7 Ways Hemp Is Helping Build A Sustainable Future

Today we are covering the different uses of Industrial Hemp;

From concrete to plastics and even food! 

Not to mention the fact that it can replace a number of products from trees, which could have a huge impact on deforestation!

This sustainable wonder crop is coming through with eco friendly alternatives which are taking the world by storm!

Grown all around the world for well over 10,000 years, hemp is showing promise in helping us move away from non-renewable resources.

Here’s our favourite 7 ways hemp is helping build a sustainable future;

 

  1. Hempcrete For Sustainable Building
    Hempcrete can be used to make carbon positive buildings that absorb and store carbon dioxide throughout their lifetime, contributing to sustainability by removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. 

    The combination of hemp hurds, water, and lime can be used in various roles in the construction process.  You may find it mixed in insulation, flooring, press-board, and walls due to the remarkable thermal properties of the fibres.  Other properties include fire, insect, and mould resistant.

    Isn’t it interesting how the characteristics of hemp fibre naturally roll-over to the products we turn them into? 


  2. Hemp Plastic Substitutes
    Hemp can contribute to sustainability by offering a realistic substitute for plastic. Back in the 1940’s, Henry Ford included hemp (among other natural fibres) in the mix for the composite he used for the body of a concept car.  This concept was somewhat lost in history…. However, in 2008, Lotus released the ‘Eco Elise’, a green production car with a body made of a sustainable hemp bioplastic.

    Top Gear Review of the Eco Elise

    Since then, other car manufacturers have reintroduced hemp to their vehicles.  You can now find hemp used in door panels, columns, seat backs, boot linings, floor consoles, and instrument panels.

    Hemp isn’t just ‘more sustainable’, but also stronger, lighter, and cheaper than carbon fibre – so it’s a no brainer, really! 


  3. Bio-Fuel
    Hemp plastic makes a great bio-degradable option that helps keep trash out of our oceans! However, according to the British Plastics Federation; only 4-6% of global fossil fuel expenditure goes towards manufacturing plastic… That’s why the next topic we want to talk about how hemp biofuels could provide us a more sustainable means of transportation.

    We’ll keep it simple…

    Hemp can be turned into a few types of fuel, but biodiesel is by far the most commercially viable option.  A study done by the University of UCONN has shown that you wouldn’t even need to convert your engine to run a car on pure hemp biodiesel.  The same study found that for every 1L of hemp oil converted, 97% was retained as usable biodiesel – That’s only a 3% loss in volume! Not only does it burn with 75% less particles, but it can run at a lower temperature.  The ability to use hemp biodiesel could drastically reduce the average driver’s carbon footprint.


  4. Textiles/Clothing
    Hemp offers a sustainable alternative to anything made from cotton.  In fact, before the 1920s, it’s said that up to 80% of the worlds clothing was made from hemp.  The demonisation of ‘Marijuana’ (the slang term for high-THC female cannabis) led to a halt in the commercial hemp industry. This resulted in public preference swinging towards cotton, and then eventually synthetic textiles.

    Hemp fabric comes in a variety of styles, and is stronger, longer lasting, and much less resource hungry than cotton.  To grow 1kg of usable hemp fibre, you need half as much land, and around ¼ of the water as 1kg of cotton… and that’s not even taking pesticides into account yet.

    That’s why we’re trying to help bring hemp clothing back into fashion… You can see our available range Here .

  5. Paper
    For years now, deforestation has been a top environmental issue, and hemp can be looked at as a sustainable solution to products that require trees, such as wood and paper.  In fact, hemp is one of the first resources humans ever used to make paper… And it’s been going on for at least 2000 years.

    There have been some monumental points in history recorded on hemp paper; From the draft of the declaration of independence, to the signing of the 2018 farm bill… hemp paper can be found in significant moments all throughout history.

    As demand for hemp pulp increases as more companies look to incorporate it in their products, the economy of scale should reduce the production costs making it a more economically viable option. Considering it already has superior strength and durability and is much easier to recycle, it will be tough to contend with…

    This simple change from wood pulp to hemp pulp being used to make paper would see less chemicals contaminating our water ways!

    An acre of hemp also produces around 3x as much paper as an acre of trees, which isn’t too bad for a 3-5 month turnover.


  6. Cleaning the Soil with Hemp
    If the amazing products made from hemp that help us live more sustainable lives wasn’t enough for you, we’re about to dive into how growing hemp can literally help restore balance to our ecosystem.

    As we said before, hemp uses less water than most other crops commonly grown for commercial resources.  Due to its resilience, it has also been flagged as a plant we can use to clean up the environment.

    Through a process called phytoremediation, hemp can be used to clear toxic waste, heavy metals, and other contaminants from polluted soil.One of the most notable uses of this was after the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, when a company called Phytotech attempted to use hemp to remove radiation from the ground. 

    A more recent case of this was in Italy, when a farmer near an old steel mill successfully saved his land from dioxin pollution by growing hemp.That means hemp takes it one step further than sustainability, and should actually be looked at as a tool for regenerative agriculture.


  7. Hemp and Sustainable/Ethical Lifestyles
    Last but not least, hemp supports sustainable lifestyles by catering to the needs of those with strict dietary standards.  But it’s not just for vegans… hemp seed should be a staple of everyone’s diet.Also known as ‘hemp hearts’, they are starting to be used in a variety of health foods such as;
  • Hemp seed butter
  • Hemp energy bars 
  • Hemp oil
  • And even hemp milk.

