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Breaking Down the Hemp Crop ~ Part 1 ~ Fibre

Breaking Down the Hemp Crop ~ Part 1

Are you as impressed as we are with all the amazing uses of hemp?

In addition to the high nutritional value for humans and animals in this miracle crop, it’s also super healthy for the environment.

There are a many things that make this crop so wonderful. One of them is how much of the plant can be used to supply solutions to customer demands.  Since different parts of the plant have different benefits, we’re going to break it down one part at a time starting with the fibre.

Fibre

Also known as bast is one of the most productive parts of the plant.  It derives a great deal of products and is embraced for its excellent strength and durability.  The hemp plant produces both long and short fibre, each having its own uses.

Early Uses

One of the earliest uses of hemp fibre was for cordage on ships.  Its strength, durability, and resistance to rot made it a great option for sailors.

Another pioneer user of hemp fibre was Levi Strauss.  He gained popularity in Western USA during the gold rush offering a strong, resilient pants to miners.

Long Fibre

Taken from the exterior of the plant, the long fibre is considered the bark of the stalk.  It stretches the entire length of the plant, and can therefore produce a fibre over 10 feet in length – depending on the height of the finished crop.  

This makes it ideal for textiles as it offers a continuous “thread” which does not break down as quickly as its competitor, cotton.  Cotton fibres are less than 1% of that length, averaging 1-2mm.  This shorter length inevitably results in faster wear in cotton products.

The insulative effect of hemp fibre makes it an ideal multi-season garment as it keeps you cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter.  Its anti-bacterial properties also make it attractive as a textile, cordage, and paper product.

Short Fibre

Considered a secondary or bi-product of the long-fibre, as the name suggests, the difference is in its length.  Despite the short fibre not being as strong as the long fibre, it is still considered superior and stronger than many other fibres being used in the textile industry.

The short fibre is collected during the process of separating the fibre from the hurd in the hemp stalk.  This secondary product offers first class solutions to demand for products like textiles, paper products, auto-body parts, and building materials.

Attractive Alternative

Being able to use multiple parts of this miracle crop certainly makes it attractive.  The yield per acre planted increases, and waste decreases.  If you are a conscious customer looking for an environmentally friendly alternative that passes the quality test, hemp has you covered.

Beyond Fibre

As mentioned, the hemp plant provides many commercial uses.  Stay tuned for the next post all about the hemp hurd.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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The Many Uses of our Miracle Crop

Hemp Seeds HempE Miracle Crop

Did you know that hemp is not only good for your health, but also for the health of our environment?

It’s a fascinating plant that has been used by many cultures for thousands of years.  Whether it be for food, shelter, or as a tool, hemp offers a natural solution to a world of challenges and demands.

If you are looking for a way to go green and pitch in to help heal our environment, look no further than this carbon negative miracle crop.

Many Uses of Hemp

Here in Canada, only parts of the hemp plant can be processed for industrial use.  Luckily, there are so many uses of hemp, even just by using part of the plant, many benefits are achieved.  

Hemp Stalk (Bast Fibres & Hurd)

From use in apparel to paper products, the hemp stalk is an incredibly rich part of the plant.  It contains bast fibres and hurd which can be used for the following (just to name a few): canvas, fabrics, carpets, rope, paper, insulation, fiberglass, concrete, stucco, mulch, chemical absorbant, and biofuel.

Hemp Seed

Perhaps one of the most popular parts of the plant, the seed is what gives us the delicious hemp hearts packed with protein and delicious goodness.  Hemp oil is also extracted from the seed and can then be processed for different uses such as dressings, infused oil, and cosmetics.  

Environmental

With so many great products that come from the hemp plant, you might be wondering, what else is it good for? The environmental benefits of this super crop are just as abundant as the vast line of items that it yields.

Absorbs Carbon

Hemp  plants have the natural ability to be carbon sinks, capturing harmful carbon from the air and storing it in the fibre and extensive root system.  When the plant is converted into long-lasting products such as building materials and bio-plastics, carbon is stored for the lifespan of the consumer goods.

Remediates Soil

One of the most fascinating aspects of the hemp plant from an environmental perspective is its ability to heal our soil.  This is done through a process called phytoremediation.  There are certain varieties of hemp that have been used to clean up the soil after nuclear accidents such as Fukushima in Japan.

Bright Future

As more people learn about hemp and make use of this miracle crop, we will learn even more about its endless benefits.  We’re excited to see how things evolve with an age old plant that’s getting a second chance to grow.

How do you use hemp? Join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

Hemp, Our Miracle Crop

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com

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Hemp Offers a Healthy Harvest for Farmers

hemp for victory

Have you ever thought about why farmers grow the crops they do?  

While it has a lot to do with climate and soil type, market demand plays a large role in the ultimate decision. This is where you, the customer, comes into the picture.

Simple Economics

Supply and demand is a basic principle in economics, and decision makers take careful consideration when selecting which crops to plant for the year.  This very principle is a big reason as to why traditional crop farmers are choosing to grow hemp rather than canola in their fields.

You see, for a farmer to switch their annual crop from a tried and tested plant like canola, they need to be sure that there is a demand for their new crop of choice, and also that there is not too much supply to meet that demand.  The odds are in the hemp farmers favour since there is a growing demand for this super crop, and current supply is not over the top due to stricter regulations.

Healthy Harvest

Hemp is a favorable option for farmers looking to make the switch from a commonly grown crop to an innovative option.  Not only does hemp offer a healthy end product for customers, it is also great for soil and the atmosphere.   With an abundant list of benefits to growing and using hemp, you might wonder why more farmers aren’t planting it?

Though the plant itself has been grown across the globe for thousands of years, it’s faced some limitations in the last century due to being part of the cannabis sativa family.  Luckily, things are changing, and laws are loosening up surrounding the entire plant species due to its numerous advantages for people and the planet.

Industrial Hemp

The agricultural community is pondering the future of hemp as a crop option, often asking if it will grow to be more popular than canola.  While nobody can predict what’s to come, hemp pioneers are speaking up about this natural solution that is a substitute for petroleum based products and reduces dependency on trees for paper and cotton for clothes.  Imagine the possibilities once hemp reaches its full potential.

There is an important shift happening in Canada from a legal perspective, and hemp regulations are developing in the plant and planet’s favour.  While it is still regulated by Health Canada, the growing demand for use of the entire crop will push for updated legal treatment of a plant that is not a drug, but treated like one.

Demand Creates Supply

As Canadian citizens demand healthier options for ourselves and the Earth, policy makers will surely supply us with the right regulations to ensure that we aren’t missing the boat on an economic success story that’s an environmental win.

What do you think about the current status of hemp in Canada?  Join the conversation on our Facebook Page – HempE Health & Beauty.

About the Author ~ Leah Feor
Leah is a strategic advisor and content creator for Simply Sustainable™. Balancing a triple bottom line for organizations and individuals is her utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Her passion for the environment and social impact bring her business background to life. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things. simplysustainableblog.com