“Going green” has become a popular phrase for companies that want to make some kind of positive impact on the environment with either the products they sell or the way they produce those products.
Hemp can be one support to this “green” hope. Farmers who cultivate industrial hemp are providing safe, clean, renewable and sustainable materials that can be used for all kinds of products: nutraceuticals, textiles, paper, food and much more.
A website called the Ministry of Hemp advocates for the use of hemp in a variety of products. They have published an exhaustive list of 73 products that use hemp, and although it’s definitely a fun read, it’s also something we know you may not have the time to sort through.
So, we’ve centered on some products from this list that have a health or environmental component to them. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.
If you are both working on your health and a vegan, it can be tough to find sources of protein. As it happens, hemp averages 15 grams of protein a serving, which is the highest source for a vegan product. It’s also a boon for those who are lactose intolerant or who cannot digest whey protein.
Hemp seed oil
More stores are carrying this item for use by home chefs. Among the minerals that it possesses are calcium, potassium, iron and zinc. It also has more Omega 6 essential fatty acids than other oils, an important part of nutritional balance.
Shirts made with hemp
Hemp is a great substitute for cotton, which according to the Ministry of Hemp is a water-intensive crop that uses 25% of the world’s pesticides. Instead, hemp uses about 50% less water to grow than cotton and is grown without the use of pesticides. Several companies have hemp shirts on sale, including big names like Patagonia.
Hemp soap products
If you want a soap that’s smoother and doesn’t dry out your skin so much, consider hemp. This is because hemp has that high essential fatty acid content discussed above and so is ideal for a moisturizing soap. Plus, hemp has vitamins B, C and E, all good for overall skin care.
One of the best known properties of CBD oil is that it can be used to help relieve arthritis and joint pain. To that end, several rubs on the market now – similar to the ones that use a heat sensation to help with that pain – use CBD.
There’s a company called Raw Elements that makes its own sunscreen, perfect for the summer months ahead. At SPF 30, it uses hemp oil and is also made naturally with non-GMO products.
If you have horses or a need for straw bedding, consider hemp instead. Not only is it more absorbent and lasts longer, it’s also biodegradable. The Ministry of Hemp also writes that it doesn’t give off much dust, which is good for horses who may have breathing issues.
OK, so this isn’t quite on the market yet, but it’s something to consider. Cleaner fuel sources such as biodiesel have caught on here and there, and there’s that potential for hemp as well. The Ministry of Hemp quotes Thomas B. Reed, a chemical engineer at the Colorado School of Mines, who says that an acre of hemp can produce power equivalent to 1,000 gallons of gasoline. Maybe this is something for the time machine!
This is one balm for deforestation that could make a real difference for the environment. An acre of hemp can produce the amount of paper made by 4-10 acres of trees. From a consumer standpoint, hemp paper is also more durable, as it doesn’t yellow over time.
This is a building material that can be used in homes to great effect. It’s a stronger thermal insulator than wood or other materials, so energy costs could be reduced by 50% to 70%. It also reduces a family’s carbon footprint as it continuously absorbs CO2, which also helps with its durability.
Yes, it’s no myth: Betsy Ross did make the first American flag from hemp, as it was a common material back in the early days of the U.S. It’s still being used today by companies, as shown in this fascinating video about a military veteran who makes a flag out of hemp. It was made before the 2014 Farm Bill legalized the growing of hemp, but it’s still a fun, and heart-rending, view on how hemp can help our lives.
As the Ministry of Hemp points out at the end of its massive list of hemp products, innovation is likely going to run rampant as hemp continues to grow in America’s farmlands. “With the world focused on sustainability and curbing our carbon footprint, hemp can be at the forefront of many eco-friendly practices,” the article states. “We look forward to seeing the difference hemp can make in our world.”