Welcome to 2021, where hemp food is now legal for consumption – allowing the hemp industry in Australia and around the world to grow and consumer knowledge of its benefits to grow exponentially in tandem.
There is no question that the government’s, and society’s, approach to hemp was unreasonably draconian in previous years.
It was a breath of relief when, in 2017, changes to the Food Standards Code allowed low-psychoactive hemp seed as food to enter the marketplace for sale, inviting a new era of innovation with this ingenious green plant.
But you’ve probably asked the question:
What are the uses for hemp?
Hemp is used in dozens of creative ways and has managed to weave itself into scores of industries we previously never thought possible.
What is Hemp Used for in Australia?
Hemp is used for so many different things in Australia including:
- Beauty products
- Cooking materials
- And so much more!
Below, we’ll outline each of these points in detail, just to show you just how far hemp use has become embroiled into the Australian economy.
With so many traditional beauty products containing synthetic ingredients these days, it can be daunting for the naturally minded individual to find a product that pertains to their needs as ecologically conscious citizens of the world.
Thankfully, hemp seed oil products are 100% natural, being that they are derived from the cannabis plant, with ingredients already present that contribute to long-lasting skin health.
A remarkable derivative of the cannabis sativa plant is cannabis sativa seed oil, being a cure for blemished skin.
Its positive effects are a result of the fatty acids that it contains in spades, assisting in keeping cells healthy and hydrated.
Being a relative newcomer to the gigantic industry that is the food industry, hemp oil is up against such juggernauts as olive oil and vegetable oil.
However, its underdog status can be attributed to how new it is, and the negative stigma that surrounds it (being a derivative of the cannabis plant and all).
Don’t let the stigma misguide you though, as it contains healthy ingredients such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically omega-3 and omega-6.
Both fatty acids help in maintaining the health of skin, hair, and nails, with anti-inflammatory effects, and improved heart function.
Consuming hemp seed oil won’t result in you stoned out of your mind, as it contains either very little or no levels of THC (the chemical that gets you high and gives you the munchies).
You can easily use hemp to produce some high-quality textiles.
Utilising the stalk of the cannabis plant, it’s possible to fabricate a material called hemp fabric, both strong and reliable.
The plants used for clothing have been specifically cultivated to produce greater fibres at the expense of the THC content of the plant.
The outer layer of the stalk is the one used primarily for textiles, with the ropey fibres producing superior rigging for the maritime industry, as well as a fantastic competitor to cotton and synthetics in the clothing industry.
The distinct texture of hemp is a mix of cotton and canvas, with a resistance to shrinking, incredible durability, and a lifespan of possibly three-times that of cotton clothing.
Australia legalised medical cannabis in 2016, and doctors are now able to prescribe over 100 different types of cannabis products.
Hemp oil with medicinal benefits is derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant, previously stated to have a high level of nutrients and fatty acids.
Cannabis plants are notorious for their natural pain relief, in addition to their anti-inflammatory properties. It is so effective at pain relief that prescriptions can be issued to specifically target pain relief through the usage of medicinal marijuana.
Fatty acids present in the oil help with afflictions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, among other skin conditions.
Benefitting the dermis is great, but what about the cerebral aspect of our bodies?
The omega fatty acids also assist in protecting the brain against inflammation, as well as potential protection from the hemp oil’s polyphenols.
Furthermore, the nutrients have a positive effect on high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease.
It’s becoming more and more important to find alternative sources of energy, and hemp biodiesel could provide a useful solution.
Year by year, our fuel resources are challenged by the impacts of scarcity.
With the dwindling resources at hand, alternatives must be identified, sourced, and utilised. According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2016, it is estimated that only 50 years of oil and natural gas remains for us to use.
If we are to preserve the ecosystem that we coexist in, it is imperative that we adopt alternative sources of fuel, more so sustainable sources of fuel.
One such example is hemp biodiesel: a fuel source derived once again from the hemp seed, with a hectare of hemp producing over 800 litres of biodiesel, while also meeting various requirements for biodiesel quality.
Used since at least 100BC, hemp paper is a viable alternative to the conventional paper production techniques commonly used to destroy an estimated 4.1 million hectares of forest every year.
In comparison with wood pulp, which is used to create traditional paper, hemp pulp capable of providing four to five times more paper, as well as providing a higher quality, more durable paper.
The primary reason that the paper industry does not rely on hemp paper is due to the processes to create paper being optimised for wood pulp and not hemp pulp (basically leading the industry to stick to what they know best).
Construction can greatly benefit from hemp with the superior alternative to insulation known as ‘hempcrete’. It’s a derivative of the cannabis plant that has less compressive strength than regular concrete but has remarkable thermal resistance and moisture-absorbing qualities.
Working along with concrete, that would be used as a foundational material, hempcrete can be used to minimise construction waste, with concrete contributing to approximately 8% of carbon dioxide emissions.
Hemp: The Material of the Future
With the mentioned applications of hemp, it’s a wonder that it’s now being extensively utilised in society and in industry.
It can however be attributed to both the stigma and the costs attributed to revitalising the number of industries that hemp can be applied to (or simply the lack of knowledge).
Given time and given proper re-education of the masses, hemp can be more graciously received and even more widely used across the board.
In the meantime, search for your own hemp products for sale so that you too may experience the numerous benefits of this miracle.