Hemp is a soft fiber that is obtained from the cannabis plant. Hemp is well known for its use as the drug marijuana (also called pot) but, also has many other non-drug related uses. Hemp is an extremely environmental friendly crop and is high yielding. It is native to central and southern Asia. Much of the hemp that is used for non-drug related purposes has been modified to lower its psychoactive molecules such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The following are the most common uses of hemp in the world today.
Use of Hemp
Hemp seeds can be used as food. They can be eaten raw or cooked. They can also be used to make milk similar to soy milk and can be made into ice-cream. The leaves can also be used in salads.
Hemp seed is also used for animal feed such as bird seed and fish food.
Hemp oil is used in topical treatments for eczema.
The fiber, which is called bast, has been used to make paper, sail canvas and other products such as rope, sacks and carpet. It is still used to make cigarette paper.
Hemp combined with lime is used in concrete bricks as an insulation material.
Hemp is also mixed with other materials such as fiberglass, kenaf, and flax to make paneling for automobiles.
It can be used to create plastics instead of petrochemicals.
Hemp is used to make jewelry when knotted in a style called macramé.
Hemp fiber is often used to make clothing and there are many outlets that specialize in retailing hemp clothes.
It is also used for animal bedding and mulch. In this case the core of the plant is used rather than the bark or bast.
Hemp is often planted as a “mop crop” to clear impurities out of the water and the soil of a field. It is also being used to clean contaminants at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site.
Hemp is used as a weed killer as it is a very tall and leafy crop. It does not allow for other seeds to get access to the soil. It is often used on organic farms as a method of weed control.
Research is being done into its effectiveness as a biofuel. Biodiesel and alcohol fuel can be made from the oil of the hemp plant.
Hemp oil is used as a natural alternative in hair and skin care products.