How many uses for the hemp plant are there? It’s understood that there are tens of thousands of uses for the hemp plant. The industry is just being revitalized in the U.S. In several states, crops are being planted for the first time in more than 5 decades. As the industry matures and technology catches up, more uses for the hemp plant are bound to be discovered.
CBD Oil Extraction
CBD oil extraction is one of the most common uses for the hemp plant in the last several years. The oil is used in multiple applications from tinctures to edibles. There are several ways to extract the oil but supercritical CO2 extraction remains at the top of the list when it comes to clean extraction methods.
Applications for CBD oil:
- Bath salts, soaks and bombs
- CBD concentrate (dabs)
The number of products that can be derived from these base groups is growing almost by the day. This makes CBD oil usable in over 100 different types of products.
Industrial Uses for the Hemp Plant
Hemp has taken on the identity of being called industrial hemp, even though many of the applications of the plant’s parts aren’t for industrial uses. The industrial uses for the hemp plant will also increase as the industry has more hemp to work with as cultivation ramps up across the U.S.
These are some of the most notable industrial applications for the hemp plant.
Textiles are categorized as cloth and woven fabric. Hemp can be woven into soft fabric to be made into shirts, pants, skirts, dresses and nearly any clothing item imaginable. Parts of the plant can also be used to make durable shoe soles.
It’s a misconception that hemp clothing is heavy and scratchy. The cloth can actually be made in a way that makes it softer than cotton. It’s more durable than many other fabrics, which is part of the reason that hemp clothing often holds a higher price tag.
Hemp fabric can withstand the elements well without breaking down. It can also be laundered dozens of times without losing its strength and integrity.
Much of the hemp fabric available in the U.S. today has been imported, but as more hemp is grown on U.S. soil, more fabric will become available and may help decrease the cost of hemp clothing.
This is one of the uses for the hemp plant that will improve in time as more clothing items can be designed. The fabric is ideal for those that will be exposed to the elements of winter and wet weather.
This is one of the newer uses of the hemp plant. Hemp plastic is used by some luxury automakers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz. The plastic material is ideal for door panels and other parts of the vehicles since it is durable plastic that is also rather lightweight.
What can hemp plastic be used for? Hemp plastic water bottles are already made. Hemp plastic straws, storage containers, electronics covers and even hemp plastic toys are possible. Generally speaking, anything made of plastic today can be made from hemp plastic.
One of the biggest benefits of hemp plastic is that it’s biodegradable an sustainable.
Hemp paper is one of the better known uses for the hemp plant. It isn’t a new product; it’s been around for centuries. Hemp paper has an advantage over traditionally made paper because hemp grows much faster than trees. Some varieties of trees require 30 years of growth before they’re ready to be used for wood or paper products. Cultivating hemp also has a positive impact on the environment whereas chopping down trees to make wood and paper is hurting the environment.
Fun Fact: Hemp paper doesn’t discolor or disintegrate over time. It also maintains its structure without becoming brittle.
Biofuel has become a hot topic of discussion as carmakers work toward creating more eco-friendly and low-emissions vehicles. Hemp-based biofuel isn’t made in large quantities now because there isn’t enough hemp grown in the U.S. to make a sustainable amount.
Hemp is a Food Source
The hemp plant produces seeds that are full of fiber, protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Hemp seeds are a good protein replacement option for those practicing vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. They have a slightly nutty flavor and can be eaten alone, added to salads for texture and can be used in dessert applications. There are several other ways to incorporate hemp seeds into your diet since they grind easily into powder, making hemp protein powder.
The hemp seed has another use as well – hemp seed oil. The oil is obtained in the same way that olive oil is, through cold-pressing. The oil also has a slightly nutty flavor but is heat sensitive, so it is ideal to use it in cold oil applications like salad dressings and dessert toppings. It also makes a great addition to carrier oils in CBD oil tinctures.
Hemp-Based Building Materials
One of the newer uses for the hemp plant is building materials like wood, insulation and concrete. Hempcrete is lightweight and surprisingly durable. It’s speculated that hempcrete was made centuries ago and was used in some buildings in Europe.
Hemp wood is a rather new discovery with a lot of promise. If more hemp would and hempcrete could be produced, more hemp houses would be built. This would also make homes more resistant to damage from exposure to extreme cold, extreme heat and persistent rain.
These are just a few of the top uses for the hemp plant. There are tens of thousands of ways the hemp plant can be used. Its fibers are strong and durable, its seeds are consumable, the cellulose has several applications – the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to hemp. Could it be the most versatile plant on the planet? Quite possibly. The future of hemp in the U.S. is exciting because there’s no telling how many new products will be invented as more of this earth-friendly plant is cultivated.