Thanks to the Hemp Act in the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp’s in its fourth year of being federally legal. But how well do you know the plant? Some products that come from hemp might surprise you! So today, we want to take a break from the cannabinoid side of our products.
One of the essential facts about hemp is its versatility. Many assume hemp farming is only for flower, for the buds of the harvest to smoke or turn into other consumable products. However, the thought hemp is only suitable for its flower couldn’t be further from the truth.
Every phase of hemp’s growth provides a series of astoundingly beneficial properties. From the stalks’ fiber to the seeds themselves, hemp is a fantastical plant with countless uses.
We want to touch on all the hemp products that you might not think about when you consider hemp. The world of cannabis is vast and versatile, so this is just a taste of what’s possible! So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of some of the most incredible products made from hemp.
Every plant starts with a seed, and hemp is no different. What does make hemp different, though, is its seeds’ capabilities.
Hemp seeds provide a plethora of benefits. Each form makes different use of its bioavailable components. In its unaltered seed state, hemp offers an array of nutrients. Likewise, it holds a reputation as a superfood.
Some of the staple points for hemp seed include:
- It’s easily digestible within the body
- Provides every amino acid that the body needs
- Contains the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that help with our immune system and cholesterol
- Offers help to those suffering from immune deficiency diseases
- Consists of 30% protein, making vegetarian lifestyles easier to manage.
- And so much more!
These benefits are merely based on hemp in its raw seed form before it’s ever processed into hemp seed oil or powder form for supplements.
Hemp oil alone, when left unrefined, is considered “nature’s most perfectly balanced oil.” Its rich contents provide a wealth of benefits to the human body. Some of these include:
- A perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
- Massive supplies of vitamin A and E
- There is a list of essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sulfur, iron, and zinc
- Inflammation-reducing properties
- Promotes healthy nails and hair
While not a complete list of hemp oil’s benefits, this list does outline the array of potential benefits the plant harbors.
The benefits of hemp are not limited to the different ways you can ingest it. Real-world applications in tech industries are also seeing new and innovative applications of this fantastic plant.
One of the biggest hurdles we face as the world advances is how best to provide energy to everything. And there is always demand for things like batteries and fuel cells. But unfortunately, one of the major drawbacks to modern battery production is the mass of hazardous and environmentally damaging leftovers from the production of batteries, and the trash left after they are used.
Hemp batteries look to replace this destructive and wasteful practice with an eco-friendly, alternative platform. These batteries are not only better thanks to their much less damaging production, but the cost is 1/400th of current processes. This makes it a cheap alternative, which speeds up the adoption of its use.
The icing on the cake for this entire venture is that hemp batteries also outperform current energy-storing technology making it the absolute best option by every feasible measure. In addition, the environmentally friendly aspect of its production extends to the users themselves.
Hemp batteries are inherently less dangerous in the case of accidents. The structure handles bents and punctures better since a hemp battery has no metallic oxide. This means there is zero risk of thermal runaway and sudden combustion.
No matter how you look at it, hemp-based batteries are lined up to be the future of energy storage technology.
Wood is widely considered one of the most essential resources in the world. Its applications are seen in everything from fuel, housing, and technology. Tree farms can account for almost 43 percent of all agricultural land.
The problem with tree farming is the sheer amount of resources necessary to produce enough viable wood to harvest. This includes time, water, and a litany of other things that go into its production. On top of all that, there is already a known upper limit to the composite strength of wood.
Hemp may be able to fix almost all of these issues. Namely, hemp may help crop turnaround and the cost of production. The first significant shift would occur around how much land is needed for wood harvest. The goal would be to dedicate 2.6% of US farmland to strictly hemp to replace everyday wood use such as paper and composite items.
This would alleviate 75% of wood use and clear up an astonishing amount of time, effort, and resources used on tree harvest. In addition, this could allow the forests to heal at a much more rapid pace.
Hemp also grows faster than trees. Forest regeneration can take as long as 30 years, as where hemp reaches 4 meters and is almost ready for harvest in 100 days. This means a much faster turnaround and much less land needed to produce the same amount in a fraction of the time.
This fast turnaround has other benefits as well. One of the most pressing is beneficial to everything on earth, not just humans. As trees grow, photosynthesis slows, and each tree begins to produce less oxygen over time. The rapid growth and harvest cycle of hemp means that the ability of the plant to produce oxygen back into the environment never dwindles.
