There are so many constructive uses for hemp, but all we hear about is that it is cousins with pot. Don’t let a little family tree fool you, this member of the cannabis family is hard working and has many uses.
From shirts to bags to paper, the fiber from hemp can have many useful lives and purposes. Hemp is incredibly sustainable to grow and the fiber is extremely strong and versatile.
Luckily, thanks to the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp is no longer classified as a drug along with marijuana. Hemp does not have high enough levels of THC to get you high. Unfortunately, though, when the Marijuana Act was passed by Congress in 1937 banning marijuana hemp was also lumped in as being illegal.
Back during the Prohibition Era hemp was lumped in with marijuana as an illegal drug even though you can’t get high from it. There are many conspiracy theories about why it was grouped in with its cousin marijuana. But regardless of the reason, finally hemp is now legal to grow in all 50 states as long as the THC levels remain below 0.3%.
Uses for hemp
So, what are the uses of hemp? Here is a list of a few of the many, many different ways the hemp plant can be utilized:
- Medicinal purposes
A plant that is truly resourceful and sustainable
Just like corn can be turned into ethanol, the oil from the hemp plant can also be used to create fuel. As we look to become fossil fuel independent, hemp will likely play a big role in this journey.
Similarly, as we work to decrease the amount of deforestation that needs to take place for paper and wood production, hemp could be the solution. Unlike the many, many acres needed to grow trees over many, many years hemp can be grown in as little as four months and one acre of hemp fiber can produce as much paper as it would take four acres of trees to produce.
Likewise, one acre of hemp will produce as much fiber for clothing as it would take two to three acres of cotton. And hemp requires much less water to grow as cotton does. As farmers worry about drought, they would be wise to look into growing hemp instead of cotton.
As you can see there are many uses for hemp. It is an amazingly resourceful and sustainable plant. Now that we can start to fully utilize this extraordinary plant we will be able to move away from less sustainable resources such as trees and cotton.
It might have taken us over 75 years to finally distinguish hemp as not being classified as an illegal drug, but hopefully we can make up for lost time and put hemp to its fullest use. From paper to fabric to housing the uses for hemp are truly endless. And of course, don’t forget its many medicinal and healing qualities from the oil.