The hemp plant is most commonly known as the cannabis plant that produces CBD, however, CBD is mostly concentrated in the flowers and leaves, underutilizing much of the plant, being stalk, stem and seed. There are many versatile and useful ways the hemp plant could be used; here are five ways the hemp plant could serve us further:
Hempcrete: hempcrete is a strong, insulating and moisture-regulating material used for construction and insulation, harvested from the stalks of the plant, which are woody and lightweight. France has been building with hempcrete since the 1990s and it is gaining in popularity. The eco-rich nature of hempcrete makes daily living more sustainable.
Stronger Than Steel: hemp can withstand twice the amount of weight as steel can. Structural materials need to mend and bend, as well as, crack and break; hemp does both better than steel, as it can mend and bend up to six times better.
Superfood: with a mild, nutty flavor, hemp seeds contain over 30% fat, are rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), and also contain gamma-linolenic acid. Hemp seeds are rich in protein, with 25% of their calories representing a high-quality protein, in comparison to chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories measure 16–18% protein. Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Paper: hemp can be cultivated and turned into paper. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as four acres of trees, while it can be harvested at 100 days vs. a tree which requires 50-100 years of growth for paper production purposes. Hemp also grows amazingly well in most climates and can be planted on the same land repeatedly without depleting the soil; in fact, it remediates and strengthens the soil.
Fabric and Clothing: hemp clothing is becoming increasingly popular and is softer and more durable than cotton. Cotton utilizes 20x the amount of water as hemp during the cultivation period, while hemp also produces stronger, longer-lasting fibers. Hemp does not require pesticides to grow, while cotton needs pesticides and antifungal treatments.