Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant used by humans for at least 5,000 years (and counting). What do we use hemp for? The question should be, what don’t we use it for! Hemp is one of those “wonder plants” that allow us to make almost anything from them. Its products include rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, construction materials, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuels. The uses for hemp are almost limitless and, now that we’re finally adding CBD oil derived from hemp plants to the list, it might be worth examining some of the uses of this incredible plant and the gifts it just keeps on giving.
The 2018 Farm Bill saw hemp and hemp products made federally legal in the United States. The decriminalization of hemp moved its status from a dangerous drug (not really) to a beneficial crop with many uses, most of which benefit the economy, American farmers, and the American public in general.
The hemp plant has found its way into many aspects of daily life, and each instance brings yet another valuable gift from this remarkable plant.
Hemp seeds contain heart-healthy fats like omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9. In addition, they are a rich source of B-vitamins, minerals (manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and iron), and a great source of daily fiber. Hemp seeds, or Hemp hearts as they are sometimes called, are often pressed to extract their oils for food preparation as they provide an excellent nutrient-rich oil for things like salad dressings. The nutritional benefits of hemp seed oil are well established with hemp seed oil proving to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, improving skin condition, and promoting heart health.
Among the many uses of versatile hemp seed is that it can be turned into a protein powder, milk, and even flour for baking. Hemp seed flour is a practical gluten-free flour alternative with a high fiber and protein content. Hemp flour is often a preferred choice of consumers as it is both a nut-, and dairy-free baking alternative. One of the valuable by-products of cold-pressing hemp is the creation of defatted hemp seed cake, which is usually turned into a protein powder that can easily be added to drinks or smoothies as part of a dietary, weight-maintenance regimen.
No, you can’t milk a hemp plant. But you can blend the seeds with water and strain it to leave the seed “milk” behind. This milk has more protein and heart-healthy fats than almond milk and fewer calories than cows’ milk. With its traditionally nutty, earthy, and grassy flavor, this delicious drink adds a plant-based alternative to any diet.
One of the principal uses for hemp plants has been in the creation of paper. Starting in China and eventually making its way to the west in the 13th century, paper manufactured from hemp has been the preferred writing tool for civilization since, well… since civilization began. Why is it preferable to wood-based paper, you ask? Hemp contains less cellulose than wood which makes the hemp paper surface softer, more durable, and less susceptible to cracking or breaking. Hemp is a fast-growing, prolific crop, which means one acre of hemp will produce the same amount of paper as 4-10 acres of trees over a 20-year cycle, making hemp the more durable, more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly option.
Is there anything else we can use hemp for?
Funny, you should ask! Hemp is starting to make inroads into the construction industry. The core of the hemp plant, or Hurd, makes for excellent insulation that has shown promise as a waterproof and fire-resistant building material.
Clothing, Fibers & Plastic killer
Hemp has consistently been recognized as an excellent fiber that can be turned into fabrics, ropes, and twines. In the days before cotton production came to dominate the global fabrics market, hemp was a principal source of cloth for clothing. In its final state, hemp clothing has a soft finish much like linen, and is hard-wearing. Hemp is also currently being used to make a kind of “bio-plastic,” which is easily degradable and a million times more environmentally friendly than traditional plastics from the petrochemical industry.
Why we use hemp for our CBD Oil
The latest use for versatile hemp is as the principal raw material for CBD oil extraction. Soulsome uses only the raw hemp flowers for cold-pressed CBD oil extraction and blends these oils with a carrier oil made from 100% organic hemp seed oil (all the goodness of hemp seed oil is discussed above). Soulsomes’ raw hemp flower CBD oil extract offers a wide range of wellness benefits for its customers and, by sticking to hemp oils, we provide a product that is both healthy and infused with CBD goodness. Hemp, by definition, must also have less than 0.3% THC in its chemical makeup. This ensures that a full-spectrum CBD oil like Soulsomes’ does not make the user feel “fuzzy” or “high” as the psychoactive THC component is only present in extremely low quantities. This is beneficial however because the small quantities of THC contribute to the entourage effect of Soulsomes’ CBD oil, providing even more full-spectrum benefits for the user.