Everybody knows about CBD, most people know about rope and paper.
But did you know that rope and paper have been made largely without hemp for around 100 years? And that the majority of hemp plants farmed in the US are for grain and fiber production, not for CBD at all!
This legacy of American Agricultural Products & Manufacturing got cancelled for a few generations because a couple of cultivars are psychoactive! Silly.
The sad result of that prohibition is that we haven’t preserved hemp processing and manufacturing practices and passed them through generations, slowly adapting them through innovation, or creating new, more efficient processes. So the industrial hemp industry in the US is kind of starting from scratch at this time!
We can learn from Canada, which is a bit farther ahead of us, but there are financial and logistical barriers to that, too, like distance and intellectual property.
Industrial Hemp grows in an incredibly short window of time, uses less water, is suspected of contributing to soil health, and there are basically endless uses and applications of hemp. It’s sustainable and really could rejuvenate American agriculture and manufacturing.
As our nation redevelops infrastructure for mature hemp plants and crop yields, and because there isn’t a lot of domestic processing at this time, being a hemp products business is full of extraneous headaches, roadblocks, and bureaucratic red tape..
Still, here are the things some tenacious companies and innovators are up to:
1. HEMP PAPER
It’s a little pricey now, but that will even out over time. Spring for some and send all your besties a letter!
2. HEMP COMPOSITES FOR AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING
Some cars are now made partially from hemp. Either insulating media inside the doors, or the actual molded exterior.
3. 3D PRINTING MEDIA
Oh hi, future. Didn’t see you there.
4. SPECTACLES & GOGGLES
hemp fibers turned into composites are lightweight, durable, and attractive. Take a look at these specs.
5. HEMP NANOMATERIALS
What are those, you ask? Good. I didn’t know, either. In SUPER LAYMANISH TERMS, It’s the media on which electric power is stored (like your phone battery and electric car batteries).
6. BUILDING MATERIALS
Hempcrete is the simple mix of lime, water, and hemp hurd (the centermost part of the hemp stalk), and it’s fire-reistant, lightweight, and highly insulating as for home building. Check out this PA-based Hempcrete company.
Hemp seeds make nutritious snacks, they are pressed for oil, and sometimes turned into flour. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein. Hemp seed oil is nice for dressings and finishing and dipping bread.
Cannabinoid based dietary supplements and topical products are very popular and available from basically everywhere.
It’ll be exciting to see what else comes up over the next few years, how the hemp industry grows and develops over time, and what innovations happen in this space.
Image Source: Wilbert Horton