"Why use up the forest which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?"
- Henry Ford
Hemp is a variety in the Cannabis species that is mainly grown for its fiber and seeds. The fibers and seeds can be used as building material, textiles, hemp oils, food, hemp biodiesel, clothing, therapeutic creams, supplements and also has its medical benefits. It can attribute its therapeutic and medical uses to a cannabinoid that not many are familiar with, Cannabidiol or CBD for short.
Industrial hemp is made up of varieties of cannabis sativa that contain less than 0.3% THC as described earlier. It is an annual broadleaf plant with a taproot and is capable of very rapid growth under ideal growing conditions. The female flowers and seed set are indeterminate, meaning that the seeds continue to develop and mature over an extended period of time. This means there are both ripe and immature seeds on the same plants at time of grain harvest.
What is Hemp Biodiesel?
Hemp biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester based oxygenated fuels made from hemp oil. The concept of using vegetable oil as an engine fuel dates back to 1895 when Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Diesel demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 using peanut oil as fuel. Hemp biodiesel come from the pressing of the hemp seeds to extract the oil.
Hemp biodiesel can be made from domestically produced, renewable oilseed crops such as hemp. With over 30 million successful U.S. road miles hemp biodiesel could be the answer to our cry for renewable fuel sources. Learning more about renewable fuels does not mean we should not cut back on consumption but does help address the environmental affects of our choices. There is more to hemp as a renewable fuel source than you know.
Uses of Hemp Seeds around the World:
In parts of Europe traditional soups such as Salesian hemp soup are still enjoyed. In parts of China, toasted hemp seeds are still sold like popcorn in movie theaters and by street vendors. In the Ukraine ancient hemp seed recipes are still shared. The Japanese use ground Hemp seed as a condiment. Polish cooks continue to bake the hemp seeds into holiday sweets. Hemp butter will soon be available as an alternative to peanut butter. It will taste similar while containing a healthier nutritional content. It is currently very popular in Russia. Hemp seeds may also be used in dairy alternatives such as ice cream. Hemp seeds may be crushed in a grinder to produce a flour that is capable of being mixed with any other flour to make bread, cakes, pastas and cookies. This seed is capable of being used as a substitute for meat in much the same way as the Soya-bean is used. Hemp seeds can be used as a protein and flavor enhancement in any recipe. No other single plant source can compare with the nutritional value of hemp seeds.
Henry Ford used hemp-and-sisal cellulose plastic to build car doors and fenders in 1941. On video Henry Ford demonstrated that his hemp cars were more resistant to blows from a sledgehammer than steel-bodied cars were.
One of the most exciting innovations in the last few years is the development of graphene-like nano-sheets used for supercapacitor electrodes created from industrial hemp bast fiber. This material exhibits excellent electrochemical performance at a significantly lower cost to that of industry standard graphene materials.
Researchers in Canada have been producing favorable data that indicate hemp-based supercapacitors offer an affordable next generation energy source to replace rechargeable batteries for applications such as electric cars, power tools and mobile devices.
Hemp Building Materials
Sustainable building practices are on the rise to create more resource-efficient models for construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition. Using industrial hemp fiber and hurd derived from the stalks, dozens of products are being created that are environmentally superior to the wood and petroleum-based products that have traditionally been used.
Hemp has been an ingredient in the papermaking process since the advent of paper by the Chinese almost 2,000 years ago. For the last 130 years, hemp has been all but eliminated from the papermaking process with the development of wood-based pulping techniques.