing the growth, processing, sales, and consumption of marijuana. Because industrial hemp and cannabis come from the same family, industrial hemp came under similar laws. But the issue came to a head in the 1930s with the development of the petroleum industry and the many new products coming from it.

When the Dust Settled

The result of the battle between the massive power of the petroleum/lumber barons and the hemp industry was a new levy or tax on those who were dealing in hemp. The taxes were so high that many could not pay it. By the end of September 1937 farmers could no longer grow cannabis Sativa in the U.S. One year later the Canadian government did the same thing with the Opium and Narcotics Act.

Hemp Car

Credit to Popular Mechanics 1938

During this same year, Henry Ford and Ford Motor Co. built a car with body panels made from hemp. The panels were six times stronger and more dent resistant than steel panels. No mean feat when you stop to consider the gauge of steel used to make car body panels at the time. But Ford was a little too late with his innovative car. The ban went into effect in September of 1937 crushing his concept before it could take off.

In 1942, the Japanese took control of the Philippines cutting off the supply of hemp to manufacturers here in the U.S. To help overcome this situation both governments chose to permit
farmers with the special permit could grow cannabis Sativa. In the first year, the total acreage planted was 36,000 acres. They set a goal to reach 50,000 acres of hemp by the end of 1942. Following the end of the war, the bans took effect.

Hemp’s Legal Struggles in the United States

Until 2014 farming hemp or any other form of cannabis Sativa or Indica plant continued to be illegal. When the first legal ban on cannabis went into place, the government wasn’t trying to outlaw the plants grown for hemp. It was simply that the new laws would include all forms of the cannabis plant. The goal was to eliminate marijuana while at the same time attempting to appease the petroleum and lumber industries.

This despite the endless and seemingly fruitless efforts of the farming community to change the law. It wasn’t until the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill would this change. According to section 7606, universities and state departments of agriculture could conduct pilot research programs. Some states took it upon themselves to let their farmers conduct their own research on hemp. By 2017, a total of 19 states had laws in place allowing farmers to grow the crop.

In December of 2018, President Donald Trump put his signature of approval on the 2018 Farm Bill putting into effect. The bill would remove cannabis Sativa from the Controlled Substances list. This would effectively remove all restrictions on farming the cannabis Sativa plants from which manufacturers harvest hemp. Today the cultivation of hemp requires farmers to obtain a license from their state, the USDA, or tribal agricultural department.

What Hemp Is and What It Isn’t

Hemp bud

Top of Hemp Plant

Man has been cultivating cannabis Sativa or hemp for its seeds, fibers, and oil throughout history. Hemp comes from one specific strain of the plant species Cannabis Sativa L. Many people mistake the plant and the varieties of cannabis that produce THC or tetrahydrocannabinol as the same plant. The reason for this is that the leaves on both strains are very similar to each other.
The most important difference between the two plants is that those grown for their hemp often contain high levels of cannabidiol or CBD. However, they contain virtually no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the psychotropic ingredient responsible for the “high” people get from ingesting it like smoke, vapor, and in edibles.

According to current laws in the US, Canada, and Europe, hemp cannot contain THC levels of more than 0.03%. At levels this low, there isn’t enough THC to produce any side effects, no matter how you consume it. Cannabis plants used to produce marijuana can have THC levels that typically range from 5 to 30%.

The Hemp Plant

Hemp comes from the fibers found on the outside of cannabis Sativa stalks. These fine fibers can be very long, depending on the length of the stalk. The plants can grow tall ranging from 6 to 20 feet in height. Because the hemp plant grows in dense groups of stalks and reaches maturity very quickly, it requires virtually nothing in the way of pesticides. This a small part of what makes hemp a very popular crop to grow.

hemp harvesting
Harvesting Hemp

In most areas of the country, hemp plants reach maturity in time for a single harvest each year. However, in the warmer states, it is possible to get two harvests for most years, something virtually no other crop is capable of. Also, worth noting, is that there are different times to harvest the cannabis Sativa plant depending on why the farmer is growing it.

For Example:

In order to harvest the highest quality fibers, the farmer will harvest the stalks as soon as they are in flower. The stalks tend to be softer as the plants have not had time to reach full maturity.

