“With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which allows hemp cultivation and distribution across state lines, hemp is suddenly all the rage,” online hemp portal Everything Hemp USA writes in a guest column. “Lost in the conversation is how versatile the plant is. In addition to being a great source for CBD, hemp can also be found in a host of household products.”
For example, hemp can be used in fabrics. It is antimicrobial, has high tensile strength, and requires half as much water to grow as cotton. Hemp can also be used to make a biodegradable alternative to plastics, which are becoming a major pollution concern. Hemp can also be used in construction. A notable example is hempcrete, which uses hemp’s “pulpy, wood like center” as a binder. “The result is a building material that weights approximately 1/8th as much as concrete and about 1/20th the strength,” Everything Hemp USA writes. “When used as structural support, hempcrete can increase the load strength of a study wall by a factor of three to four times. Hempcrete is mold-resistant, carbon-negative, and works as an insulator.”
Higher-tech applications are also being explored. Researchers at the University of Alberta, for example, are looking at ways to incorporate hemp into batteries.