It’s no secret that the world’s needs are quickly growing faster than our ability to power them. Fossil fuels and natural gasses, although currently plentiful, have a limited amount of availability. On top of that, they do not positively impact the earth itself.
With so many limiting factors, it’s only a matter of time before these forms of fuel can no longer meet humanity’s needs but also the environment’s needs. Hemp already has multiple venues to help ease the burden of fuel consumption.
One of the most prominent and easy to switch to forms is hemp biodiesel. This form of biodiesel is extracted from hemp seed oil and works in any diesel engine. Some of the significant benefits of hemp biofuel are its safe storage, its biodegradability, and ease of handling and transporting it safely.
The flashpoint of hemp biodiesel is also significantly higher than traditional diesel. There is much less risk of sudden combustion with a discharge point at 300 F versus 125 F of fossil fuel diesel.
The financial, environmental, and labor relief that comes with switching to hemp as the best available biodiesel far outweighs the initial switching over.
On average, a single acre of hemp can produce enough power to be the equivalent of one thousand gallons of gasoline. This makes it possibly one of the most cost-efficient fuels regarding biomass.
Organic mulch has been the staple of making the soil more fertile for centuries. As a result, the list of available blends for this type of bedding is long, and businesses producing this crop-enriching gift are numerous. But even with plentiful options already available on the market, hemp is quickly becoming a top contender in the field. Some important points to consider when matching up hemp mulch to more traditional types include:
- Hemp is naturally biodegradable
- Hemp mulch is proven to be heavily weather resistant
- Hemp mulch is comparably easy to use
- Hemp has a much more pleasant aesthetic appearance
Beyond these few basic points lies one of the essential features of hemp mulch. Most plants grown in large quantities of any crop, even those whose purpose is to become mulch and fertilizer, have to be treated with herbicides and insecticides to keep weeds and bugs at bay.
Neither of these potent and long-lasting chemical solutions is needed with hemp farming. Hemp stalks are naturally resistant to most insects, so infestations and crop loss rarely occur. With no risk of lost harvests and no need to buy pesticides, this already significantly cheapens the growth process, making it even more viable and versatile.
Hemp itself has a unique ability to deal with invasive weeds as well. Without help, hemp has no issue overtaking, consuming, and destroying invasive weeds. Besides not needing pesticides, it also needs zero additional herbicide aid.
Unless you are making mulch in your yard using ingredients you source yourself, it’s challenging to know what has been used to produce the store-bought mulch that is readily available. In addition, these chemicals can leech into food products and contaminate them without any indication. This means hemp mulch is not only easier and cheaper to produce but leaves a safer product on the consumer end as well.
While there are endless types of ink for different purposes with just as many manufacturers, this entry will narrow down the playing field to one that possesses the most impactful change. Tattoo ink is something many people don’t think about, with tattoos being so common now and shops being practically everywhere.
But a fun fact not many people are aware of is that tattoo ink is considered a cosmetic compound. This might not sound like a very impactful classification, but it opens up the door for many questionable practices to be implemented.
When something is labeled as a cosmetic, the manufacturer is not obligated to release the list of components that go into the production of their product. Unfortunately, this means not all brands are equal, and not all brands are safe. This can have drastic long-term consequences, especially for something that is designed to go into the skin.
A storm has been brewing around some ink makers, as their products were found to contain hazardous chemicals. These include arsenic, lead, nickel, some bacteria, and known carcinogens.
Hemp-based ink is grown organically, so it immediately cuts out the risk associated with herbicides and pesticides. In addition, the hemp itself is hypoallergenic and massively reduces the risk of reacting to it.
As hemp acceptance increases and those using it in their products become more transparent about their ingredients, it will come as little surprise when hemp goes from an “alternative” material to mainstream.
This is an underappreciated building material that isn’t mentioned in passing by most people, but almost everyone is around it every day. Fiberboard is any type of “wood” sheeting made from the fibers of a tree instead of actual cuts. Things like MDF and HDF are types of fiberboard since they are visibly consistent. In addition, their uniform surface helps give away the fact that they are fiber instead of cuts.
On the other hand, Plywood is not a fiberboard and consists of cut slices of wood which is usually visible directly. Even though plywood effectively uses wood that would otherwise have no purpose in building, the supply is still limited by the growth cycle of the trees used. This is another situation that hemp fiberboard helps alleviate.
Hemp is an annual plant, which means it renews itself every year. As a result, it’s an extremely fast crop to grow and regularly produces up to four times as much usable biomass as a traditional forest over ten years.