If the farmer is growing the cannabis Sativa plants in order to produce a seed harvest, they must wait a further 4 to 6 weeks before harvesting them. It is at this time that the flowers will have their highest seed content. By this time, most of the leaves will have fallen off the stalks. In turn, this will make it much easier to harvest the seeds. Today, rather than harvest the seeds by hand, the farmer uses a specially designed combine harvester. Once the harvest is complete, the seeds undergo a cleaning process. Once clean the farmer puts them in a silo for storage until they are sold.

A Few Quick Facts About Hemp

  • It is true that hemp and marijuana both come from plants in the cannabis Sativa L. family. However, they differ in form and structure, chemical makeup, and how people use them.
  • While the plant does contain a trace amount of THC, there isn’t enough to get you high.
  • Marijuana fields are all female plants as farmers do not grow these plants for their seeds. Hemp fields, however, do have male plants among the females to pollinate them. In doing so, the plants will produce the nutrient-rich seeds that we use in many different foods and natural medicines.

The Two Plants Closely Resemble Each Other

Since both plants are members of the same family, they closely resemble each other. In fact, in certain cases, even law enforcement officers have a hard time telling them apart. In January of 2019 Idaho State Police said they were able to seize over 6,000 pounds of “marijuana.”

Hemp and Marijuana

Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

The shippers, a company in Colorado claimed that the shipment was in fact hemp. Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has been legal to grow, sell, and possess. The poor driver was facing up to 25 years in prison for “trafficking illegal drugs.” This despite the fact he had a bill of lading stating the load was hemp. If the officer in question had undergone the right training, this would never have happened. Mind you the officer claimed that a drug testing kit came back positive for THC and that his drug-sniffing dog alerted on the cargo.

This brings up the question of how could he not know the difference between hemp and marijuana plants? Part of the problem lies in that his drug testing equipment can only do one thing, detect trace amounts of THC. At the same time, it cannot tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. Even drug canines cannot tell the difference, they just know they must alert when their hypersensitive noses detect.

Consider These Similarities and Differences Between the Hemp and Marijuana Plants

Let’s start by refreshing the fact both plants come from the genus Cannabis. Cannabis plants are sub-divided into three separate and distinct species. These are Indica, Ruderalis, and Sativa. Marijuana comes from two species, Indica and Sativa. However, hemp comes solely from the cannabis Sativa species.

Among the most obvious similarities between the two plants are:

  • Both of these plants smell similar to each other.
  • To the untrained eye, the both look a lot alike.
  • Their flowers look almost identical to each other.

Among the most obvious differences between the two plants are:

  • Hemp leaves tend to be skinny, whereas marijuana plant leaves are significantly broader.
  • These plants grow very tall, marijuana plants tend to be much shorter and more shrub-like.
  • Hemp leaves only exist at the top of the plant the rest is the stalk. Marijuana plants have leaves from the top to the bottom of the stalk.

Indica vs Sativa

 

                                    Image courtesy multiple sources

What About Their Chemical Make-Up?

The chemical make-up is where the two plants are the most different. More specifically, in their levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). As we have mentioned before, THC is psychoactive in marijuana that produces the “high” users seek. Given the amount of scientific research now being conducted on marijuana, it may contain anywhere from approximately 5 to 30% or higher. On the other hand, industrial hemp by law must contain 0.03% THC or less. Hemp also high levels of cannabidiol (CBD oil), which counteracts the effects of the tiny amount of THC in it.

Given this information, it can still be difficult to differentiate between the two plants unless you train to be able to do so. Even then it can take some time before you could easily pick out the different plants. Under these circumstances, it is easy to see why the Idaho State Trooper though he had made one of the largest marijuana busts in the state’s history.

Let’s Talk Cultivation

Just as the two plants are very different from each other in certain ways, so too is the way the farmer will grow them.

 

Hemp plantation

 A Field of Hemp

The Hemp Plant – farmers plant hemp very close together at approximately four inches apart. In most cases, hemp farms cover vast fields and will grow successfully in most climates. It typically reaches full maturity in as few as 108 to 120 days.

The Marijuana Plant – you must grow marijuana plants in a carefully controlled environment. It requires the grower to carefully monitor both temperature and humidity for maximum harvest. The average growth cycle from seed or sprout to harvest is approximately 80 to 90 days.

