Components of Hemp

All parts of the hemp plant are beneficial to us, the environment, and the economy.

Plant Part

Use

Tradition

Health, Environment

Economy

Seed

Food

Hemp seed has been used for millennia as a food source.

Hemp seed is the most complete food source containing all 8 essential amino acids, both essential amino acids, as well as fibre, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. Its production and processing use minimal chemicals.

A return to natural foods means a renewed focus on hemp seed

Leaves, Seed, Hurds

Feed

Hemp seed has been used for livestock and poultry feed traditionally, and the fibre and stalk for animal bedding.

Hemp seed provides animals the same nutritional benefits as it does for humans. Its super-absorbency makes it ideal for animal bedding, and its production is eco-friendly.

Hemp as stock feed will alleviate the risk of Mad Cow disease and other diseases.

Seed

Skin

Hemp oil has been used as a body cleanse and moisturiser since BC times.

Hemp oil's essential fatty acid content makes it an excellent moisturiser. It can be easily grown organically thus making it good for us and the environment

As an easy to produce organic skin oil there is considerable economic potential.

Seed

Paints, varnishes, lamp oil

Hemp oil has been used as lamp oil since early times, and in the last century for paints and varnishes.

Hemp oil can make oil based paints and varnishes with little or no cost to the environment. These paints last longer and the varnishes are better absorbed by wood than others products.

Environmental costs are less for hemp oil based paints and varnishes and because they last longer there is an additional economic saving.

Seed, Hurds

Fuel

Hemp stalks have been traditionally burnt in homes for cooking and heating. Hemp seed oil is used to make biofuel, as is the hurd.

Hemp can produce electricity from sulphur-free coal for industry, heating for homes, and ethanol/methanol fuel for vehicles. When grown as an energy crop it would reduce global warming by lowering carbon levels in the atmosphere.

Hemp can produce 4 times as much ethanol per acre as corn, using the same equipment, making it more economical. Hemp based fuels allow countries or local regions to be more self reliant.

Hurds

Plastics

Hemp plastic is relatively new.

Hemp's biomass is 4 – 10 times as much as its closest rival and is very high in cellulose, the base of plastic. Hemp plastics are also biodegradable.

As technologies improve, hemp plastics will be an economic alternative to petrochemical plastics. Their recyclability gives hemp plastics an economic advantage.

Hurds

Paper

Hemp paper dates to the BC era, Hemp Cellophane was used in the 20Th century.

Hemp paper lasts longer, is more durable, than tree based paper, and requires no chlorides or bleaches. It also doesn't turn yellow or creak like tree based paper.

Paper demand is increasing and hemp is the economic alternative for the huge demand.

Hurds, Bast

Building & Construction

French bridges were made with hemp mortar 900 years ago.

Hemp building materials provide insulation, elasticity and breathability. Most are fire, water and rodent resistant or proof. Hemp boards are three times stronger than wood. Hemp building materials require less processing than timber based building materials.

Hemp homes can often be built from hemp grown on site, reducing transport and labour costs.

Bast

Textiles

Hemp has been used for millennia for clothes, rope, twine, sails and rigging.

Hemp fibre is the longest, strongest, most durable, most elastic and most absorbent natural fibre. One acre of hemp will produce as much fibre as 2-3 acres of cotton with considerable less chemical application.

Hemp clothing is becoming fashionable. It lasts longer than other natural fibres and so is economically better. Hemp clothing can be recycled into paper.

Roots, & Entire Plants

Soil enricher

Hemp has been grown on poor soils to help rebuild them.

Hemp stabilises and enriches soil, and reduces weeds without chemical applications. The complex root system prevents erosion and decays quickly after harvest, enriching the soil with decayed vegetable matter.

Hemp can turn unproductive land into productive land.

Copyright 2005 - Last Updated October 2005