Hemp… often confused with marijuana is the miracle plant of our time. It breathes in 4x the carbon dioxide (CO2) of trees during it’s quick 12-14 week growing cycle. Trees take 20 years to mature vs 4 months for Industrial Hemp! So what you ask? What does that have to do with building a civilization? Let’s start by explaining the differences between the two plants.
Marijuana, contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); which is the stuff that gets you high. It is ONE of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. (a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on receptors in the brain.) Hemp , is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It contains around 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains anywhere between 5-20% THC on average, with prize strains tipping the scale at 25-30% THC.
So now you know, one gets you high and the other will not. Now lets break down what Hemp can doe for us today. The first thing to understand are the actual parts of the plant…
Bast Fibers – These are strong, cellulosic fibers outside of the plant, and comprises one-third of the weight.
The Hurds – The coarse parts that adhere to the fiber after it is separated —called also hards or pulp.Leaves – I don’t think I need to explain this one..
Flowers – also know as buds for marijuana.
Seeds – Again I think you know this one…
Cell fluid – the liquid stuff inside the hemp cell
Now most of you are probably familiar with the fact that hemp can be made into paper, but there are over 60 products that can be made from hemp. Let’s start with the seed…
The seed and it’s oil can be made into salad oil, margarine, supplements (vitamins), cooking oils, animal feed and cake (protein rich fiber). It can also be used for industrial and personal hygiene items. On the industrial side uses include oil paints, varnishes, printing inks, fuel, solvents, lubricants, putty, and coatings. personal hygiene items include soap, shampoo, bath gels, cosmetics, lotions, and balms. Oh I almost forgot, seeds can be made into beer too.
Well those are all good, but how does this help us BUILD a civilization? The Hurds can be made into fiberboard, insulation, cement, stucco, mortar, and plastics. While the Bast Fibers have two main uses; Industrial Textiles and Consumer Textiles. Industrial Textiles include twine, rope, nets, canvas, tarps, carpets, geotextiles, composites and molded parts, brake/clutch lining, and caulking. Consumer textiles include apparel, diapers, fabrics, handbags, denim, shoes, fine fabrics, and absorbent pads/bedding.
There are companies making HEMPCRETE which is a combination of hemp and concrete to build houses which DO NOT need extra insulation because of the high R-value (insulation rating). This not only saves on cost, but time as well. And as amazing as all that is there is still one more use that I think will be the solution to many of our current technological needs.
Hemp has chemical properties that allow it to be used as an energy storage system. That’s right, hemp can be used to power your smart phone! Hemp Batteries!!! They can hold as much energy as the current top contender: graphene, and the electrodes are made from biowaste using a simple process, which makes it much cheaper than graphene.
So drop your bong and grab a hoe – we’ve got some planting to do.