In recent years, hemp’s popularity has started making a comeback. With society re-discovering all of the incredible things you can do and make with hemp, this crop has started to thrive once again. Because of this, we thought it to be the perfect time to really help you get to know this precious plant just a little bit better.
Some well-known and others more obscure, we’ve given you 25 fun facts about hemp that’ll help you fall in love with the crop even more than you already have.
Hemp is continuing to make a place for itself in this world after years of prohibition.
From the US Constitution itself to clothing, canvases and a car. Hemp has been used to create many valuable things over the years.
The plant has myriad uses that stem back to as late as 10,000 years ago are still being utilized today.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, the US is understanding hemp’s versatility and sustainability better than ever.
Hemp is different from Cannabidiol (CBD). Where Hemp is extracted from cannabis seeds, CBD is extracted from buds, flowers and stalks of already grown plants.
Hemp has a lot nutritional value that can boost overall wellness, but is not as potent as CBD for treating physiological conditions.
#25. Hemp is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops.
Hemp is old. Like, 10,000-years-old old. With one of the first recorded uses of hemp dating back to around 8000 BCE, it’s said to be one of the world’s oldest crops, if not the most ancient crop.
#24. The US Constitution was written on hemp paper.
That’s right: your Forefathers loved hemp. Back in the 1700s, hemp was more commonly used as paper than trees, and it was sufficiently more durable. To ensure that the Constitution was written on something that could survive history, those men turned to hemp. (Great idea, boys!)
#23. Hemp can be used to make clothing.
Hemp fibers are extremely durable and can be utilized for many things, including clothing. Cellulose hemp fiber has been known to create some of the strongest fabrics out there, with hemp providing much more absorbency and insulation than cotton.
#22. Hemp was the original material for canvas.
If you say it fast enough, you may realize how similar the words ‘canvas’ and ‘cannabis’ sound. That’s because the word ‘canvas’ is actually derived from the Arabic word for cannabis, as well as the Latin word for hemp. For years, canvases were primarily made out of hemp for its water-resistant properties.
#21. Colonizers were forced to grow hemp in the US’ early history.
When first arriving in Jamestown in the 1600s, King James I made it mandatory for each property owner to plant 100 hemp crops to help provide canvas and cordage.
#20. Henry Ford made a whole car out of hemp!
In 1941, Henry Ford decided to invent an automobile that would change the environment as we knew it. Thus, he crafted an entire Model T made from hemp, rather than steel, and one that ran off of vegetable oil. Obviously, this idea didn’t stick, but it sure got the world thinking.
#19. Hemp played a major role in WWII.
‘Hemp for Victory’ was a WWII campaign that strongly encouraged farmers to grow hemp. As one of the main materials for ships’ rigging and an impending Manila hemp shortage, the government launched Hemp for Victory, which, until the 80s, was said to simply be a myth.
#18. As it grows, hemp enriches soil.
Wherever hemp is grown, it enriches the soils it’s planted in by increasing its microbial content and helping it pack together. This results in extremely nutrient-rich soil that can result in huge yields of hemp, month after month.
#17. Hemp can quadruple the amount of paper that trees can.
Hemp has the ability to produce four times the amount of paper in one acre within four months than 4-10 acres of trees can over a 20-year period. Hemp contains much more cellulose than wood, and this is one of the main ingredients in crafting paper. Hemp paper just makes sense!
#16. Hemp contains no psychoactive properties.
Though derived from the cannabis plant genus, hemp contains absolutely no psychoactive properties. Hemp oils are generally extracted from hemp seeds, unlike CBD which is extracted from the stalks and leaves of the plant. Back in 2018, the US government legalized the cultivation of hemp plants as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC, as these trace amounts cannot cause intoxication. Any more than that? Well, now it’s weed.
#15. Hemp can be used to create buildings and building material.
Hempcrete is a bio-composite building material that’s, you guessed it, made from hemp hurds. Stronger than concrete, more sustainable, and fire-resistant, hempcrete is rapidly growing in popularity.
#14. Compared to trees, hemp requires very little water to grow.
Compared to most other ground crops and trees, hemp requires much less water to thrive. They only require about 12 inches of water per growing season. Some sources say 25-30 inches, but regardless, it’s pretty self-sufficient.
#13. Hemp can help clean the atmosphere.
Hemp can essentially act as an air purifier, absorbing more CO2 per hectare than practically any crop being grown. As it grows, the plant works to reduce greenhouse gases, keeping the CO2 trapped within the plant itself.
#12. An alternative fuel source made from hemp is beginning to be utilized.
Recently, researchers have begun to discover hemp’s potential as an alternative fuel source. Called hemp biodiesel, this diesel fuel is made entirely from renewable plants, and hemp’s large yields and fast growth make it the perfect candidate.
#11. Hemp absorbs toxic metals.
The hemp plant is a great producer of phytoremediation, the process of plants absorbing toxins from the soil and water they’re placed in, including things like heavy metals.
#10. Hemp only takes a few months to grow.
Hemp plants can grow in as quickly as four months, or about 60 days. Though it depends on your growing procedures, you shouldn’t have to wait long to produce a significant yield.
#9. Hemp is an ideal skincare ingredient.
The oils extracted from the hemp plant can provide serious skin support. Able to assist with hydration, moisturization, and reducing oils and redness, hemp makes a perfect ingredient within typical skincare products. (And it’s totally natural!)
#8. Hemp can replace plastic.
Hemp has the potential to replace plastic material, as hemp-based plastic is inexpensive, biodegradable, and easy to make with how prolifically the hemp plant grows.
#7. Hemp can be utilized as a meat substitute.
Surprisingly, hemp is packed full of protein: more per ounce than any meat source, to be exact. This makes it a great meat substitute, as well as a great potential solution for world hunger problems.
#6. Hemp can be smoked, eaten, or extracted.
Hemp is an incredibly versatile substance with the ability to be inhaled, digested, or consumed sublingually after the oils have been extracted. Essentially, however you want to enjoy hemp, you can.
#5. You can grow hemp in all 50 states.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill passed just a few years ago, hemp has been legalized in all 50 states for cultivation as long as the plant does not contain more than .03% THC.
#4. Hemp was (and is) considered a billion-dollar crop.
Back in the 1930s, hemp was named the ‘billion-dollar crop’ due to its various widespread uses. Today, this categorization has hardly changed, as society is continuing to understand and embrace hemp’s potential.
#3. Hemp is great for the mind and body.
With hemp’s incredibly nutritional value, this plant can be super beneficial for both the mind and body. Studies have shown that hemp not only supports brain health, but also heart health and muscle function. From head to toe, hemp has a positive impact.
#2. Hemp fibers are some of the strongest on the planet.
Even though they come from a plant, hemp fibers are some of the strongest, most durable fibers on Earth. Stronger than both glass and metal, hemp is made to outlast almost all other materials. (After all, why do you think Henry Ford tried making a car out of it?)
#1. Hemp is incredibly sustainable.
Hemp truly has the ability to change the planet. With the environmental crisis the world is in, finding any sustainable alternative is key. With hemp’s ability to prevent deforestation, purify the air and ground, as well as replace other harmful, less sustainable substances, this plant could easily transform the world as you know it.
To call hemp multifaceted is simply an understatement.
This incredible plant has found so many uses over the thousands of years its blessed this planet, and it just keeps going. Hemp is truly the gift that keeps on giving, and, as long as the world continues to re-embrace it, you’ll only see more sides of the remarkable hemp plant.