Unlike hemp plants, marijuana plants like it when you plant them far apart from each other. In most cases, the farmer will plant the seeds or sprouts 6 feet apart. Here’s an odd fact about hemp. If the hemp fields are too close to a marijuana crop, the hemp pollen will ruin the marijuana crop.

Hemp Processing 101

Steps to Process Hemp include:

Drying Post Harvest

Once the harvest is complete, the hemp must be dried. This is one of the most critical phases in processing hemp. Furthermore, doing so will minimize any loss or damage to the product. This helps make it suitable for fiber products, foods, and medicines.

If the farmer leaves it wet or dries it too slowly, it is in a storage facility with poor ventilation, it can become moldy, and bacteria or fungi can form. As a result of this, the hemp will no longer be suitable for use in foods or medicines. Moreover, one of the biggest mistakes made by first-time farmers in not having the right type of drying space.

Processing Hemp for Fibers

Farmers typically harvest while the plants are somewhere between the bloom and seed-set stages. Because of this, they harvest the plants in such a way as to ensure the stalks will not be damaged. For centuries harvesting hemp plants was something done by hand to ensure minimal damage.

Due to the advent of modern equipment, farmers can use a modified combine harvester to do the job.

Once the harvest is complete, the hemp processing plant will separate the stalks into outer layer fibers, inner core, and bast. This process involves a piece of machinery known as a "decorticator" that splits the fibers from the rest of the stalk. Before this happens, the stalk is "retted," which helps to soften the fibers and separate them before decertification.

What is Retting?

There are several methods of retting, including:

  1. Leaving the hemp in the field where the dew will help soften the fibers over the course of several weeks.
  2. The processor can soften the fibers by immersing the stalks in water.
  3. Using chemicals to aid in the retting process, which helps to accelerate the separation of fibers.
  4. Using a mechanical process known as “Green” retting to separate the stalk into its various components.

The type of retting process can have a major impact on the quality of the resulting fibers. Once the retting process is complete, the processing facility will allow the fiber to dry. When complete, the fibers will contain no more than 10 to 15% moisture before further processing can occur.

Processing the Retted Hemp

Once the hemp is fully dried, the stalks go through a series of breakers (rollers) or a hammermill. This is to separate the bast fibers from the woody core. The resulting bast fibers go through a cleaning process and go through a carding process. Processors do this to create fiber strands of appropriate firmness and core content. If necessary, the processor will cut the fibers to different lengths and then bales for shipment. The fibers may go through several different types of secondary processing. These include:

  • Matting – used in the production of fleeces and non-woven mats
  • Pulping – used to break the fiber bundles down using by physical or chemical means to produce fibers that are perfect for making paper.
  • Steam Explosion – a chemical process that removes hemp’s natural binders in order to create weavable fibers.

Processing the Hemp Seeds

The seeds must undergo a cleaning and drying process before placing them in storage. In most cases, processors dehull the seed using a “crushing” process. This process removes the crunchy outer shell of the seeds, preparing them for oil extraction.

The most common form of oil extraction in use is a mechanical expeller press in a nitrogen atmosphere. This process is known as mechanical cold pressing. Once the extraction is complete, the oil requires protection from heat, light, and oxygen for it to continue tasting good. This process also helps extend the shelf life of the oil significantly.

In recent years, several processing plants are starting to use solvents to extract the oil. By using solvents to extract the oil, it is possible to obtain a much higher yield. Among the most common of these solvents are:

  • Ethanol
  • Hexane
  • Liquid Carbon Dioxide

However, if the oil is bound for the cosmetic industry, it may require further processing. This will create a finer oil and serve to deodorize it.

Preparing the Hemp Seeds

The cannabis Sativa seeds must undergo a cleaning and drying process before placing them in storage. In most cases processors dehull the seed using a “crushing” process. This process removes the crunchy outer shell of the seeds, preparing them for oil extraction.

Hemp seeds

Closeup of Hemp Seeds

The most common form of oil extraction in use is a mechanical expeller press in a nitrogen atmosphere. This process is known as mechanical cold pressing. Once the extraction is complete, the oil requires protection from heat, light, and oxygen for it to continue tasting good. This process also helps extend the shelf life of the oil significantly.

