Traditionally, hemp fiber has been a very coarse fiber when raw, which made it well suited to rope production but less than ideal for clothing designed to be worn against delicate human skin. Advances in the breeding of the plants and treatment/processing of the fibers have resulted in a much finer, softer hemp fiber.
The hemp seed is not actually a seed but a fruit. Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious for human as well as animals. Hemp seeds are made up of 25% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 15% insoluble fiber.
The hemp seed contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, and is our best vegetable source of the essential fatty acids, containing Omega 3 linoleic acid (55%) and Omega 6 linolenic acid (25%) in a near perfect ratio, and even containing the rare nutrient gamma-linolenic acid.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for maintaining a healthy life and are found in few food sources such as fatty fish and flax oil. Hemp seeds are used whole or crushed to make cookies, burgers, porridge, cakes, casseroles or even roasted and eaten whole. A good example of the hemp seeds use is hemp protein powder. The hemp seed is used for hemp seed oil for nutrition, soaps, cosmetics, paints, varnishes, etc. Hemp contains a high proportion of amino acids in ratios best suited for human assimilation. The hemp seeds protein content is approximately 23%.
It is, however, low in heavy metals such as strontium, thorium and arsenic chromium. Heavy metals should be avoided in a healthy diet. Hemp seeds are also high in dietary fiber. Hemp seeds provide Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linolenic Acid (LA) and Linolenic Acid (LNA) as well as containing Gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA). Of the fat in hemp seed, we have found 56% is Linoleic and 19% is Linolenic (a ratio of 3:1 is considered the optimum balance). Furthermore, oil from hemp seeds is far more valuable, in terms of concentrated nutrients, than soybean the nearest vegan alternative. EFA’s are required by the human body in order to maintain hormonal balance, healthy skin, hair, general health and well being.
Tests are currently in progress with regards to EFA’s in treating cancer and helping to support the immune system of those with the HIV virus. Advice gathered from Government scientists and from the health food industry generally suggests that our regular dietary habits require a reduction of fat intake.
Humans MUST consume fat in order to obtain an adequate supply of the two essential fatty acids (LA and LNA). This is the reason that they are referred to as ‘essential’ and the rest are merely fatty acids or simply ‘fats’. Over-consumption of saturated fat is harmful. Research links essential fatty acid deficiency with cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, impaired wound healing, breast pain, pre-menstrual syndrome, hormonal imbalance, multiple sclerosis, skin and hair disorders. The type of fat in one’s diet is therefore critically important. If then we increase intake of EFA’s to 12-15% of our total daily food consumption then this alone quickens our metabolic rate. This results in a thermogenic reaction causing fat burn off and loss of excess weight. LA and LNA also substantially shorten the time required for fatigued muscles to recover after exercise and they facilitate the conversion of lactic acid to water and carbon dioxide.
The principal product made from hemp seeds today is undoubtedly the oil. Hemp oil has a high nutritional value because it’s 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids, which matches the balance required by the human body.
Hemp oil utilization
Further to its superb properties for cleansing and moisturizing the skin, hemp oil is also a nutritionist’s dream. Hemp oil is unique in its make up and rivals oils such as flaxseed oil as a dietary supplement. It contains many of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that the body requires for healthy day-to-day operation. These EFAs are present in the right ratio for optimum absorbency into the body. It is also a good source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the main valued content of Evening Primrose Oil, which is believed to help pre-menstrual tension (PMT). Hemp oil should be taken daily either in liquid or capsule form, it is a delicious nutty oil and is great in salad dressings or mayonnaise. Due to its precious fragile EFAs, it should not be used for frying or cooking, however, it can be poured over pasta to give extra flavor.
Natural fiber from the stalks is extremely durable. It can be used for all kinds of wonderful things. Textiles, clothing, canvas, rope, cordage, for archival grade paper, & composite fibers replacing heavier toxic fibers and building materials made with recycled plastic and fiber. This means there is a reason to believe that you might in the future see a house that is completely constructed with hemp!
Stalks serve as an amazing source for renewable materials. The bulk of the woody stalks can be used for paper, animal bedding, oil absorbent, soil amendment, chemicals, plastics, & fuels (ethanol, methane, co-firing with coal, etc.) These fuels burn cleaner and are more efficient than other fuels not made with hemp. Hemp (Cannabis sativa) has course outer fibers and a shorter finer fiber on the inside, often called the hurd, The seeds from the hemp plant also can be pressed to get oil.
These three main components of the hemp (cannabis sativa) plant can be manufactured into a variety of products that resemble wood, plastic, and even concrete-like material. These hemp made products include but are not limited to plastic, fiberboard, wallboard, roofing tiles, insulation, paneling, and bricks can even be made from the compressed inner short hemp fiber. The outer hemp fibers then can also be used like straw in bale construction paired with mud for an old-style cob building.
Homes can be made nearly 100% out of hemp materials.
Pipes can be made out of hemp plastic. Walls can be hemp wallboard. Insulation can be made of hemp. It goes on and on… Hemp plaster, paint made with hemp oil, hemp carpet, hemp bricks, and even a hemp roofing material. We do not even list all the ones out there. Hemp building materials are better for you, withstand the test of time the same if not better than their non-renewable counterparts, and are easier on our environment. The basic building block of plastics is cellulose taken from petroleum, but toxic petrochemical compositions are not the only way to derive plastics. Plastics can be derived from plant cellulose, and since hemp is the greatest cellulose producer on Earth (hemp hurds can be 85% cellulose), it only makes sense to make non-toxic, biodegradable plastic from hemp and other organics, instead of letting our dumps fill up with refuse. Hemp hurds can also be processed into cellophane packing material, which was common until the 1930’s, or they may be manufactured into a low-cost, compostable replacement for Styrofoam.
This new material has unique strength and technical qualities which have yet to be seen before, and this new material can be injection or blow-molded into virtually any shape using existing molds, including cosmetic containers, Frisbee golf discs, etc. Zellform (Austrian) has created a hemp-plastic resin called Hempstone, for use in musical instruments, loudspeakers, and furniture. Hempstone can be carved in almost any shape making the number of applications unlimited. Hemp is already being made into compressed door panel and dashboards. Car makers such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Saturn, BMW, Honda, and Mercedes are currently using hemp composite door panels, trunks, headliners, etc. Zellform (Austrian) has created a hemp-plastic resin called Hempstone, for use in musical instruments, loudspeakers, and furniture.
Hempstone can be carved in almost any shape making the number of applications unlimited. Hemp is already being made into compressed door panel and dashboards. Car makers such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Saturn, BMW, Honda, and Mercedes are currently using hemp composite door panels, trunks, headliners, etc. These hemp composites are less expensive than dangerous fiberglass counterparts. Hemp fiberglass replacements would only cost 50 to 70 cents a pound. These hemp composites could replace carbon and glass fibers, which have environmental and weight problems, and run from 60 cents to 5 dollars a pound. The reason why virtually all European car makers are switching to hemp-based door panels, columns, seat backs, boot linings, floor consoles, instrument panels, and other external components is that the organic hemp-based products are lighter, safer in accidents, recyclable, and more durable. The possibilities are endless with hemp plastics and resins, and bio-composites. Virtually any shape and purpose can be fulfilled by bio-composite plastics. Hemp plastics are already on the rise, it is only a matter of time before we will see the need to grow hemp in the United States to meet our demands.
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