One of the most hotly contested crops of our time, hemp is also the oldest. Humans have been using hemp for industrial purposes like making paper and textiles since the dawn of civilization. In fact, one of the earliest artifacts of human industry is a piece of hemp fabric dating back to around 8,000 B.C.
You already know that we love it for making warm jackets and cozy tees, but what exactly is hemp?
The Hemp Plant
Not to be confused with the marijuana plant, we like to think of hemp as its non-psychoactive cousin. They’re both members of the cannabis family, but hemp is taller, grows faster and can survive in a wider variety of conditions. From seed to stalk to flowers, hemp is a renewable resource that can be used to make thousands of products.
Let’s start with food. Hemp is super nutritious. It’s rich in protein and amino acids. It’s no wonder health-conscious folks love to eat hemp seeds, hemp flour and hemp milk to nourish their hearts and brains.
You might also be familiar with CBD oil. From anxiety-fighting tinctures to high-end beauty products, CBD oil can be made from either hemp or medicinal cannabis. Hemp-derived CBD oil is often used as an alternative treatment for stress, nausea, inflammation and even acute depression.
Hemp oil is an amazing moisturizer. Remember those robust amino acids we talked about? They’re great for dry and cracked skin, too. You can find hemp oil in body moisturizers, face serums — even mascara.
Not all plastic is created equal. Hemp can be used to create Earth-friendly, biodegradable plastic that helps reduce landfill waste.
Our favorite thing about hemp is the clothing it makes. Hemp is known to create soft, durable fabric and a lot of it. A single acre of hemp can produce as much fiber as 2-3 acres of cotton. As a crop, hemp requires less than half the water and delivers nutrients back into the soil. As a fabric, it lasts twice as long as cotton and won’t mildew. Think about it. If that scrap of ancient fabric has held up since 8,000 B.C., just imagine how long our jackets will last you.
The oil from hemp can be used to make any oil-based products, including paint. Hemp paint generally lasts longer than its mainstream competitors. It’s also non-toxic. Thinking about greenifying your home or painting a nursery? Look no further than hemp paint.
Hemp can also be used to make ethanol, an environmentally friendly bio-diesel. As biodegradable as sugar and ten times less toxic than table salt, hemp fuel has been used in Europe for over 20 years. When burned in a diesel engine, hemp fuel is said to smell like popcorn or french fries.
Hemp builds strong homes. Cement made from hemp retains the plant’s minerals and core fibers, making homes resilient in bad weather.
A more economical way to make paper, hemp paper helps protect forests and wildlife.
Durable, versatile and good to the Earth. These are just some of the reasons we love hemp. Want to learn even more about hemp? Click here.