In recent years, several processing plants are starting to use solvents to extract the oil. By using solvents to extract the oil, it is possible to obtain a much higher yield. Among the most common of these solvents are:

  • Ethanol
  • Hexane
  • Liquid Carbon Dioxide

However, if the oil is bound for the cosmetic industry, it may require further processing. This will create a finer oil and serve to deodorize it before shipping it to the manufacturer.

Processing Hemp Seeds for Use in Foods

The steps to process hemp seeds for food is very similar to those in use when manufacturing oils for industrial use. However, the process requires ultra-sanitary conditions. The steps include:

  • Cleaning the seeds a second time (the farmers clean them the first time).
  • Dehulling the seeds to remove the crunchy outer shell and access the heart of the seed.
  • The manufacturer will press the seeds using a mechanical press that squeezes the oil from the seeds. The processor keeps the oil at temperatures below 130°F to keep the oil from becoming rancid.
  • The oil goes through a filtration process to remove any impurities. The result, a rich oil full of flavor, minerals, and vitamins.

 

Hemp Seeds Hulls On

While the seeds are undergoing cold pressing, the oil comes out of one side of the press. However, leftover seed solids (press cake) come out from the other side of the press. These solids are very dry and crumbly. They contain low levels of fat (approximately 9%).

Finally, the processor will mill this material into a fine powder that can be used as flour or in hemp protein powders. Raw hemp powder contains approximately 33% protein, making it an excellent part addition to many foods.

The Many Modern Uses for Hemp

Hemp has a long history of use in the manufacture of many items including clothing, sails, bags, footwear, and more. As noted, the oldest known example of a product made from hemp is the small swatch of cloth found that dates back approximately 8,000 years. But, what about today? What new uses do we have for hemp fibers, seeds, and oils?

The number of ways hemp can be put to use in the modern world might surprise you. Although we still use the finely processed fibers to create cloth, we also use it in many other ways.

Among the earliest known uses for hemp was as a source of food. You could feed it to livestock as a form of feed. Moreover, the poor would eat it as a staple part of their diet. However, as human knowledge continued to expand, we found out that both hemp and cannabis had many benefits. In time, not only were the poor continuing its use but even more importantly, the rich also began using it as a supplement to their diets.

Hemp Seeds and Oil

By now most of us have heard of hemp seed oil, it is the most common and recognizable product made from the plants. Hemp oil is rich in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, vital to good health. Even more importantly, the is rich in both soluble and non-soluble dietary fibers, minerals and vitamins.

A single serving consisting of 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds contains:

  • Vitamins A, B, C, and E
  • 111 calories
  • 330 mg of phosphorus
  • 73 g of carbohydrates (including 0.8 g of fiber and 0.3 g of sugar)
  • 240 mg of potassium
  • 14 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 140 mg of magnesium
  • 75 g of fat
  • 98 mg of zinc
  • 22 micrograms (mcg) of folate
  • 31 g of protein
  • 59 mg of iron

The seeds also contain:

  • 55% linoleic acid (LA/omega 6)
  • 1%-4% gamma-linoleic acid (GLA)
  • 1%-2% stearidonic acid (SDA/omega 3)
  • 22% alpha-linoleic acid (ALA/omega-3)

Food manufacturers are incorporating hemp seed oil and powder into a wide range of foods, including; shakes, salad dressings, pestos, protein powders, hemp cheese substitutes, and many others. The one thing you cannot use it for is cooking. More importantly, you cannot use this oil for frying because it has a very low smoke point.

Making More With Hemp Seed Powder

Hemp seed powder becomes hemp milk when added to water and other ingredients. This is an excellent replacement for dairy milk. Dairy milk is not as good for you as the dairy industry would have you believe. This is because it is full of rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormones) and antibiotics, as a result of this cow milk is known to be unhealthy.

Hemp infused drinks are starting to hit the shelves of many health food stores. Consequently, you may find them in your local chain grocery store. Stores are selling hemp juices and infused drinks that include:

  Hemp Tea

  • Iced tea
  • As a supplement for fruit and vegetable juices. Along with intensifying the sweet flavor of these juices, hemp juice also increases their nutritional value.
  • To create a hemp drink that is similar to beer but is non-alcoholic.
  • In the creation of creating hemp spirits by distilling it into hard liquor.
  • As a mixer in alcoholic beverages such as cocktails.
  • To brew hemp beer and as a base for brewing gluten-free beers.
  • And many others.