On top of having remarkably high crop turnover, hemp also leaves the soil entirely suitable for the following crop. This keeps the ground from being depleted and helps with invasive weeds in the area since hemp destroys them in their growth.
Hemp fiberboard also uses an environmentally friendly, non-formaldehyde-based binder. It doesn’t off-gas any hazardous fumes and can be used indoors without any risk.
8. Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories
This one might throw some people for a little bit of a loop. Most of the entries thus far have covered either food or building materials. But this severely limits the scope of what hemp is actually capable of.
While the oil, food products, and wood replacements are absolutely amazing in their own right, hemp fiber itself is able to take softer, more versatile forms. One of the biggest industries in the world could benefit by adopting hemp into their products. This industry is the industry of clothing and accessories.
Hemp fiber as a crop uses a considerably lower amount of water when compared to cotton. On top of that, it only needs half as much land per 2,000 pounds of fabric textile. On top of resource consumption, cotton also uses 50% of all pesticides even though it only occupies 1% of US agricultural farmland.
Hemp has also proven to be stronger as a material and more durable than cotton while maintaining a soft, comfortable skin feel for longer. This means that shirts and other clothing items made from it can withstand more use and cleaning than the standard cotton equivalents.
Last but not least, for this entry, hemp has another significant advantage that blows cotton out of the water. It’s naturally antibacterial. This means that mildew and mold have difficulty affecting hemp-based clothing and accessories. Your new favorite pair of shoes could be made of hemp and help stave off that worn shoe smell by virtue of its very building material alone!
This one should honestly come as no surprise. People use paint every day, whether it be in a professional setting or just home-bound arts and crafts. No matter the application, paint is a common household item and is ripe for converting to a completely green source.
Most paints are known not to be the safest things in the world. So whether it be something that gets ingested that’s dangerous or even just the fumes, paint often comes with a slew of warnings about misuse.
Hemp-based paint improves upon this experience by eliminating most of these concerns by the simple virtue of how it is created. Hemp paint is free from VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and doesn’t leave behind bad paint smells.
The vastly renewable and organic growth process of hemp also helps ensure a large supply of paint that doesn’t have any risk of transferring dangerous herbicides and pesticides.
This eco-friendly product isn’t mass-produced currently, but it’s not difficult to produce at home yourself. Most people interested in using hemp-based paint simply purchase raw hemp oil and mix the pigments they want into it by hand. With time there is little doubt someone will begin producing it at the industrial level as the demand grows.
The amazing part about this is even the base ingredient, raw hemp oil, is usable by itself. The oil alone and unaltered has proven to be an excellent strain for wood projects and furniture.
So if you avidly care about the environment and don’t mind doing a little extra work to help protect the planet, making your own paint that won’t break down into damaging parts is a small step that can help build up to a cleaner future.
10. Plus a Canvas to Paint On!
With the idea of hemp-based paint already on the table, the only logical step to follow would be the painting surface itself! Since we have already covered the other cotton-like application of hemp, it’s a small jump to see it as a highly viable painting surface.
One of the most beneficial aspects is that hemp canvas is more durable than a cotton equivalent overall. This strength carries through even when wet. That makes it a durable textile for both commercial and industrial applications. It also means that it holds up well while soaking up paint!
A second significant benefit is hemp canvas’ resistance to mildew and mold. This resistance is because hemp products have antimicrobial properties built right into them. So there is little to no risk of any rot-spots forming on your latest masterpiece.
Due to the rapid nature of turnover in hemp crops, hemp canvas can be produced faster with the added benefit of needing minimal resources to make. In addition, the process for converting hemp fiber into usable canvas is also devoid of some toxic compounds used in the mainstream production of other canvas.
Most modern canvas’ are made from cotton fiber and PVC. The biggest issue there is that PVC is a non-biodegradable plastic polymer. This means that the canvas itself isn’t environmentally safe, and if it ends up in a landfill or just accidentally abandoned, it will have some long-term consequences.
Hemp Canvas doesn’t need toxic add-ons to become functional, and even without them, it still proves itself hearty and reliable as a medium.
11. Food for Certain Animals
Hemp seeds and other plant parts are already a proven “superfood” for humans. The plant produces many vitamins and minerals we need and the much-needed brain-boosting Omega 3 and 6 acids. This massive benefit can also extend to livestock and other herbivores we keep around us.
Making animal feed from the hemp plant helps keep the entire system from being defined as wasteful. However, during the act of processing hemp to be used as textiles and such, a part of the plant is left behind as a bio-organic “waste.” This is known as spend hemp biomass.
