Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” – George Washington, 1st US President
Millennials are optimistic about the future. While we worry about the growing problems of this world, we focus positively on sustainable solutions. We seek novel ways to create wellness, abundance and prosperity in the 21st Century. Some place their hope in synthetic technologies; still, more of us who look to technologies that harness the powers of the natural world. Hemp offers us world-changing plant-based solutions in astonishing ways. Here are five fundamental uses of hemp that may surprise you.
Hemp for Wellness
We are focused on our health and fitness, tracking our bodies’ systems with technology more powerful than the computers used to land men on the moon. In our quest for peak performance and enhanced longevity, we need superfoods. One of the planet’s greatest complex immune system builders, hemp seeds contain high levels of vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene and are rich in protein, carbohydrates, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber. The body needs clean protein for muscle repair and development, and hemp packs more protein than any other seed. Containing all the essential amino acids, hemp protein offers an eco-friendly, animal-free alternative that remarkably rivals beef or lamb as a protein source “ounce for ounce.” Research has proven that hemp seeds promote cardiovascular health with their ideal levels of arginine, an amino acid, and optional omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that alleviate skin disorders. We can (and should) enjoy the many health benefits of hemp seeds raw, toasted or in hemp products such as breads, cereals, milk substitutes, granola bars, and even beer.
I want people to get over the stigma about hemp. These seeds can’t make you high, but they will make you feel good.” – Ziggy Marley
Hemp for Energy
Millennials are concerned about our reliance on nonrenewable resources for civilization’s escalating energy needs. We recognize environmental degradation and the real possibility of dire scarcity. We know that we need to quickly phase in largescale renewable energy systems to harness the power of our planet, store it and deliver it efficiently. Rechargeable batteries, capable of storing tremendous levels of energy are crucial to the changeover. The downside is that they take a long time to charge. Supercapacitors, another kind of energy storage device, helps complete the transition; and they can charge and discharge energy rapidly. Recent research shows that hemp-based supercapacitors perform exceptionally well. These environmentally friendly supercapacitors contain electrodes (the materials used to store the energy) made from hemp bast fiber (a part of the plant often discarded in hemp processing) instead of graphene, the industry standard whose production is 1000 times more expensive. Hemp-based supercapacitors will make wide-scale production possible and facilitate our implementation of renewable energy systems. Hemp will enable us to charge our electric cars and all of our electronic devices in seconds.
Hemp for Creation
…a biofuel-powered sports car whose body is made entirely from interwoven hemp fibers.
In our search for materials that are at once renewable, efficient, effective and multipurpose, hemp fits the bill. Hemp paper requires less chemical processing and is stronger and more durable than paper made from wood pulp. One of the strongest plant fibers available, hemp produces “250% percent more fiber than cotton.” Henry Ford knew early on that hemp had excellent potential for automobile manufacturing when he built several parts of the first Model T from agricultural plastic derived from hemp in 1941. His vision is now a reality: German car companies including Mercedes (Daimler/Chrysler), BMW and Audi Volkswagen are incorporating plant fibers in their models. Inspired by Henry Ford’s farsightedness, an American car maker, Renew, recently built a biofuel-powered sports car whose body is made entirely from interwoven hemp fibers. Another hemp-based alternative is revolutionizing green building. Hempcrete provides a “natural insulation that is airtight yet breathable and flexible,” which helps moderate temperature and moisture fluctuations to keep homes more energy efficient. This durable material is nontoxic, mold and pest resistant and “virtually fireproof.” Those who question the strength and durability of this material need only look to Europe, which already has hempcrete buildings 10 stories high.
Hemp for Sustainability
More than ever, we are mindful of our planet’s health, and we know that civilization’s progress must be guided by environmental awareness. We understand the need for conserving resources, reducing pollution, improving recycling and using greener energy sources. Hemp addresses all of these concerns in a variety of amazing ways. Because hemp farming requires little to no irrigation and minimal fertilizer, growing this productive crop is not resource-intensive. Researchers studying the soil remediation properties of the plant found that hemp removes harmful heavy metals and even radiation from soil, while amazingly remaining uncontaminated. We know that producing and consuming fossil fuels as well as recycling oil-based plastics is ultimately a polluting, unsustainable practice. Renewable hemp crops offer us outstanding alternatives. Hemp biodiesel is highly efficiency and effectively operates at lower temperatures than other biofuels. Plastics derived from hemp are recyclable, nontoxic and biodegradable. Other hemp-based construction materials, made from 100% hemp cellulose, water and nothing else, can decompose completely without harming the environment while providing greater tensile strength than steel or Kevlar. Hemp provides smarter answers to so many of our environmental concerns.
Hemp for Prosperity
Driven to succeed financially and secure a comfortable future, we need to take risks for success. Hemp is only a risk if we do not fully legalize hemp farming nationwide and if we fail to invest in this phenomenal crop. Sharing the botanical family name Cannabis sativa with marijuana has led to the ban of hemp for decades. With greater education and awareness today, over half of US states have already legalized some form of hemp farming. However, due to current federal prohibition, many American hemp manufacturers must import it. This means that while numerous industrialized countries profit from hemp production, we are missing opportunities to grow this profit stream in our own communities. Canadian farmers are earning $300 per acre, which is “as much as ten times what they’re making for GMO wheat, corn and soy.” According to market reports, their hemp earnings are “going to break a billion dollars.” The United States imports over $11.5 million of hemp material and some estimates value the US industrial hemp market at $500 million per year. Our economy stands to gain another billion dollar industry when domestic hemp production increases and some of hemp’s countless commercial applications are manufactured on industrial levels. We can capitalize on this exceptional opportunity to profit and prosper while we increase our wellness and protect our earth.
Millennials are open to change, and we realize that adaption is necessary for our success and survival. We should welcome the complete legalization of hemp and hope that the momentum for hemp continues as we strive to create wellness, abundance and prosperity. In this 21st Century, hemp is poised to become our cash and miracle crop, giving us economic, environmental and technological benefits we are certainly ready for.