Since Federal legalization of hemp through research programs in 2014, cannabidiol quickly became the new “it” product. But is there more to hemp than just CBD?
Most definitely! The Congressional Research Committee identified more than 25,000 uses. Hemp has the potential to disrupt multiple industries and supply chains. However, hemp seeds grown for cannabinoids like CBD differ from seeds grown for fiber. In other words, if a farmer grows CBD seed that ends up not meeting the percentages they expected, they can’t turn it into fiber and sell it. So at the beginning of the grow process, the end use and buyer of the hemp derived product must already be in mind.
If hemp has so many uses, why don’t we see it incorporated into more products?
It’s not as simple as “if you grow it, they will come.” Work has to be done within the supply chain of multiple industries to make hemp a hot commodity [no pun intended].
What industries will hemp disrupt? Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is open to move between states and be grown nearly nationwide thus increasing farmer access to processing. Although still in its infancy, the hemp construction possibilities are the most developed outside of cannabinoids.
US Hemp Building Council is working with groups like ASTM to create standards for hempcrete. Hempcrete is a unique, energy efficient, sound proof replacement for wood, stucco, and concrete building.
Hemp clothing is also a consumer favorite with new manufacturing techniques eliminating the itchy feeling of the past. Because of the lack of processing facilities, much of the hemp for clothing comes from China at the moment.
Although ipads and screens continue to replace paper, it is still a $1 billion industry. Hemp pulp can be used to produce every grade of paper for significantly cheaper than wood.
Other industrial applications like twine, rope, linoleum backing and more are exciting opportunities for the future.
How can you help hemp farmers in the United States? Support hemp applications outside of just CBD such as those mentioned above.