Hemp Seasonings

Hemp makes an excellent seasoning because the oil tends to intensify the flavor of any dish you add it to. The juice can also help to reduce the amount of salt or sugar in a dish without sacrificing on flavor. Consider these popular uses:

  • Fresh Hemp Juice – the umami flavor of the juice is great for enhancing the flavor of many dishes such as baked goods, beverages, soups, jams, as a seasoning, and more.
  • Hemp Powder – you can use hemp microgreens powder directly as a seasoning, as an additive to smoothies, you can sprinkle it on salads, or mix it with water to drink.
  • Sweet Hemp Syrup and Sugar – you can use these products to add sweetness to sweet dishes, fruit juices, or as a sugar replacement to reduce your sugar intake.
  • Hemp Salt – the salt comes from mixing hemp juice with table salt. You can use it for cooking or at the table. In doing so you consume cannabinoids as a natural cannabinoid acid and in their activated form, which is quite healthy. As a result, using hemp salt will help reduce your overall salt intake while at the same time enhancing the flavors of your food.

The Benefits of Including Hemp in Your Diet

As you may or may not already be aware of, there are many health benefits of including hemp oil and seeds in your diet. Among these are:

  • Relief from menstrual cramps
  • Help to prevent the formation of varicose veins
  • Reduced PMS symptoms
  • Improved brain health
  • Improved heart health
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved hair and scalp health,
  • Reduced diabetes symptoms
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved immune system functionality
  • To treat a variety of skin related problems
  • And many others

Hemp for Skin Care and Cosmetics

Currently, there is a huge trend towards using hemp in a wide variety of skincare and cosmetic products. They use either the seed oil or CBD oil as an active ingredient. Why this move towards using hemp in these products? Research continues to show that the use of cannabinoids can be very beneficial to your skin. CBD oil can help with many skin problems such as:

 

Hemp for Acne

  • Acne
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Pimples
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatism

Hemp seed oil can is now an ingredient in a wide range of skin, hair, and nail care products. Moreover, you can use hemp oil by itself as it is very beneficial when you use it this way. You can find hemp oil as an ingredient in:

Hemp Balm

  • Balms
  • Balsams
  • Creams
  • Deodorants
  • Lotions
  • Lipsticks
  • Shampoos
  • Soaps
  • And many others

Clothing Made From the Fibers

There are many excellent reasons to use the fibers of the cannabis Sativa plant in the manufacture of clothing. Humans have been using these fibers to make clothing for thousands of years (remember the 8,000year-old swatch of cloth). Among the best reasons for using these fibers today are:

  • Strength – clothing made from hemp fibers tends to be lighter and capable of absorbing more moisture. Moreover, hemp cloth is up to 3 times stronger than cloth made from cotton.
  • Water Resistance – Clothing made from this cloth is more resistant to water, mold, and mildew. Which, of course, makes them a very popular choice of clothing that is to be worn outdoors.
  • Cost-effective – Because cannabis Sativa plants are relatively easy to grow and maintain, the resulting crop is less expensive to produce. Keep in mind these plants mature in less than six months and a single acre of them can yield between 5 and 10 tons of cellulose fiber pulp.
  • Better for the Environment – Farming hemp requires very little

water (approximately half the amount it takes to grow cotton). Since these plants grow so close together, there is little need to use pesticides or herbicides, saving the farmer money. Because they reach maturity so quickly, cannabis Sativa plants are a readily renewable resource.

 

Hemp cloth

Hemp Cloth

There Is No Waste When Using Hemp

From the time the farmer harvests his crop to when the last product made from it, nothing goes to waste. The stalks become fibers; the seeds are becoming a major player in our food supply as is the oil. The cannabis Sativa plant can produce more fiber per acre in a shorter period than trees. Even more importantly, in some parts of the world, it is possible for farmers to harvest their crops as much as three times per year. Although, in most U.S. states only a single harvest is possible.

Hemp Paper Products

Hemp paper comes from either long or short (hurd or pulp) bast fibers. Paper made from fibers tends to be thin, rough, brittle, and tough. When you make paper from pulp, it may not be quite as strong, but it is softer, smoother, and thicker. The first known paper in history was made from hemp.