Spent hemp biomass is the leafy leftovers from processing hemp for CBD, oil, hemp rope, and other proper forms. In all industries that process material, there is always something left behind. The significant difference here is that the spent biomass is still valuable.
Hemp spent biomass is comparable to known mainstream animal feeds such as alfalfa. But when compared by content, the hemp outperforms alfalfa across the board. More study and analysis are needed before the FDA fully approves hemp as a suitable addition to livestock diets, but the results have been positive.
This helps, even if it’s not some miracle feed. Alfalfa is more costly by the pounds than spent hemp biomass, so even if it turns out that hemp is pretty run-of-the-mill as far as feed goes, it would still make the entire process cheaper.
In 2022, researchers plan to test hemp on poultry to see if the change is for the better.
As hemp already exists as a known food item, different iterations of its users have already established themselves for many staple products. One of these is hemp flour. Hemp flour is the term for this protein and fiber extract and technically isn’t full-blown flour, but it still works just fine in baked goods.
After being pressed for hemp oil, the power itself is made from hemp seed. Instead of leaving behind a spent material, the whole seed is still used. Even with the oil having been processed out, the fibers of the hemp seed still manage to contain all 20 known amino acid chains. This includes the 9 EAAs (Essential Amino Acids) that we can’t make ourselves.
Even the protein within the husk is different from other plant-based proteins. This particular form of protein is known as Edestin and is ONLY found within hemp. This unique and helpful protein makes up about 65% of the protein makeup in its chain and is known for aiding digestion.
The rest of the protein is comprised of Albumin. This is another high-quality protein found in egg white. This method of obtaining Albumin apart is that the body is better suited to absorb it from hemp. Hemp is free from trypsin inhibitors, which slow down and block protein absorption. That means the proteins in hemp are more readily bioavailable and easier to use by the body. The icing on the cake with hemp flour is entirely hypoallergenic. Those who need good protein but don’t have many options available can now get all the missing parts in one substance.
Many people don’t know that hemp paper existed well before tree paper was figured out. Around 2200 years ago, textile producers in ancient China would press hemp fabric into sheets. This is the world’s first known paper.
Even though the world has mostly moved over to tree wood as our paper source, the plants used are much less efficient in producing the pulp needed to process into sheets.
Cellulose in plants is the core component needed to produce viable paper. Most trees harvested for their product range at about 30% cellulose. On the other hand, hemp grows stalks that are 85% cellulose. That means a vast majority of the processed matter becomes paper.
To extract the 30% from trees needed for paper manufacturing, harsh and toxic chemicals are required to help separate the cellulose from the rest of the wood. Unfortunately, this means paper made from trees is not a clean process nor environmentally friendly.
Trees also take an extraordinarily long time to grow. Each one cut down can take anywhere from 20 to 80 years to reach maturity again. On the other hand, hemp crops take four months before a crop is ready to be processed and replaced.
The only thing keeping hemp paper from being a cheaper and faster produced alternative to wood paper is that most manufacturers are specifically designed to process wood. Hemp is only recently making a comeback as a cash crop, and as it expands, the facilities used to produce hemp products will grow and develop.
14. Milk — and Even Butter
Like other seeds for non-dairy milk, hemp seeds produce a nutritious and flavorful alternative to the popular breakfast staple. Hemp milk is made by blending hemp seeds with water, just like the more popular oat and almond milk.
Hemp milk has a light, nutty texture between sunflower seeds and pine nuts. Its surface is creamy and consistent, and it doesn’t have the habit of separating into hot drinks such as tea and coffee. You know the issue if you have ever had soy milk separate in a hot beverage.
It’s excellent in baked goods and shines in things with a savory taste, like hemp muffins or freshly made bread. Hemp milk is a fantastic replacement for dairy in coffee, tea, cereal, and smoothies. Honestly, anything that calls for cow milk can substitute hemp in its place and come out just as excellent.
Hemp milk is also a potent alternative for those with a tree nut allergy who still don’t want or can’t have dairy.
As far as health benefits go, hemp milk has an array of vitamins and minerals that are top of the game when it comes to giving your body everything it needs. Each cup of hemp milk contains:
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 4.51 grams
Most of the fat content in hemp milk is unsaturated and includes vital Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid chains. As far as other nutritional content, hemp milk also has:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
Some of these on the list may be added by the manufacturers themselves, so it’s always good to check the nutrition labels carefully to ensure exactly what you are getting.
