How hemp is taking over the world – Augusta Free Press



hemp

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Papermaking, the production of clothes and an alternative to fossil fuel have all been part of the many uses this amazing plant. And whilst hemp has been out of the limelight for about a century, it’s making its comeback big time and it’s not hyperbole to suggest that it’ taking over the world.

CBD Industry

With the incredible story of a little girl with a debilitating form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome and her miraculous recovery, the CBD industry was born. And it’s not about smoking weed, it’s about helping with mental issues, and alleviating the symptoms of a variety of conditions.

Colorado’s Wild Hemp states research shows potential as a treatment for a broad range of conditions. And with such compelling anecdotal evidence, a huge amount of money is being focused on doing the necessary medical research to pinpoint who else can benefit from cannabidiol.

The CBD industry is expected to be worth 22 billion worldwide in three years with an explosion in products offered covering skincare, food and beverages, sleeping tablets and cbd cigarettes to substitute for tobacco, to name just a few.

Hempcrete

The 1970s oil crisis started a wave of change in industries across the North American continent. With the snap-in supply of cheap oil, car manufacturers looked and realized that they would have to look at making their fleets more fuel-efficient. Whilst this was a pretty predictable consequence, there were other industries affected that weren’t so easy to foresee.

Higher home heating bills forced a group of architects and designers to fundamentally question the way we built our homes, leading to the energy-efficient buildings and sustainable, passive house standard that has become popular today. But these same pioneers, started a process of investigation, that has led to a range of interesting building materials.

Hempcrete may sound like a joke but it’s anything but. This highly versatile material can be used in attic’s, under floors, to build structural walls and create an airtight seal around a building. It has a higher u-value than regular concrete and many more specialized insulating products. And as sturdy as it is when set, it becomes stronger over time.

Clothes Made From Hemp

Hemp is a great material for clothes for a variety of reasons. First of all, it’s strong, but soft. the nature of the long fibers in hemp and how they couple together makes for a very sturdy material more similar to bamboo than cotton. This means that the natural fibers are more resistant to wear and tear and will outlast most of the more common garment materials. And whilst this does add credence to the myth that hemp clothes are itchy and raw in appearance, with modern processes, hemp can be as fine and soft as quality cotton. Add to this the fact that it grows quickly, produces more material whilst using less water than cotton and you might begin to ask yourself why it isn’t more widely available?

In the 1920s, hemp was in widespread use within the clothing industry with one report indicating that up to 80% of all clothes used hemp. So what happened? Well to cut a long story short, the cotton industry saw hemp as a huge competitor and along with the tobacco and alcohol industries, worked to sideline and then outlaw hemp. But you can’t keep and good thing down.

Lego Goes Hemp

And it’s not only new players looking to innovate with this versatile material. Even household brand names such as Levi’s are looking at hemp as a replacement for the cotton in their iconic jeans. But earlier this month it was a household brand in the children’s toy market who made waves, when Lego announced that they would be moving toward an eco-friendly solution.

Lego, who have used a type of plastic called ABS for their children’s toy since it’s inception, have committed to substituting a hemp plastic for their entire range by 2030. The company has come under fire in recent years for the unsustainable nature of their production process and this recent announcement has been welcomed by industry watchdogs and parents alike.

Final Thoughts

The worldwide push toward a greener and more sustainable future has created a space where new ideas can break through and has forced larger brands to rethink their processes. The rediscovery of hemp and its many uses is a reminder that we can all learn something new by looking at the problems that face the globe in a new way.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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