July is National Hemp Month and what better way to celebrate this incredible plant than to explore the many ways it can be used? The hemp plant is undoubtedly one of the world’s most versatile plants and is frequently used in everything from construction materials and fuel to skincare products, CBD oil, and even animal feed.
While it would take way too long to take a deep dive into every use for the hemp plant on the planet (there are a lot), we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting uses out there. We’ll start by giving you a brief history of the plant before covering several amazing uses for hemp that you may not have known about. Let’s get into it!
A Brief History of Hemp
Practically since the dawn of time, hemp has been used in a myriad of ways by cultures around the world. According to historians, the history of hemp can be traced back to China in 8,000 BCE where it was used for food, medicine, and pottery. Considering human agriculture dates back to around 10,000 years ago, it’s safe to assume that hemp was one of the world’s first agricultural crops.
Over the years, hemp spread to civilizations around the world and has been regarded as a sacred plant in Hindu and Ancient Persian documents. Producing hemp for everything from hemp ropes to hemp food became a regular aspect of daily life for many cultures. In 1606, the plant eventually made its way to North America.
It’s been recorded that many of our Founding Fathers advocated for hemp—George Washington even grew the plant on his estate! At one point in time, hemp was even a legally required crop for farmers to grow and could even be bartered to pay taxes! Unfortunately, the US went from being one of the biggest hemp supporters to inaccurately lumping it into the war on drugs.
In the early 2000s, hemp started to make its triumphant comeback in the United States. Then, in 2018, an amendment to the “Farm Bill” famously legalized hemp and removed its derivatives from the Controlled Substances Act. This was a major win for the hemp industry and ignited a newfound interest in the crop and its products. While this industry still faces many challenges, the future of hemp is bright.
Different Uses For Hemp
At CBD Livity, we take a holistic approach to incorporate the beneficial compounds found in every part of the hemp plant into our products. With so many different uses for hemp on the market, it’s almost impossible to keep up!
Here are some of the most amazing uses for hemp:
- Clothing Made From Hemp
When you think of the cannabis plant, I’m willing to hazard a guess that clothing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, this versatile plant has been used in the textile industry for centuries. While hemp fiber was once known for its rough properties, hemp production has come a long way and is now a source for pants, blouses, and even hemp shoes.
Today’s hemp fiber is incredibly light and durable, making it ideal for high-quality clothing that feels lightweight and breathable. In recent years, many high-end fashion brands have begun to create clothing made from hemp. To name a few, Georgio Armani, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren have all utilized hemp fiber in their clothing.
- Hemp Food
Hemp is incredibly rich in nutrients, unsaturated fatty acids, and amino acids, so it’s no surprise that the plant is used in a wide variety of food products. You can find hemp seeds at your local grocery store in the nuts and seeds aisle or the natural foods aisle.
Commonly referred to as hemp hearts, these heart-healthy seeds are often added to baked goods, smoothies, and salads. Hemp milk is another popular way of consuming hemp as food and offers more health benefits than cow milk with fewer calories.
Additionally, the plant can be transformed into hemp flour and hemp oils or eaten raw by blending the leaves into smoothies and juices. Basically, the options are endless!
- Animal Feed and Bedding
Have you ever heard of using hemp in pet food? It’s not as crazy as you might think! As we mentioned above, hemp is supremely nutrient-dense, making it a great ingredient to add to animal feed. It’s been known to help strengthen cats’ coats, making them shinier and healthier than ever. Natural oils made with hemp extract can also be fed to dogs, cows, and horses as a powerful supplement for physical and mental relief.
In addition to serving as food for animals, the hemp plant can also be used to provide shelter. The shives from the hemp stem are commonly used to make animal bedding for horses, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Not only is hemp animal bedding twice as absorbent as other types of animal bedding, it’s also a natural pesticide.
- Hemp Construction Materials
Have you ever heard of hempcrete? If you haven’t already, you probably will soon. This groundbreaking material made from hemp is revolutionizing the face of the construction industry. After harvesting hemp, the stalks go through a decortication process to transform the hemp fibers into a pulp-like material that is then mixed with water and lime.
The resulting material, known as hempcrete, is a stronger and more durable version of concrete. Not to mention, it’s CO2 negative, making it way more environmentally friendly. Replacing construction materials with hempcrete is gearing up to become the preferred choice among builders looking to offer strong, eco-friendly homes to consumers.
- Hemp Paper
While hemp paper now accounts for only a tiny fraction of the global paper industry, paper has been made from hemp for thousands of years. Hemp paper offers a sustainable alternative to paper made from trees, contributing to the conservation of our planet’s forests and wildlife population.
If you’re looking for a way to make a positive impact on the world in your daily life, using hemp paper is an easy way to do it. Fun fact: It’s also more economical to use hemp to make paper. Save money and the planet? Yes, please!
- Skincare Products
Hemp seed oil and CBD oil, both derived from the cannabis plant, are frequently used in a wide variety of skincare products—soaps, creams, rubs, scrubs, and oils. CBD oil is more commonly used to treat pain relief and can help treat acne, redness, eczema, premature aging, and dry skin.
On the flip side, hemp seed oil boasts loads of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins that are wonderful for balancing and regulating skin moisture. If you walk into a natural beauty store, you would be hard-pressed to walk out without seeing at least a few skincare lines offering products that contain hemp seed oil or CBD oil.
Did any of these amazing uses for hemp surprise you? At CBD Livity, we are constantly fascinated by this incredibly versatile plant and all of its astonishing uses. With new laws taking effect all the time (like the 2018 Farm Bill), it’s clear that hemp is poised to become a major player across many industries in the coming years.
Check out our CBD Marketplace to learn more about how to infuse CBD into your life!