As far as hemp can benefit the body, the advantages don’t stop at ingestion. Besides the plethora of promising compounds that we get from adding different parts of hemp to our diets, hemp also provides an external laundry list of good it can do.
Almost everything we focus on is some form of a topical application for skin health. So naturally, this covers the ever-growing fields of lotions, balms, ointments, and salves. Hemp is no exception to this rule and has found itself pulling double duty inside and out of the body to work for us all over.
Hemp oil is being used in lotions and other forms of moisturizer due to its ability to promote a sophisticated approach to healthier skin. In addition, hemp oil contains an abundance of fatty acids. This helps nourish the skin, bringing it much-needed fuel for reconstruction, as well as help alleviate the wear and tear of inflammation.
Other than the Omega-3 and Omega-6 chain that hemp packs, it’s also bursting at the seams with skin-boosting vitamins. Some of these include A, B1, B2, and D. Other essential contributors are Iron, calcium, and zinc. This is by no means a complete list of hemp’s robust benefits, but it does help highlight how versatile hemp is even when used externally.
This one can be surprising to many people for as many different reasons. First, there has always been a clear divide between cloth diapers and disposable ones. Sometimes the issue revolves around cost; other times, it’s about environmental impact.
While it’s true that disposable diapers have a massively negative impact on the environment, some argue the ease of use and comfort afforded to the baby trumps the negatives. Hemp stands to bridge the gap and offer an environmentally safe, better option than the traditional options available on the market.
With an estimated 18 billion diapers thrown out in the US annually, their impact while filling landfills is beginning to mount. Without any widely available recycling options for diapers, these growing piles will sit in landfills for the next 500 years.
Hemp is ideally suited to help alleviate the problems associated with reusable cotton diapers by offering less bulky but more absorbent and durable options. Currently, cotton-based reusable diapers are less expensive, but hemp is still establishing itself in an industrial setting. This will drop as more places are built or even switch to focusing on hemp-based material.
Hemp diapers are 40 times more absorbent than their cotton counterparts and require less material for the same purpose, making them thinner and less bulky overall. And the final sticking point is that hemp diapers are always 100% organic. No harsh chemicals are needed in their production at all.
Makeup is an industry with 10,000 ingredients and almost as many brands. The sheer volume of products and their intended purposes can be overwhelming for those not familiar with the concept of a beauty regimen.
And as hemp grows in popularity, it seems there are just as many countless hemp makeup and beauty products.
With so much to understand and an ever-evolving need for a brand to be the “best,” some have already begun to recognize how useful and versatile hemp is as a cosmetic ingredient.
In addition, just as hemp has been used in paper and fibers for over 10,000 years, so, too, has it been used as a cosmetic product. While it’s primarily been used in oils, it’s also used in other derivatives and used for other extracts.
Plastic products make up a vast majority of the things we see, use, and experience in our day-to-day life. Petroleum-based manufacturing is a massive industry and affects everything from cosmetics to clothing and food production. As a result, almost everything we have is based on the application of petroleum plastic.
Nothing about plastic is safe for the earth and the people and animals interacting with it in most cases. Plastic has a long and sordid history of change. Each iteration made it slightly safer than the last but still detrimental in all stages of its existence.
Plastic disposable items constitute an overwhelming percent of landfill space. These deadly, nonbiodegradable items leach into water and soil and take upwards of 1,000 years to break down. This is the furthest thing from ideal.
This is, without any doubt, the most important entry on this list. Finally, everything made of plastic has a hemp alternative. Every. Single. Item. Whether it be electronics, toys, cosmetics, car parts, or hemp can replace the plastic in it.
Hemp plastic removes the need to harvest fossil fuels for these items and helps reduce the greenhouse effect. In addition, hemp absorbs carbon dioxide from the environment and pumps out oxygen in its place. And even in the manufacturing process of turning said hemp into plastic, it produces zero toxic byproducts.
Couple this with the fact that hemp plastic is more robust than petroleum-based plastic and breaks down safely, and comes from a renewable resource, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be moving to a greener future.
19. Protein Powder
Fitness supplements and health foods are an extremely competitive market. With an ever-growing list of name-brand items that all claim to be the best, it’s essential to keep in mind precisely what you are buying.
One of the biggest focuses in the industry is protein powder. Protein powder can act as a pre or post-workout supplement, or meal replacement. Some use it even just to shore up where they may be missing some macros. And, surprise surprise, hemp may be one of the best plant-based proteins on the market.
