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The uses of hemp

Hemp is among the most versatile plants and lends itself to a variety of uses: fabric making, medical-care uses, industrial and food manufacturing.

Hemp has scientific name"cannabis" and is an annual plant, native to the Asian continent and India. It belongs to the cannabaceae family, dicotyledonous angiosperm plants of the order Rosales.

The cultivation of hemp is very ancient, and it is thought that in the past it was mainly used for textiles. In fact, hemp fiber textiles have been found dating as far back as 10,000 years B. C. However, it is estimated that it was used by humans, even as far back as Neolithic times.

It appears to have spread to the West since the 18th century, with the rise of Asian colonies and naval trade.

Therapeutic properties of hemp

Hemp has several therapeutic properties and since 2016 it has been possible to prescribe it as a medicine in the medical field. The medical cannabis is the FM2 strain, a predominantly sativa hybrid genetic; this is characterized by a balanced cannabinoid content, in the range of 5 to 8 percent THC and 7.5 to 12 percent CBD.

Hemp for medical use can be used to relieve pain of the oncological type or resulting from other diseases. In particular, it can relieve:

  • chronic disorders associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury

  • adverse effects of chemotherapy,

  • treatment side effects of radiation therapy or some HIV therapies

  • rheumatic diseases (arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia)

  • neuropathies

  • appetite stimulant in cachexia, anorexia, or in cancer patients.

Cannabis for medicinal use can helplower blood pressure in glaucoma, for those resistant to conventional therapies. In some cases it can be used to reduce involuntary body movements in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

The best-known cannabis is of two types: indica (or Indian) and sativa.

There is a difference between indica and sativa cannabis involving the different proportions of cannabinoids contained. Cannabinoids are the active ingredients inherent in hemp plants, but the amount of each substance varies according to the variety of the plant.

Cannabis sativa

Hemp sativa is a widely cultivated variety in Europe and was legalized in Italy by ruling No. 4920/2019 of the Italian Supreme Court.

It has been recognized by theWorld Health Organization as a valid remedy for relieving anxiety and stress; it is also considered an excellent remedy for combating disorders of insomnia, pain, and inflammation.

The reason for the wide approval is related to the high content of the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol), a substance with many beneficial and nonpsychotropic properties. Cannabis CBD or light contains a low content of THC, a highly psychotropic substance that can cause several side effec.

In 2018, the WHO published a report compiling all scientific publications conducted in the past 5 years on the effects of CBD: the cannabidiol critical report Meeting June 4-7, 2018, WHO.

CBD is, in fact, in different concentrations, is the active ingredient that acts on muscle pain and inflammation; in particular, its action focuses on the endocannabinoid system, relieving anxiety and stress disorders and improving sleep disorders.

Indica hemp , on the other hand, has a high THC content; this cannabinoid has psychotropic effects and if taken in high doses can cause health damage. For this reason, indica hemp has not been legalized.

Use for textiles

A very strong fiber is made from hemp, from which a fabric is made that is especially suitable for the production of ropes and other textile materials.

The fiber of hemp is hollow and hygroscopic; this combination makes it possible to obtain a yarn of high thermal insulating and breathable capacity. Structurally, hemp fabric resists mechanical action; it rarely wears out and resists tearing.

Hemp fabric can also be used in clothing because of its absolute comfort and strength.

Hemp plastic

Cellulose from cannabis finds use in biodegradable plastic materials, more commonly called"hemp plastic." Hemp plastic is an organic material that does not impact the environment; therefore, it is highly valued in sustainable industry business models.

Hemp plastic is used to manufacture packaging and packaging material for various types of products.

Also, in the automotive industry, hemp plastic has been used to make rearview mirrors for some cars. A similar experiment was done back in 1923, but on a more extreme level: Henry Ford, before the law against hemp went into effect, created the first hemp body car; a car made entirely of hemp bioplastics.

The use of bioplastics in place of traditional plastics is the means by which we seek to reverse pollution of the seas.

Hemp biofuel

Research into the uses of hemp has also had positive outcomes in green fuels.

Biodisel is obtained from the pressing of cannabis seeds-it is a pure, renewable fuel with a very low environmental impact. Hemp biodisel can totally or partially replace today's gasoils.

The whole plant can also produce ethanol, an alternative to fuel pollution.

Food uses of hemp

Among the best-known uses of hemp sativa is the food field. Hemp flour is a natural ingredient that does not cause allergies and can be used for baked goods and hemp pasta.

Hemp flour is made by grinding hemp sativa seeds; therefore, it does not have high THC levels, but contains high amounts of CBD. It is a naturally gluten-free product that can be digested by everyone.

