Business Venture Ideas:
9 Surprising Industrial Hemp Uses
Experts project that the global market for industrial hemp will reach a massive $41.78 billion in 2027, up from $3.43 billion in 2018. That’s an incredible compound annual growth rate of 32 percent during this period.
There are many factors that account for the skyrocketing demand of industrial hemp in recent years, including its increasing use in a wide variety of applications.
But exactly what is industrial hemp? What are some of the top industrial hemp uses that have continued to make it so desirable today? These are just some of the issues we discuss in this comprehensive guide.
What Is Industrial Hemp?
Industrial hemp refers to a special breed of the Cannabis sativa plant species, which is farmed specifically for the industrial use of the plant’s derived products. Hemp is among the fastest-growing plants on the planet.
Although industrial hemp plants and cannabis as a drug come from the same species, the two strains are distinct and have different phytochemical compositions. Generally, hemp contains much lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a psychoactive component. The plant also has considerably higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD).
So, where can you find industrial hemp farms? Well, that depends on whether hemp is legal in your state. More states have now legalized cannabis, and cannabis executive jobs are becoming more common than ever before.
Top Industrial Hemp Uses
Over the years, the hemp plant has been widely recognized for being a high-value crop that can be used in numerous ways. If you’d like to venture into the industrial hemp business, you’ll be surprised by how many different applications the plant may have. Below are nine fantastic uses.
Hemp for Clothing
Industrial hemp has been widely used in the textile industry for millennia. There are samples of industrial hemp fabric that date as far back as 8,000 B.C. It’s certainly an application that has stood the test of time.
Currently, hemp’s popularity in the textile industry is enjoying a massive resurgence. Many people recognize the material for its durability and versatility. Industrial hemp is now used in the manufacture of jeans, shoes, and sports clothing.
Hemp can also be mixed with silk for high-end styles. And while clothes made from hemp tend to last significantly longer, they are much cheaper to make than those made from cotton and most other materials. Hemp fabric is quite soft to your skin and resistant to bacteria, which makes clothes made from the material highly desirable.
Industrial Hemp for Paper
The use of industrial hemp for making paper also dates back thousands of years. The pulp fibers from the plant are suitable for making many different types of paper. The material is especially beneficial for making specialty papers that include:
- Filter papers
- Banknote paper
- Cigarette paper
- Hygiene products
Hemp pulp is actually better than wood pulp in that it offers up to four times larger fiber. The product is also much stronger and does not tear as easily.
Hemp for Fuel and Energy
A significant number of hemp industry jobs are in the fuel and energy sector. Industrial hemp can be used for making biofuel. In a world where fossil fuel supplies are dwindling, cellulosic ethanol technology is quickly proving to be the answer by making biodiesel available.
Industrial hemp is also revolutionizing battery life by helping in the creation of smaller, more affordable, and faster supercapacitors. These supercapacitors help provide energy to computers, electric cars, cordless tools, and so on.
Industrial Hemp for Plastic Manufacture
It’s no secret that biodegradable plastic is the leading material of the future, and industrial hemp will light the way. Hemp-based plastic is manufactured by first removing the fiber from the plant’s stems, leaving a largely cellulose product that’s excellent for making biodegradable plastic.
Earlier, we mentioned that hemp grows incredibly fast. This quality makes the plant highly sustainable for making bioplastics.
Hemp for the Automotive Industry
Many automobile manufacturers now use low-weight hemp material in their vehicles’ interiors. BMW’s i3, for instance, used the material in 2013. Other manufacturers use hemp stalks instead of fiberglass for making the body of the vehicle.
The dramatic reduction in weight makes the vehicles more efficient and technologically sustainable.
Hemp for Housing Materials
The vast majority of the hemp plant’s total weight is the woody inner core. The inner core is typically THC-free and can be used for construction.
Builders can also combine the silica that the plant leaches from the soil with unslaked lime to form a new material that is similar to cement.
Industrial Hemp for Cosmetics
Industrial hemp seed oil contains significant amounts of fatty acids, which makes it the perfect additive in cosmetics. These fatty acids foster nail and hair growth, besides making the skin look younger. Studies have also shown these acids to be effective in improving skin conditions like eczema, acne, and dermatitis.
Hemp for Food
Food businesses make up a significant part of the hemp industry. That’s because hemp is highly nutritious. Hemp seeds, in particular, have an ideal balance of essential amino acids, and high levels of protein.
Hemp leaves, on the other hand, contain significant levels of iron, fiber, zinc, and potassium.
Industrial Hemp for Medicine
Industrial hemp contains high levels of CBD. The medicinal benefits of this compound have been widely studied. For instance, CBD has been proven to be highly effective for problems associated with the circulatory system, including high blood pressure.
Some drugs that consist of CBD and THC have also proven helpful for people with multiple sclerosis that have muscle spasticity. Other conditions that hemp-based medicine can treat include:
- Cancer-related symptoms
- Anxiety and depression
As more research is done on industrial hemp, no doubt many other medicinal benefits of the plant will be unearthed.
Industrial Hemp Keeps Driving Many Industries
As you can see, the industrial hemp uses are endless. For those seeking to enter into this sector, there’s always an opportunity to make lucrative profits.