Protein powder has many sources, but some of the most popular are soybeans, peas, potatoes, eggs, and milk. The protein within them is isolated and sifted free of the other chemical compounds so that a concentrate can be formed. This concentration is significantly used in the workout community, ensuring that people putting in heavy work get an equally rich replenishment.
Hemp has quickly joined the ranks of these staples as a force to be reckoned with. While sources like whey protein contain more protein per scoop, hemp fires back by providing heart-healthy unsaturated fats and fiber, which help prevent disease and keep your bowels fit and regular.
The AHA (American Heart Association) says that many Americans consume more protein than they need and actively discourage taking too much supplemental protein. With hemp, you get less protein per scoop along with essential vitamins and minerals. The hemp plant becomes a better-rounded and more effective supplement rather than focusing on protein alone.
This one may have looked a little misleading. Hemp is not a full-on replacement for coffee, but it works well with coffee beans. The blends are often ground coffee beans with lightly roasted hemp seeds added.
This gives the coffee an added earthy, nutty flavor that is delightfully unique. When added to a coffee blend, hemp seeds allow the hot beverage to act as a vehicle for its health benefits. These include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamin E complexes, and protein chains.
While nothing is proven defacto as of yet, the combination of healthy acids and vitamins holds the potential to improve a litany of health issues. For example, gamma-linolenic acid and stearidonic acid may improve skin conditions and help with acne. In addition, the healthy amino acids found within the hemp seeds also stand a chance of helping prevent the accumulation of plaque in arteries.
Those same amino acids are being researched for their ability to help ease arthritis pain and help manage symptoms of bipolar disorder. So, hemp coffee blends seem like a sure-fire way to start the day and possibly even be better mentally and physically after drinking it for a while.
Hemp-infused candles operate on the same principles surrounding hemp oil itself. In addition, hemp oil is often utilized in an aromatherapy capacity, so a hemp oil-infused candle is pretty much a given.
Hemp candles offer those seeking something relaxing a non-toxic alternative to some traditional candles. These environmentally friendly hemp blends are made using sustainable and hypoallergenic hemp seed oil and soybean wax and come in a much-expected array of scents.
Even though these candles are made using hemp, a close cousin of the marijuana plant, nothing about its oil and properties have a psychosomatic effect. Instead, these candles can act as a relaxant and help promote peaceful rest.
While multiple places may sell hemp-infused candles, not all of them are created equal, and it’s essential to make sure the candle you are getting has all-natural ingredients. However, making hemp-infused candles isn’t overly burdensome either, and you may enjoy making them yourself to help ensure a quality product.
22. Pet Toys, Collars/Leashes, & Other Pet Accessories
This one is something to think about. Most people take items for pets at face value. Unfortunately, this has given a lot of pet-focused companies a little too much room to relax, and more and more evidence is cropping up that not all things for your little critters are created with their safety in mind.
Along with pet food manufacturers who have been exposed for bulking their food with unsafe fillers, companies that produce treats, toys, and accessories are slowly being brought into the limelight and scrutinized over questionable practices.
Pet owners have become increasingly concerned about the things their pets are exposed to, and one of the solutions has been to turn to products with a proven track record of being natural and safe.
Hemp is an absolute hero in this regard. With its notable durability and the fact that it does not need dangerous herbicides and pesticides to grow its crops, hemp fiber can be woven into anything from toys to leashes and give pet owners the peace of mind that other products simply cannot.
Hemp is durable, safe, and eco-friendly, giving it the triple play that most people look for in a product. In addition, the toys are biodegradable and safe to be chewed on, letting their eventual wear and tear lead them to be disposed of in an environmentally conscious way.
Compared to the myriad of plastic, rubber, and (questionably) processed cotton counterparts, hemp-based alternatives seem like a no-brainer.
23. Home Decor & Essentials (Curtains, Blankets, etc.)
The number of different materials used for things such as blankets, curtains, and throw rugs are almost as endless as the designs they are crafted in. Some materials, such as cotton or nylon; others are considerably new to the mainstream, like reclaimed plastic fiber or even rubber synthetics.
But hemp has existed in this capacity for a good long time. A home in Turkey dating back 9000 years contained a hemp blanket inside. That means converting hemp strands into a pliable, usable fabric has been around for a long time.
Its benefits as a fabric medium are also excellent compared to many modern equivalents. One of the best advantages is how breathable hemp linen is. Many people mistakenly believe cotton is king when it comes to this, but the nature of interwoven hemp fabric allows much more air to pass through the material. This lets your body breathe better and improves your sleep quality.