 

Hemp Paper

Moreover, using hemp to make paper is very eco-friendly and it is a highly sustainable source of raw materials. The plant mature in 4 to 6 months, trees can take decades to grow large enough for use in the paper industry. Moreover, hemp paper takes far less time to produce than paper made from wood. Among the many hemp paper products in history are:

  • The Gutenberg Bible
  • All the novels were written by Mark Twain
  • Banknotes
  • Stamps, bonds, stocks, bills
  • The 1st and 2nd drafts of the Declaration of Independence
  • The Revolutionary Army gave out pamphlets made with hemp paper.
  • And many others

Hemp Construction Materials

Throughout history, people have been using hemp as a construction material. It is better for our environment than most synthetic or petroleum-based products. Hemp building materials are better for your wallet and even more important for your health.

The most common part of the hemp plant builders use is the woody core and the outer fibrous skin. Contractors use the woody core to make Hempcrete while using the outer skin to make a hemp fiber batting that makes an outstanding form of insulation. The seed oil also has a role in construction as an additive in deck stains and wood finishes.

Hempcrete

Manufactures make Hempcrete from a combination of hemp shivs (hurds) and a lime-based binder. When this material is dry it creates strong, rigid building material. As a result of this, builders use this material to build walls and to wrap support structures, adding more strength to them. Walls made from Hempcrete offer exception thermal insulation and a significant amount of airtightness.

Hempcrete

Hempcrete Mixture

Hemp Fiber Batting

Manufactures can turn hemp fibers into sheets you can cut to fit in virtually any location. It offers insulation qualities theses sheets offer a much higher R-value than fiberglass. More importantly, hemp fiber batting comes from a sustainable source and it’s eco-friendly.

Hemp Oil Deck Stains and Wood Finishes

When you add hemp oil to stains and other types of wood finish, you end up with a product that is easy to apply. It adds beauty and durability to the coating and has been found to outperform many of the top commercial products. Hemp oil contains very low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This makes these products the best choice over those made with petroleum-based and synthetic ingredients.

CBD Oil

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a sticky extract made from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Manufacturers use solvents such as alcohol, carbon dioxide, ethanol, or olive oil to extract CBD from hemp plants or they can use a press to squeeze it out of the plants. Researchers have found proof that CBD oils have a history of medical use that dates back many hundreds of years. These are some of the most common ailments that CBD may be able to help with (some are scientifically proven while others may be questionable):

 

CBD
Top of Hemp Plant

  • Pain Relief – interaction with the body’s own endocannabinoid system that helps to control pain.
  • Anxiety and Depression – CBD works as a natural antidepressant.
  • Some Cancer-Related Symptoms – These include nausea, vomiting, and pain.
  • Reduction of Acne – Helps to reduce sebum levels and promote faster healing.
  • Some Neurological Disorders – These include Dravet Syndrome (a form of childhood epilepsy) and Parkinson’s disease.

The ingestion of CBD may also help with:

  • Reducing Diabetes – in testing mice with diabetes saw a 56% decrease in their diabetes.
  • Substance Abuse – in testing with mice, CBD oil help reduce their dependence on morphine and heroin.
  • Antipsychotic – studies show that CBD may help those suffering from numerous mental disorders.
  • Tumors – studies using mice found that CBD oil may help prevent the spread of cancerous tumors.

This Chart Shows the Many Modern Uses of Hemp

Image from Multiple Sources

 

As you can see from this chart, there are literally dozens of uses for hemp in the modern world. This is why absolutely no part of the cannabis Sativa plant goes to waste.

The Future of Hemp

Now that there have been changes made to the laws regarding farming cannabis Sativa in the U.S., Canada, and several other western countries, the hemp industry is in the perfect place. The industry from farming to produce CBD oil and a host of health, nutrition, clothing, skincare, and many other products, is set to explode. Here are a few ways in which researchers are looking into the use of hemp and its by-products.

Alternative Fuel

In the last 25 years, scientists have been conducting research into using plants and plant waste to produce biodiesel. Biodiesel can become an eco-friendly way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. So too are ethanol and methanol.

