7 Reasons Why We Love Hemp
Hemp is one of those ancient magical fibers that can be used for almost everything, from building a home to making lotion. Contrary to popular belief, hemp and marijuana are not the same - they are however both part of the cannabis family. Think of them as cousins, rather than siblings. Unlike marijuana, which is used for recreational and medicinal purposes, hemp is not psychoactive.
The use of hemp began over 10,000 years ago and was primarily used for the construction of battleships in Britain due to it’s consistent durability. Believe it or not, during 17th Century America, people were ordered by law to grow hemp which was used as a currency to pay taxes. If you decided not to grow hemp you'd be thrown into jail! Boy, how times have changed!
In the 1970s, President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” and signed into law the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This law established a set of banned drugs and created the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It also unintentionally outlawed one of the world’s oldest domesticated crops - hemp. This not only led to the demise of hemp, but also an increased misconception of the plant even though it doesn’t include any of the chemicals that make marijuana a drug.
So, why is America obsessed with hemp? Let’s find out!
1. It’s Environmentally Friendly
Hempcrete, which is a bio-composite made of the inner core of the hemp plant, is mixed with lime and water and is used to construct and build homes and is currently the most energy-efficient construction material on the market. It brings annual energy savings to homeowners, it’s non-toxic, resistant to mold, insects and fire. To top it all off hempcrete improves the building sector’s carbon-dioxide emissions.
2. We Save a Tree Each Time We Wipe
One acre of hemp produces as much paper as four acres of trees. Hemp toilet paper is free of thousands of toxic chemicals identified as byproducts of the wood paper process. Millions of trees are destroyed each year with the average American using up to 50 pounds of toilet paper! Before toilet paper came into the picture, wealthy people would use hemp to clean their bums while the poor would used leaves, hay, rocks, and anything else they could find. Hemp paper is more resilient, breaks down easily and keeps our forests intact. With that said let’s all buy hemp toilet paper and pretend to be wealthy people!
3. It’s Been Around the Block...
From 1000 B.C. to 1883 A.D., hemp was the world's largest agricultural crop! Not only was it the largest crop, it is actually believed to be the world’s first. Hemp provided materials to support civilization's most important industries: fiber for fabric and rope for the British sail ships. Hemp was also used as lamp oil for lighting, paper, medicine and food for both humans and domesticated animals.
4. It's Sustainabily Chic
Hemp is of the strongest and most durable natural fibers out there! Products that are made from this plant will surpass their competition in the future. Because of its porous nature, hemp is more water absorbent, it dyes and retains its color better than any fabric ever will including cotton. The porous nature of hemp allows the fabric to stay cool in warmer climates and warm in cooler climates.
5. Natural Wood Finish
It’s peculiar to think that hemp oil can be used as a wood finish, but it is actually one of the best wood finishes on the market. Not only is it easy to use and maintain but once applied, it offers a water resistant, protective and marvelous finish. Hemp Oil has a low carbon footprint, better for our local economy as it is produced in North America and grown without the use of pesticides.
6. It Helps You Sleep Better At Night
You thought cotton was king? You thought wrong! Cotton pollutes the water and leaves lands scorched due to the high pesticide and herbicide needs, hemp on the other hand returns up to 60% of the nutrients to the soil when dried in the field. It takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce 2 lbs of cotton, the equivalent to one shirt. Hemp on the other hand only needs 300-500 gallons of water to produce 2 lbs of hemp.
7. It Can Replace Plastic
Hemp plastic is entirely biodegradable and recyclable! After it's use it can return back to nature where it will break down and go back to the Earth. Many hemp composites have been used for door panels, column, floor consoles and a ton of other products. Hemp composites are stronger and cheaper than plastic plus they are recyclable!
So there you have it, hemp is slowly but surely making it's way back into the spotlight!Not only will mother Earth thank us, but our health will as well. Do you think hemp has what it takes to make a comeback?