Hemp is also more absorbent than its counterparts. It’s hard to describe how absorbency works in fiber, but this more or less controls how wet something “feels.” An example would be a typical bath towel. If you wipe up a light sprinkle of water, the towel may still feel completely dry. That’s because the threshold for its absorbency hasn’t been reached.
Polyester, which makes up a considerable section of standard cloth at this point, starts to feel damp when it has absorbed about 6% of its weight in water. That’s a meager amount overall. On the other hand, Hemp cloth doesn’t begin to feel wet until it has absorbed a complete 20% of its weight. That means a fifth of its physical weight has to be water before it’s noticeable.
24. Soil Cleanser
Hemp and its eco-friendly applications don’t stop at replacing wasteful and damaging consumer goods. From planting to processing, its entire existence can benefit the environment. One of the most significant issues we face is the devastation from waste material. Things we manufacture often produce unusable and even dangerous byproducts.
This excess is often disposed of incorrectly and, in some cases, not at all. The long-term side effects of this are devastating, and finding a better way to remove it from the very ground we walk is one of the most important things we can focus on.
In 2017, a graduate student named Gavin Stonehouse set out to see if hemp held the properties to help us with this long-running problem. Through rigorous testing, hemp has proven more than capable of pulling massive amounts of toxic material. This, coupled with its quick growth and crop turnaround, keeps it out once it’s been removed.
One of the most impressive aspects of this process is that it is still absolutely safe to use for other ventures even after the hemp pulls up the pollutants. One example is CBD itself. Even after pulling up amazingly destructive elements, such as selenium, hemp is capable of other uses. The toxins get stored within the leaves and stem of the plant instead of the buds themselves.
More research is necessary to assess the upper limits of how much hemp can clean. Regardless, the future is brighter knowing the plant shows even this in its potential.
The rope is an everyday staple and has been for about as far back as human history goes. Hemp rope itself dates back as far as 2800 B.C. in China. It even has a long history in Europe, dating back as far as the 1700s as a crop production for rope and canvas. Hemp was grown and harvested around the globe in ancient times because its fiber is just that useful.
When it comes to modern iterations of rope, most examples you see tend to be a weave of cotton or even nylon. But hemp still holds many advantages as a fiber source for rope. These include:
- Resistance to mold
- Eco-friendly production
- Uv Resistant
- Cost-Effective production
- Long-life durability
- High tensile strength
Hemp holds a clear advantage in a long list of what makes a particular rope worthwhile. One of the major weaknesses of hemp rope is any application of it for maritime purposes. The seawater sea-life doesn’t act kindly to hemp rope.
Hemp rope used in the ocean has to be coated in tar to prevent any kind of rotting. This is due to the fact that hemp rope that quickly dries on the outside will trap in moisture, causing the inside layers to mildew and rot.
On top of this particular shortcoming is one more that causes a bit of an issue. The end sections of hemp rope have to be bound. Without the binding, it will fray and unravel of its own accord.
However, these two issues are far from enough to remove hemp from the viability list.
26. Oil Spill Cleanup?!
When it comes to levels of importance, this one takes the cake. There are plenty of disasters in the world, natural and manufactured, but none come close to the devastating long-term impact that oil spills do.
Each time a massive oil spill happens in the ocean, the world feels the effect. Ecosystems can be completely obliterated in the fallout, with sealife unable to see or breathe. Even birds and creatures near the beach can feel the bite of these terrible events.
Ensuring we have safe and effective measures to fix these accidents quickly and efficiently is paramount. Currently, we use a system based on the application of chemical dispersants. However, this is a double-edged sword and doesn’t provide the absolute best outcome. Chemical dispersant acts on oil by breaking it down into much smaller droplets. This allows microbes that can feed on oil much easier access to it.
The downside to this is that the much more thinly dispersed oil now has a high chance of negatively impacting the rest of the sea life around it. This can devastate local populations and even coat the seafloor.
Hemp does not drag oil to the ocean bed. Its core is fibrous and absorbent. Oil clings to pulped hemp and quickly bonds to it en masse. This is a much more eco-friendly and efficient way of dealing with oil spills without negatively impacting the wildlife below the sea line.
The only thing that holds back hemp from being the de facto tool for oil spills is cost. The cost to grow hemp is higher than producing these chemical dispersants. While price should not be an obstacle in the face of catastrophe, companies disagree.
Hopefully, the cost of growing hemp will be low enough to outcompete these inefficient chemical compounds soon.
