15.10.18

The Hemp Revolution – Why It’s Not Just For Hippies And Stoners

Kate Hall

If I told you I’m writing this while high on hemp, you’d most likely think of Bob Marley, stare in disbelief, and tell my mum.

But what if I then told you hemp is not marijuana, and I’m talking about being thrilled with the great hemp knickers I have on.

The stigma and utter confusion around hemp versus marijuana has meant we’ve been starved of the incredible qualities of hemp for far too long. Turns out, hemp is not a psychoactive drug, is astoundingly sustainable, and can be used in approximately 25,000 ways.

Image via Adobe Stock

what is hemp

Hemp is not just for hippies and stoners. 

To begin with, hemp and marijuana are entirely different plants. Yes, they are both versions of the same cannabis plant, but the way they grow, and the effects on the human body, are opposite.

Hemp:

  • Proliferates, without the aid of pesticides, requires little water to grow, and no specific environment requirements
  • Contains <0.3% THC: you cannot get high on it
  • Contains more CBD than marijuana

Marijuana:

  • Thrives in a controlled environment, requiring lots of attention and care
  • Contains 3-35% THC: Can get you high
  • Contains very little CBD

With these two cousin plants defined, it’s time to reveal why it’s so frustrating that hemp is still illegal in many parts of the world, and why hemp has very little to do with stoners and hippies.

Hemp is the only fibre that can house, dress, feed, and heal you. Say what?!

hemp skincare

Image via Hempme Skin

Building with hemp

Building a home is usually a costly experience, for both you and the planet. But what if there was a way to build a home with a neutral carbon footprint, that improves the energy efficiency and durability of your home in the process? That’s right; you can build your home with hemp.

Hempcrete is rapidly becoming a popular resource. It’s made from woody hemp fiber, limestone, and water, and used to construct a solid wall around a timber base frame. If grown locally, hemp is carbon neutral, not to mention the energy savings made over its lifetime. The high thermal resistance of hemp means you can put away your heaters and fans, reducing your power bill dramatically.

Hemp grows stronger with time, is mould proof and breathable, fire and pest-resistant, lasts up to six times longer than a standard home and can be built in any type of climate. Need I say more?

Dressing in hemp

Take it from someone wearing hemp undies: hemp clothing is dreamy.

Hemp not only feels great on the skin but is arguably the most sustainable fabric on the planet. Unlike cotton, hemp takes no pesticides, and little water to grow and reaches maturity in just 14 weeks. Even organic cotton uses vast amounts of water to thrive and does not nourish the soil as hemp does.

Instead of taking from the earth, hemp is the plant that keeps on giving. The hemp plant absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees. Hemp nourishes the soil as it grows, making it a joy for farmers to continuing using the land once hemp is harvested.

Just like hempcrete, hemp fabric is antibacterial and mould resistant, making it excellent for outdoor wear, and garments that hug the body. It’s stronger than cotton and can be composted at the end of its lifespan.

hemp food

Image via I-stock

Eating hemp

If I haven’t convinced you of hemp’s incredible qualities yet, hemp is also a superfood. It has high amounts of omega 3, protein, vitamin E, and is proven to be a mood regulator and excellent at balancing blood sugar levels. Hemp is the superfood that sounds wrong to be illegalised; why would we ignore such a beneficial grain?

It was only made legal on Australian shelves in November 2017, and it’s yet to entirely past the test in New Zealand.

Surely we can get over the ‘druggie’ stigma and move on?

Healing with hemp

Instead of containing THC, the psychoactive drug everyone fears, hemp is high in CBD: cannabidiol. CBD is known to effectively treat anxiety, depression, epilepsy, inflammation, and chronic pain. It has been used to stop seizures instantly, and cure Alzheimer’s.

Hemp is a super drug; why the heck do we still see it as a demon?

Hippies, stoners, pot-heads, whatever you want to call them, can keep their marijuana to themselves; we want hemp.

How can we ignore a plant that clothes us, feeds us, shelters us, and heals us, all while nourishing the earth it grows upon, absorbing carbon dioxide, and reducing energy consumption?

Hemp is the fiber of the future.

Kate Hall

Ethical living/fashion advocate, eco wedding planner, and brand rep. Kate strives to promote ethical living in every way under the sun, and won’t stop at anything to make sure the planet and it’s people are being looked after the way that they should be.