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Hemp Uses: Biofuel, Nutritional Source & More

what-are-the-uses-for-hemp

Hemp is an ingredient in many wellness products, ranging from hemp oils to hemp topicals. However, its uses are surprisingly varied.

Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years. Throughout the centuries, humans have extracted, manipulated, and utilized the hemp plant to suit almost every need imaginable, from insulation material to eco-friendly plastics. Even today, hemp is showing promise as a future biofuel as well as an important therapeutic product.

So what are hemp’s uses today, and how can it be implemented for the future?

What Hemp Can Be Used For: An Overview

Some of hemp’s popularity can be attributed to how the plant grows. Many farms choose to grow this crop not only because it’s relatively easy to cultivate, but because it grows fast, and the yields tend to be high.

China produces over 70% of the world’s hemp, followed by France, which is the largest grower in Europe. However, the crop is grown in some capacity in nearly every country globally. So what is all this hemp being used for?

Over the last few years, one of the most celebrated hemp-based products has been consumables and topicals. Thanks to an increase in medical studies and clever marketing, hemp has become a highly-regarded health product. Managing stress, sore muscles, and dry skin are just some reasons why so many people use hemp products. For those interested in this form of hemp, you can find oils, capsules, gummies, and topical products on the Premium Jane official site.

However, hemp is also renowned for its versatility. Other common uses of the plant are:

  • Clothing/textiles
  • Nutrition
  • Plastic/biocomposites
  • Building materials
  • Fuel

Let’s investigate each of these uses in detail.

Hemp Clothing

Making textiles from hemp is arguably one of the oldest uses of the plant. To create hemp fabric, tiny fibres are pulled off of the plant stalk through a process known as ‘retting’. These fibres are then spun together into one long continuous strand. Similar to cotton, this strand can then be woven into a fabric.

Originally, hemp fibre was thought to be made for industrial items such as boat sails and rope. However, many believe it is a modern solution for sustainable fashion.

In terms of texture, hemp fabric is most similar to linen, albeit more robust and durable. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for hemp to be crafted into clothing such as trousers, t-shirts, and even shoes.

In Australia, many sustainably-minded retailers stock hemp clothing items, although it may be easier to find an online shop.

Hemp Nutrition

Hemp is also considered for its robust nutritional value. Most people consume hemp seeds or ‘hemp hearts’ for this purpose. The seed has a mild, nutty flavour, making it popular as a salad topper or in baked goods.

Not only are hemp seeds a complete protein (contains all nine amino acids), but they’re also a source of fibre and essential fatty acids. Two primary fatty acids found in hemp are omega-3 and omega-6; both of which have been linked to heart health.

Additionally made up of 25% protein, hemp seeds are an excellent energy source, especially for plant-based diets.

Hemp Food

The most common hemp foods on the market are either made from hemp seeds or broad-spectrum oils.

Broad-spectrum oils are made from a blend of hemp’s natural phytonutrients. To craft a hemp oil, raw hemp material undergoes an extensive manufacturing process to extract and preserve the plant’s natural compounds. This formulation is then combined with other ingredients to create a tasty snack or food, like chewy gummies.

On the Premium Jane site for example, we sell a 750mg gummy product that contains 25mg of hemp in each serving. Made with a natural fruit flavor, these chewables are designed to be both delicious and functional.

Hemp gummies are so popular because they contain a myriad of natural compounds that interact with the body’s ECS system. Many claim this produces varied therapeutic benefits.

Hemp Plastic (Biocomposites)

With 8 million pieces of plastic entering our oceans every day, finding natural alternatives to plastic has become a modern-day dilemma. Using hemp is more sustainable than traditional plastic, and its growing popularity means it is becoming more cost-effective.

Hemp-based plastics are already widely used in today’s manufacturing industry. Car manufacturing giants, such as BMW and Honda, are using hemp fibres to craft inner car panels and other conventionally plastic moulds.

Hemp could be a primary solution to incorporating more biodegradable plastics in the manufacturing industry, although time will tell.

Hemp Housing (Construction/Building Material)

Interestingly, hemp has also been used as a versatile building material.

Hemp fibres are sometimes combined with lime, the mineral found in limestone, to create ‘hempcrete’. While hempcrete isn’t as strong as brick or steel, the blocks can be used in tandem with these materials to create strong structural frames used in building.

One innovator, Charles Rasetti, put this to the test in 1986. He renovated a building in France called the Maison de la Turquie, and this was the first known applicable use of hempcrete.

Additionally, hemp can be a useful substitute for wood and as an internal plaster because of its insulative qualities. Currently, there are no 100% hemp houses in Australia. However, many research projects are underway to investigate how biocomposite materials, like hemp-line panels, can be utilized in everyday builds.

Hemp Fuel

Hemp biofuel is made by extracting the natural oils found in hemp’s stalks and seeds. This is sometimes known as ‘hempoline’.

Amazingly, this product can be used to power diesel engines, just like other vegetable oils. These biofuels could prove a valuable alternative to petroleum, coal, and natural gases – substances that contribute to climate change. However, the raw plant material combined with the manufacturing process can be costly.

Many manufacturers opt to use cheaper raw materials such as kitchen waste, garbage, and animal feces.

Summary on Hemp Uses

Throughout the years, people have invented and discovered ingenious ways to use hemp for everyday life. While some of these ideas, like hemp biofuel, may not yet be practical on a large scale, other inventions like hempcrete could be vital for a modern and eco-friendly future.

Other uses of hemp, like broad-spectrum oils, impact us on a more day-to-day level. Not only do these wellness products boast therapeutic benefits, but they’re also becoming widely accessible here in Australia.

If you feel inspired to try one of the finest quality hemp oils on the market, be sure to visit our Premium Jane site, where you can find a variety of hemp-infused oils, capsules, topicals, gummies, and more.

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