27. Concrete (AKA HempCrete)
Hempcrete is a biocomposite material used for construction. It consists of a blend of hemp curds, lime, sand, and insulation. This blend has proven to be a competent replacement for concrete in multiple different situations.
The density of the mixture alters the application intentions. Increasing the thickness allows the mixture to produce the roof and floor insulation. Decreasing the density lets it be used for indoor and outdoor plasters. This versatile compound holds the potential to replace a large chunk of required material when it comes to building.
Another massive benefit of hempcrete is its high vapor permeability. This lets the structure breathe and absorb water while letting it release so that it doesn’t cause mildew or rot. This makes hempcrete an excellent choice of insulation choice.
Although the name is based on concrete, hempcrete is currently not a viable replacement for ground-based works such as house foundations or driveways. Hempcrete needs to be used above the floor line to ensure it doesn’t release water back into the rest of the structure.
Hempcrete is versatile and ideal for interior applications. Hopefully, in the future, it will prove to replace other forms of concrete and give us a much more environmentally friendly option for building larger structures.
28. Animal Bedding
When it comes to animal care, things like bedding can differ depending on what conditions are necessary. For example, there’s a difference between the bedding needed for a chicken coup versus bedding better suited for a horse.
And much like traditional hay, wood shavings, and sand, hemp comes through for us in this regard. Depending on the demands of whatever bedding is needed, different forms of hemp may be used.
What makes hemp ideal if there are already so many alternatives on the market? Well, there are a few reasons that come to mind immediately.
Hemp beddings are extremely low dust. When hemp is being prepped as animal bedding, it undergoes a cleaning process that rigorously removes loose particulates from it. This lowers the overall dust in a given bedding area and makes it much easier for an animal to breathe freely. This is especially helpful with horses who suffer from conditions like the heaves or inflammatory airway disease.
Hemp is also incredibly absorbent. It has the unique properties of being both warm feeling and noticeably soft while simultaneously holding up to four times its weight in liquid. That means less moisture in the air around your beloved animals and lowers the chances of flies and biting insects trying to make a home in it. In addition, it has a cat litter-like quality to it and prevents the pooling of animal waste by making sure to grab ahold of all of it.
It is also fully biodegradable and sustainable to produce. Unlike some bedding options that require treatments or ingredients that make them non-compostable or even outright unable to do anything but go into the trash after use. The pesticide and herbicide-free nature of hemp growth also remove the risk of harsh poison getting into your compost, making it safe for use on crops.
Insulation is a material that stops things like sound, heat, or even electricity. Experts design each type of insulation specifically for a given purpose. The materials for each type of insulation vary depending on what needs to be dampened.
Hemp is making its way into the insulation business due to its inherent properties as a wool-like fiber. Hemp insulation is non-toxic, plant-based, and doesn’t need any kind of chemical binders. It also benefits from not letting off any type of harmful fume or gas and is fully hypogenic.
Insects, other pests, and even mold have a tough time getting into or damaging hemp insulation, further cementing its place as a top contender as a building material. Even the removal of hemp insulation is more accessible as it does not lose its biodegradable properties.
Where hemp insulation stands apart in its manufacturing is how little is needed outside of the plant itself. Most other insulation is either fully synthetic or a blend. These blends tend to be around 51% plant material and 49% chemicals and plastic. Hemp insulation can contain as much as 92% hemp and about 8% polyester fiber.
The reason hemp insulation is still not mainstream is due to its relatively new status in the industry. Hemp insulation has only been in production since 2018 and, given time, may very well pass up fiberglass as the go-to material in building insulation.
The estimated price range for hemp insulation is dependent on the size. It can range from $1.35 per square foot to $3.10. However, this price could drop drastically over time as more hemp continues to grow legally in the US and more businesses adopt it as an industrial standard.
And So Much More!
When it comes to the array of utility-based products hemp can replace or even enhance, we have only begun to uncover the tip of the iceberg. Hemp farming is formally legal under the protection of the Farm Bill. This opened the door for more people to find new and innovative ways to use hemp.
Even this extensive list doesn’t cover all the items available in the market today. As more hemp becomes available to manufacturers, we are liable to see other everyday items made infinitely better thanks to the unrivaled versatility of hemp.
What’s Your Favorite Underrated Hemp Product?
Do you have a favorite hemp product?
Better yet, do you have a favorite CBD or delta-8 product? We pride ourselves in supplying the best in what hemp has to offer. Be sure to shop Ounce of Hope’s various hemp-based products to see which one stands out for you!