Hemp Diesel

Hemp diesel makes use of the oil that comes from pressing the seeds. Using plant-based oils to create fuel is nothing new. In 1895, Dr. Rudolf Diesel (yes, he is responsible for the name diesel fuel) built a diesel engine made to run on vegetable oil. Fast forward to the dawn of the automobile age. Here you will find records showing that Henry Ford designed vehicles that would run on biodiesel.

 

Hemp fuel

Hemp Biodiesel

The cannabis Sativa plant is easy to grow, and it has a short cycle from seed to mature plants ready for harvest. Hemp is a very sustainable crop, is easy to process, and is an eco-friendly plant. Many scientists believe that biodiesel such as that which comes from hemp could be the answer to our dependence on fossil fuels.

A few biodiesel facts you should know:

  • Vehicles using biodiesel have over 30 million combined miles under their belts.
  • Biodiesel can use the same type of storage tanks and conditions as traditional diesel fuel.
  • Hemp biodiesel is about as toxic as the salt on your dining room table.
  • The odor coming from the tailpipe of a vehicle running biodiesel is that of popcorn, hemp, or French fries.
  • Biodiesel does not contain sulfur, making it better for our environment.
  • Using biodiesel can extend the life of diesel engines due to the fact it is a better lubricant.
  • Overall fuel economy and power output remain virtually the same with both types of fuel.

Hemp Plastics

Over the course of the last couple of decades or so, the news concerning how waste plastic products damaging our environment has been nothing short of tragic. In each of the oceans, at least one massive floating plastic island is now in existence. Plastics made from petroleum-based products are not biodegradable. In fact, they will last for decades, if not centuries.

In the wild, plastic such as bottles, six-pack rings, buckets, bowls, bottle caps, and more fill the stomachs of fish, sharks, and whales. These plastics are the cause of thousands of wildlife deaths each year. They fill up our landfills, litter our planet from pole to pole, and yet no one seems to be doing anything about them.

It is possible to turn hemp into a bioplastic using the fibers found in the stalks. In some cases, traditional plastics use the plant fiber reinforcements. More importantly, however, many plastic products come from 100% hemp-based plastics. Keep in mind that industrial hemp produces the strongest fibers in the world.

More about Hemp Plastics

Plastics made from 100% hemp fibers are fully biodegradable. This, of course, means that even if we never learn how to stop littering our planet at least the plastics we use will not stick around for centuries killing off the wildlife.

Hemp Plastics

Hemp plastic can be up to 2 1/2 times stronger and 5 times stiffer than polypropylene plastic. You can replace the standard plastics made for injection molding machines with hemp plastic. The best part is that there is no need to make any modifications to the machines. Most soft drink manufacturers in the U.S. have yet to take advantage of hemp plastic bottles. However, in Europe, the use of bioplastics is experiencing phenomenal growth.

Those spearheading research into and the use of bioplastics are the automotive, construction, and packaging industries. Current estimates show that approximately manufacturers are producing approximately 500,000 tons of bioplastics per year. Experts expect this number to continue growing exponentially as petroleum-based plastics slowly become a part of history.

In Conclusion

Cannabis Sativa and the products made from it have played a major role in human life for centuries. It was only during the 20th Century that laws came into effect that put a stop to its use. With changes to these laws such as the 2018 Farm Bill, this country and many others are racing to find new ways to use hemp fibers, seeds, and oils.

Today you can find cannabis Sativa farms all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Russia, much of Europe, China, Ukraine, and Australia. Many of the products made from this amazing plant are still importing the hemp they need. However, this situation is slowly changing as more domestically produced crop becomes available.

In 2015 the Hemp Industries Association published a report stating that the total domestic value of retail hemp products was worth approximately $573 million. Farmers are replacing many of their crops with cannabis Sativa because of its rapid growth and potential value. There is nothing unusual in farmers realizing crops that produce over 10 times the amount of hemp plants than they were able to produce growing the various types of grain.

Ongoing research is finding many new and creative ways to make use of every part of the hemp plant. Experts say that the hemp industry will be worth $1.5 billion on a global scale by the year 2020. When you look at growth expectations like this, it’s relatively safe to say that the future of hemp is looking pretty rosy.

Hemp field

A Field of Cannabis Sativa Grown for Hemp