The passage of the Farm Bill of 2018 opened a multitude of doors for hemp farming and research. No longer considered a controlled substance at the federal level, states can now legally regulate hemp and its derivatives across many industries.
While the conversation surrounding hemp seems to be exploding at an exponential rate, the uses of hemp in a variety of products have been on the rise for a while now. Although CBD oil, a derivative of hemp, tends to get most of the attention, industrial hemp contributes to so much more.
Here are a few products you might not have realized hemp can be used for.
Paper. Centuries before the world began cutting down trees to produce paper, the Chinese had already found another way. Ts’ai Lun, a Chinese official during the Han Dynasty, is credited with inventing a paper created using tree bark, scraps of hemp, and old fishnet. In a day where deforestation is a growing concern, it becomes evident that Ts’ai Lun was ahead of his time. Today, we’re beginning to understand the true potential and benefits that hemp provides for the paper industry. Not only is hemp paper more durable than that created from wood pulp, it is far kinder to the environment. According to the Ministry of Hemp, just “one acre of hemp can produce as much paper as four to ten acres of trees over a 20-year cycle.” What’s more, hemp grows much faster than trees.
Food and beverage. Major food and beverage makers, including some giants in the industry, have their eyes on the growing CBD trend. Already, CBD oil, seeds, and powders are being added to beverages, like iced tea, as well as some favorite foods like ice cream, children’s cereal, salads, and milk. The trend is likely to continue. A Coca-Cola spokesman told Bloomberg News the company has made no decision yet, but is closely watching the growth of CBD as an ingredient in global functional wellness beverages.
Health and wellness. Researchers are just now beginning to scratch the surface of the uses of CBD in the health community. From its inclusion in essential oils, nutritional supplements, and body care products, to the exciting potential that CBD offers for pain relief, anxiety, depression, and other ailments, hemp is already leaving its mark on the health and wellness world and will continue to do so as we learn more.
Livestock feed and bedding. Hemp offers significant potential as feed for livestock. In 2017, Colorado began studying the feasibility of hemp as animal feed, and now many states are following suit. What are the benefits? Although they are still being studied, hemp seed, which is rich in nutrients, is believed to be beneficial for cattle in increasing health and performance. It might also aid digestion. Hemp is likewise being used for animal bedding. It offers a higher level of absorbency and lasts longer than its traditional bedding counterparts, straw and pine.
These are just a few of the ways hemp is making its mark in a big way. There are many more, including textiles, construction, and plastics. Knowing the impact hemp is already having on the world, is it any wonder that hemp farming is on the rise? Want to get started with your own hemp crop? Check out our website to learn more.