Hemp is known in certain circles as a miracle plant, and for good reason. Each part of the plant from the stem to the flower has a use. From medicinal tinctures to edible oilseeds to textiles, the hemp plant sees a wide range of utility. But first, it’s helpful to understand the plant as a whole.
Hemp and marijuana indeed come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, however, they are completely different strains. As distinct strains, there are different levels of the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp plants have lower levels, nearly untraceable, of THC content and higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD) which is known to have medicinal qualities.
Cannabis sativa is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth which makes it extremely valuable for industrial use including for paper and textile production. Hemp plants are grown for commercial purposes mainly to produce textiles, construction materials, plastic, and seeds for consumption in the United States, with farms generally dedicated to each specific use. However, hemp grown on a large scale is still relatively new in the U.S. With the rise of national recognition for utilitarian uses of hemp and legalization with the 2018 Farm Bill, knowledgeable hemp growers will soon be in high demand.
Uses for Hemp
Hemp seeds have been eaten by various civilizations for centuries. Hemp is technically a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids that benefit a human diet making it a popular health food (look for hemp hearts in the supermarket). The seeds are pressed into hemp milk which also has a good amount of protein, especially coming from plant-based milk. Hemp seeds can also be used as edible vegetable oil. Furthermore, hemp flowers can be consumed as tea. Check out our hemp tea here.
Hemp oil is also often used to make lotions, soap, laundry detergent, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics, and more. Check out our hemp bath bomb here.
Pulp and Paper:
Hemp pulp is used to make paper for currency, cigarettes, and traditional printing paper.
Fibers extracted from hemp bast can be used for anything from cordage or carpet to, incredibly, glass or steel. Hemp fibers are valued for length, strength, and durability. Read more about hemp fibers here.
Hemp fabric, also created from bast fibers, are used to make sturdy clothes, upholstery, canvas bags, and more.
Again, hemp fibers can be manufactured into incredible things, including plastic! Hemp plastics have been used to make cars, bicycles, and even airplanes. Read about hemp plastics here.
Hemp is also used to make insulation, pressed into fiberboard, and concrete! Entire houses can be made of hemp.
Hemp biomass can be made into a biofuel similar to corn, beet, and potato fuel. The hurds can be burned or processed into charcoal, methanol, methane, or gasoline through pyrolysis (destructive distillation), according to the paper “Hemp: A new crop with new uses for North America” by Ernest Small and David Marcus.
Pet and Animal Use:
CBD extracted from hemp flower is used as a calming pet tincture or treat, while discarded hemp hurds make good animal bedding due to high absorbency. Check out our own pet tincture here.
Cannabidiol extracted from hemp flower is used to make tinctures, powder isolates, and balms, or the flower can be ingested or smoked. Studies show that cannabidiol has calming effects to potentially help with anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and even seizures. Western States Hemp produces various CBD products from different hemp varieties which can be found here.
Western States Hemp
As Nevada’s lead industrial hemp grower, Western States Hemp sees the value of all the incredible uses of hemp. With hammer milling, fiber processing, and decortication capabilities, Western States Hemp is able to prepare hemp material for a variety of clients while also offering hemp products directly to customers.
Reach out to see how we can help you or your business with all your hemp needs!