In food, cannabis can be used to make oil and milk; also, the leaves of sativa hemp can be the basis for an excellent relaxing herbal tea.

Hemp herbal tea is usually blended with other flavorings to enhance fragrance and flavor. Since it is cannabis sativa the herbal tea has no psychotropic effects, but can give, instead some benefits.

Basically, the main effects are typical of CBD: relaxation, reduction of anxiety and stress like lemon balm or chamomile herbal teas. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it also has an effect on menstrual pain and problems with poor digestion.

Environmental uses of hemp

The hemp plant is also used for phytoremediation or phytoremediation. This technique allows contaminated soils to be cleaned up through the planting and cultivation of specific plants that can extract heavy metals from the soil.

This activates a cleanup of soils and stimulates the degradation of organic compounds.

Hemp is among the most widely used plants for two reasons: first, cannabis is a fast-growing plant that needs no special care; it has an extraordinary ability to absorb cadmium and dioxins.

Today, hemp is also used to restore soils in the Chernobyl and Fukushima areas due to its ability to absorb radiation.

Hemp paper

The myriad uses of hemp do not exclude the production of paper. Hemp paper is considered an ecological lifesaver because it allows the production of a valuable resource, saving many trees from being cut down. In addition, it can be recycled up to 7 times, without losing its quality.

The most important features are in the processing that does not require the use of chemicals, which is a must in the production of traditional paper. Chemical materials used in paper production are harmful to the environment and to people.

Compared to paper trees, hemp can be planted easily and almost anywhere, respecting the local economy and ensuring KM 0 raw materials.

Eco-friendly Materials for Construction

Other uses can be had from the wood made from the stems of the hemp plant, used in green building.

The stem wood is combined with lime, which acts as a binder to produce coatings for various constructions. The same material can be adapted to restore and recover building materials, providing adequate thermal comfort.

Being hygroscopic and heat-insulating, hemp is permeable to water vapor and is resistant to frost, fire, and hardly wears out.

Green building materials made from hemp are not harmful to people, as they do not release any toxic substances. They are 100 percent natural and do not impact the environment, but help keep the air healthier and more breathable.

From a utility point of view, they outperform other materials:

  • they are antiseptic and resist external agents over time

  • they prevent the formation of condensation

  • breathable, dehumidifying and anti-mold

Hemp cosmetics

Hemp also has wide use in organic cosmetics; in particular, CBD oil and the seeds of the plant have great use. The variety used for cosmetics is always hemp sativa, so no cosmetics contain THC.

In addition to the use of hemp oil and seeds to create cosmetics, other selected substances are used for skin care, hair care, and general personal care.

Among the most effective are:

  • moisturizing creams for face and body

  • hair shampoo

  • hemp soap

  • intimate cleanser

The properties of hemp creams are mainly moisturizing and nourishing, with anti-aging properties. They are rich in gamma Linoleic acid, which prevents skin dehydration and flaking, ensuring the skin's natural elasticity and radiance.

Hemp sativa is naturally capable of fighting free radicals, which are responsible for cellular aging. In addition, cannabis creams have anti-inflammatory properties, effective against dermatitis and acne and other dermatological problems.

Hemp creams and oils can be used for all skin types.

Shampoo is an excellent product for brittle and dry hair. For example, it can restore lengths that have undergone various chemical processes, such as coloring or perms.

Soap and intimate cleanser have mainly moisturizing, sanitizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

What to do with scraps

Hemp is a plant with many uses, and even the scraps can be reused and recovered. The uses of waste are among the most varied, from cooking to personal use.

Cannabis, in fact, is a very easy plant to work with, and many products can also be made at home independently.

Leftover waste is branches, leaves, and trim. Trim is a material that covers the inflorescences and must be removed to allow the flowers to mature properly. This material is rich in resin and can be put to several uses, such as:

  • extract: a compound more valuable than the inflorescences and characterized by more intense effects due to the large amount of cannabinoids it contains.

  • cannabis butter or cannabutter: this is a marijuana-based butter made from the residual plant material, kept to infuse for long periods of time and over low heat. A small amount of traditional, melted butter should be added to this.

  • hash: since trim contains mostly resin it is suitable for reproducing homemade hash. Care will have to be taken when using it, as containing concentrated THC it will produce more intense effects than joints. However, the mind will remain quite clear and be stimulated by the effects.

  • Vaporization: is another way to take cannabis in a healthier way than smoking. The herb is not burned, but vaporized so that the cannabinoids and terpenes are better utilized. This will help avoid the plant's irritating, chlorophyll-filled smoke.

  • Bhang: Bhang is a very ancient drink of Indian origin that was used in religious ceremonies and festivals. It is made from the waste of crushed leaves mixed with milk or other beverages.