Hemp has a wide variety of uses and is a very versatile crop which is a big reason as to why it’s so popular. Hemp can be grown for its fiber and seeds and can be used to create textiles, soaps and lotions, paper, fuel and plastic substitutes. An advantage of using hemp for these things instead of the traditional crops or methods is that hemp is very easy to grow. It’s tolerant to frost, can grow in many different temperatures, needs very little water and requires no pesticides to grow.
Hemp fiber is a popular reason that hemp is grown as it has a variety of uses such as animal bedding and more recently hemp fiber is being used as a wicking material in electronic cigarettes and vaporizers. An acre of hemp can produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton and it requires less water and can grow in a wider range of climates. Hemp also only takes 120 days to grow to harvest whereas trees and other plants take much longer. The fiber can be used to create a variety of textiles such as cordage, webbing and can also be mixed with materials such as cotton to create socks, t-shirts, boxer briefs and more.
Paper was first created using hemp fabric that was smashed into thin layers to create sheets of paper. Most of the paper in the world up until the mid-1800s was created with hemp. The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were both drafted on hemp paper before their final drafts were written on parchment paper. Many famous novels and publications back then were also printed on hemp paper such as The Gutenberg Bible and novels written by Mark Twain. With so much of the world’s energy source being used to create modern paper, hemp being using would cut down heavily on the energy requirements required to create paper because of how quick and easy it is to grow. Nowadays hemp paper is created using a process called thermomechanical pulping which uses the woody inner core of the hemp stalk. This process can be done on a wider scale and makes it easier for high levels of production.
Hemp seeds and the oil that can be produced from them are also very popular. The seeds provide an edible snack that is nutritious and high in natural protein. The oil can be used for creating soaps and lotions, fuel and even for creating hemp plastics. Hemp oil shouldn’t be confused with hash oil and hemp oil doesn’t contain any THC nor will it get you high or make you fail a drug test. You can also use hemp to create other foods such as hemp juice, hemp olive oil and hemp protein powder.