The legalization of cannabis is causing an explosion in the national hemp market. As a slew of cannabidiol (CBD) and THC products hit the shelves, hemp farmers across the country are poised to rake in profits. The new age of hemp is beginning, and the pioneers will be in pole position to benefit.
But what is hemp and how can it benefit you? Hemp is currently used in more than 25,000 products across the globe, including the automotive, food and beverage, textiles and cosmetic industries. Here we explore some of hemp’s uses in 2019 and the benefits it can bring to American industry.
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What is hemp?
Hemp refers to a specific strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is grown for industrial use. Products are often created from hemp seeds, fibers and oil.
Hemp oil differs from cannabidiol oil. Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the cannabis plant, while cannabidiol oil is extracted from the plant’s stem, leaves and flowers. As a result, hemp oil tends to have much lower levels of THC, which is typically found in the flowers and other parts of the plant.
Hemp oil is often used in cosmetics. The hemp seeds are packed full of nutrients and fatty acids, which when applied to the skin through the oil, support healthy skin and rejuvenation. A 2014 study found that the topical application of hemp oil could help the skin resist infections and reduce inflammation and oxidation.
The same compounds that help reduce inflammation in the skin can help reduce inflation in the muscles. This helps users deal with muscle stress and tension induced by working out and heavy exercise. Hemp oil can help with recovery and relaxation.
The recent legalization of hemp has meant that its full potential is still being unlocked. However, there are strong indications that hemp could be used as an environmentally friendly plastic substitute. Hemp fiber is durable and malleable and would make a strong substitute for most petroleum-based single-use plastics.
Because hemp seeds jam-packed with nutrients and protein, farmers and food manufacturers are looking at the possibility of using hemp seeds as a protein source. Hemp is more economical to grow than soybeans and has comparable properties. It could be used to create veggie burgers, butter, cheese, ice cream and milk products. When ground, it can also be used as a nutritional flour in the baking process.
Hemp produces more biomass than most plant species, making it perfectly suited for use in biofuel. Both the oils and the stalks of the hemp plants could be burnt as clean-burning ethanol fuel.
The ‘hurd’ of the hemp plant is the durable, woody core. This part of the hemp plant is already being used in the construction of houses with enormous success. When mixed with unslaked lime, hemp forms a new chemical compound that is both fire and water-resistant This is being used as a cement substitute in the construction industry.