Wonderful Uses of Hemp
There are about three groups of Cannabis varieties being grown today:
Mainly grown for their fiber (industrial hemp).
Cultivated for seed to extract hemp oil from.
Cultivated for recreational and medicinal purposes.
For non-drug purposes, cannabis was known even before as hemp. It has the potential to become a huge natural resource that can be beneficial for both the environment and the economy.
Hemp for fiber production has seen a decline over the last few decades. However, hemp still has an important role among natural fibers due to its durability, strength, and the fact that it is unaffected by water. Hemp is mainly used as carpet, sacking, webbing, inrope, and nets. The cellulose content of hemp is approximately 70%. In 1988, the hemp clothing industry was brought back to life in the West.
Hemp is also being used to manufacture paper. On a yearly basis, one acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper from two to four acres of trees. Hemp can produce all kinds of paper products, such as tissue paper and cardboard. Moreover, hemp paper has superior quality than tree-based paper. In fact, hemp paper could last hundreds of years, could be recycled many more times, and requires fewer toxic chemicals during the manufacturing processes compared to tree-based papers.
Hemp can also produce fibreboard that is lighter and stronger than wood. When timber is replaced by hemp fibreboard, this would decrease the need to cut down trees in the forests. Another advantage of hemp over trees is that hemp can be harvested after 120 days from planting, while trees take years to grow until they are ready to be harvested for wood or paper. Furthermore, hemp can be cultivated on most soils suitable for farming, while tree farms need huge areas of land available only in a few locations.
The woody inner core or “hurd” comprises 70% of the Cannabis plant. This part does not have the addictive substance (called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) and is being used in housing projects. The plant leaches silica from the soil, which is combined with lime to create a chemical bond like cement, which is water and fire-proof.
The hemp seeds contain oils and complete protein, which are ideal for human nutrition.
Hemp cultivation can create fuel as a by-product. The stalk of the hemp plant and the oils in the seeds can produce biodiesel, and the fibrous stalks can produce bio fuel.