    It’s no wonder that hemp seed has claimed ‘superfood’ status in the world of health & wellness.  You can read more about the health benefits of hemp seed here!

    With everything you know now, would you make the change to hemp in your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint?  We know we are!

    If you want to know more about hemp and sustainability, or have a specific question, please get in touch over our social media!  We’d love to hear from you.

 

9 Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Take note Chia seed, kale, and goji berries… There is a new kid on the block: Hemp seed!

This under the radar super-food has a list of benefits that’s taking the nutrition world by storm.

Hemp seed is currently in huge demand, and there are many reasons why – Including the long list of nutritional benefits for humans that we’ll be covering today… 

…But before we get started, for those who don’t know – hemp seed can’t get you high!

So whether you’re curious about the benefits of hemp seed, it’s nutritional properties, or how it can your health… this one’s for you. 

Here are 9 amazing health benefits of hemp seed

 

  • Provides energy boosts
    • Hemp seed contains approximately 1 gram of complex carbohydrates per tablespoon. This slowly releases glucose into the bloodstream throughout the day rather than in large bursts (causing energy crashes).  The result is a sustained energy boost without the dreaded afternoon crash. So, if you’re looking for healthy breakfast options – consider adding Hemp Seeds!!  
  • Reduces Inflammation
    • Hemp seed is rich in healthy fats including  omega-3 and 6 oils – and in the perfect ratio of 1:3. In addition to this, the omega-3 oils that are contained within hemp seed have been shown to help reduce inflammation.  Hemp seed also contains substantial amounts of GLA – Gamma-linolenic Acid.  This is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that may also have anti-inflammatory effects.  studies with animals have suggested the GLA can act as a potent anti-inflammatory. However, recent studies in humans suggest that the acid is not always effective for this.
  • Promotes the health of your gut.
    • Fibre plays an important role in your body due to the fact that gut bacteria requires it to function.  Gut bacteria consumes fibre while processing food, so not enough fibre can result in digestion issues. That’s where hemp seed comes in… Hemp seed is very high in fibre.  Most of the fibre is in the outer shell of the hemp seed so try and purchase on hulled hemp seeds if possible. However, even without the shell, hemp seeds contain approx. 1.2g of fibre per tablespoon.  From this, we can assume that hemp seed in your diet could be important in maintaining a healthy gut.
  • Can improve hair, nail, and skin health
    • Consuming hemp seeds can help repair and moisturize dry and damaged skin. Hemp seeds also support healthier hair, skin and nails.  Omega-3 oils can help the skin and hair by moisturising and regulating oil production. They can also help build strength and stimulate growth of the nails too. As we know, hemp seed offers us generous amounts of these oils.  So if you’re looking for a way to fight problems on these external areas, hemp seed in your diet could give you a leg-up!
  • May help you lose weight
    • For the majority of people weight comes down to being in a calorie deficit,
      Which simply means that you are expending more calories than you take in.  So while hemp seeds aren’t a silver bullet for weight loss, they make a great alternative for fatter and richer proteins. 

      And yes, hemp seed is a complete protein! 

      That means it could even be a substitute for milk and dairy.  Hemp milk has lower carbs and sugars than regular dairy milk, and hemp protein powder is a great addition to smoothies to help control appetite. As it contains all the essential amino acids, hemp protein can also help you build muscle mass. This makes it unique to some other plant-based protein sources that might not constitute a complete protein.

  • May help correct anaemia
    • Anaemia is a condition that can occur when the body is not taking in enough iron. Being high in iron, eating hemp seed is a great way to try and fight the condition. This is because just a single tablespoon of hemp seed contains almost 20% of your daily iron needs per tablespoon.  
  • May reduce PMS symptoms
    • Cramping cravings and mood swings.. ugh! The good news: all those essential fatty acids and hemp seeds may help all your PMS woes.  Research from the Journal of Reproductive Health found that women who consumed at 2 g of essential fatty acids daily over a 6 month period experienced a reduction in premenstrual syndrome symptoms.  That amount of essential fatty acids can be found in a single daily serving of hemp seed or hemp seed oil.
  • Can help keep a healthy heart
    • That eating hemp seed can contribute to the prevention of heart disease by helping keep arteries open and blood pressure low. This is attributed to the ample amount of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.  Here, the Centre for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health investigate the role of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids in heart health.Hemp seeds also contain high amounts of arginine which turns into nitric oxide in the body.  Arginine is also important in maintaining heart health as it can reduce the chance of developing heart disease in the future.There may just be a deeper reason behind calling hemp seeds ‘hemp hearts’ after all! 😉
  • Can help you sleep

With all of this to potentially gain from trying hemp seed, it’s no wonder that people are starting to make it a staple of their diet.

Knowing all of the health benefits of hemp seeds, are you going to be looking for it in the supermarket next time you’re out?  It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to use hemp to heal your body, prevent future illnesses, or build overall strength… adding hemp seeds into your diet could truly give you that extra boost you need to reach your goals.

If you liked reading this, we’d love to hear your feedback!  And be sure to share this around if you learned something new.

Want to learn more about hemp and health?  Check out our other blogs here!