One of the earliest plants to be turned into useful fibre dates back 10,000 years – the oldest plant in existence is now seeing a rise today.
The strong, flexible material for sailcloth in boats was made from hemp, an industrial version of the cannabis plant, and eventually gained the name of the material used, canvas.
It all began when the plant was fully legalised, or rather relegalized, in the United States with the signing of the Farm Bill Act in 2018, because of which has increased interest and a true comeback.
This resourceful plant is first mentioned in India’s Vedas, where it is designated as one of the five sacred plants. Indian tradition has always valued hemp, which is utilised for everything from clothing fibre to religious rituals.
With the ongoing trends and controversy, it becomes important to know that the hemp plant is more than just a plant. Not only do we have Hemp products available, but also have various benefits apart from consumption.
Be it fibre, be it contributing to nature, Hemp paper, food and nutrition and the list continues.
Get To Know The Plant
Cannabis sativa, popularly known as industrial hemp, is a plant in the Cannabaceae family that is grown for its edible seeds or bast fibre.
When it comes to bursting myths, at times hemp is mistaken for the cannabis plants that are the source of the drugs marijuana and hashish.
However, scientifically proven or as we’re aware of, hemp does not contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance that causes psychoactive effects in humans. The cannabis variety grown for hemp only contains trace quantities of THC.
Hemp Plant - Fibre
As we know one of the least environmentally friendly mass-produced fibres in the world, cotton is utilised in a wide range of products. To replace cotton-based products would be the optimum use of hemp.
After examining the qualities of the plant, it was found that hemp’s fibrous stalks made excellent material for weaving into cloth.
According to a report, hemp has 2 or 3 times more productivity than cotton, and the fibre is longer, stronger, more insulating and absorbent than cotton fiber.”
Why should we switch to Hemp as a fibre sooner?
- Hemp is the best natural fabric for everyday use since it has 8 times the tensile strength of other natural fibres
- You can combine the strength of hemp with the comfort of cotton
- naturally resistant to pests, allowing for growth.
- 4 times more durable and long-lasting than other natural fibres
- High-yield, renewable, and sustainable crop
- Unprocessed fibre
Hemp for food and Nutrition
Hemp seed flour has the highest fibre content of any commercially cultivated seed. The seeds are a great source of vitamins C, B, A, and EHemp seeds are the most significant component of the plant in terms of nutrition. The seeds can be consumed with or without the husk.
Hemp seed oil can be used as a cooking oil in the same way as olive oil just like soy milk is an alternative to milk.
Not only this, Hemp seeds include vitamins, minerals, and other substances that may have important health advantages.
Vitamin E, which is important for maintaining the health of your immune system, is abundant in hemp oil. Additionally, it functions as an antioxidant, assisting in the reduction of free radicals that can harm your body’s cells.
Minerals including magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus are however abundant in these seeds.
Native peasants in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh produce “Hemp chutney and Hemp Salt,” which are regarded as staple foods due to their great nutritional content.
As earlier mentioned, the benefits of this plant can be endless in many ways and for various reasons and there could be no better reason than the plant being ENVIRONMENTAL friendly.
Products made from hemp are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and reusable. Hemp crops remove a sizable quantity of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
It is also possible to produce hemp twice a year because it has a short growing season (4-5 months on average). Thus, compared to a product with a single growing season, like wheat, a dual-season crop like hemp has twice the potential to sequester carbon annually.
It would be unfair to say that the hemp plant does not benefit a consumer as an actual tress should.
Hemp paper doesn’t yellow and is more durable than paper made from wood pulp. Over 400-year-old literature and manuscripts about hemp are still intact.
In contrast to CBD and its related prohibited substances, industrial hemp is much more than that. Hemp has the ability to improve soil health, lessen waste production, and safeguard natural resources.
Will we be able to benefit from hemp as it gains more acceptance in society?