First off, what is Hempcrete? As the name suggests, hempcrete is a building material that incorporates hemp into its mixture. Versatile and hardy, it can be used for wall insulation, flooring, walls, roofing, and more, and is fireproof, waterproof, and rot-proof, provided it’s used aboveground. Derived from the shiv or inside stem of the hemp plant, it’s then mixed with a lime base binder to create the final, negative carbon footprint product. Hempcrete is much more versatile and pliable than concrete, making it an easier material to work with. In fact, earthquakes cannot crack these structures, as they are three times more resistant to damage than regular concrete.
Hempcrete also requires less energy to produce, since lime doesn’t need to be heated to the same degree as industrial concrete. What’s more, because it contains cellulose, Hempcrete also sequesters carbon. Through its growing life cycle, it takes in large amounts of carbon, which are then built into the home or building being constructed. Carbon is thus stored rather than released into the atmosphere, and as a result, a home can save about 20,000lbs of carbon when being built out of Hempcrete.
Strong, lightweight, and breathable, Hempcrete is inarguably a superior building material. When used in exterior walls, it lets water in without accruing rot or other damage. What’s more, rather than needing to build homes with space between exterior walls, which must then be filled with insulation, you can simply use a Hempcrete wall. As humidity is taken in from the external environment, the Hempcrete holds that humidity until it is ready to be released again when air becomes dry once again.
While lime takes longer to harden than concrete, since it’s wrapped in cellulose, it is incredibly strong. Over time, the lime essentially turns back to rock, so the material becomes harder and harder until it petrifies completely. This means the wall will last thousands of years compared to the 40–100 years of today’s standard building materials.
Hempcrete is versatile in other ways, too. If too much is mixed in during building, you can simply return the mixture to the soil as a great fertilizer. And since hemp grows to maturity in just 14 weeks, it is a very powerful, cheap, and sustainable solution.
Hemp also requires no fertilizer, weed killer pesticide, or fungicide to grow, and can be used in nearly limitless capacities. The hemp seed can be harvested as a nutritious food rich in Omega-3 oil, amino acids, protein, and fiber, while the outer fibers can be used for clothing, paper, and many other everyday items. This truly is a remarkable plant, and its use in the mainstream should be a no-brainer.
You would think that if the government and corporations were truly concerned with climate change, and the massive effects they claim it is going to have on life, they would begin implementing this solution as quickly as possible and make hemp legal again in the U.S. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. Are they exaggerating about climate change and how much OUR carbon is affecting it? Or are they so concerned with their system that they fear changing things? Either way, something is up here.
Here are 8 ways that hemp can help keep you healthy!
1. Hemp Contains Cannabidiol
There have been some high profile cases of children with rare forms of epilepsy who, after taking cannabidiol made from hemp, have reduced their seizures from hundreds a week to almost zero. In the UK it has recently been reclassified as medicine and is under review by the Medical Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), while in the United States its legality varies state by state.
2. Hemp Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Our cells, just by breathing and consuming energy, create toxic waste called free radicals, as does exposure to chemicals, pollutants, and emotional stress. Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron and, not content by their incomplete status, steal electrons from other proteins in the body, causing what’s known as oxidative stress. Left unchecked, this can damage our DNA, cause the body to perform poorly, and lead to the onset of age related diseases.
To counteract the damage by free radicals, the body produces antioxidants, which can also be found in most fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Turns out the hemp plant is packed full of antioxidants, with studies showing our old friend cannabidiol to be a powerful source, even more so than vitamin C and E. The plant also contains other free radical fighters such as flavonoids.
3. Hemp Is Anti-Inflammatory
But the hemp plant can be a natural, drug-free way to reduce inflammation in the body. The main player in the piece once more is cannabidiol (CBD), with studies showing it to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the signalling proteins made by immune cells that are overproduced in patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists have also noted that CBD activates the Vanilloid receptor (TRPV-1), known to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature.
4. Hemp Helps Calm Your Mind and Protects the Brain
Studies also suggest CBD’s ability to promote hippocampal neurogenesis (the part of the brain responsible for memory, emotion, and the autonomic nervous system) could explain why anxiety is reduced.
But it’s not just hemp’s anti-anxiety benefits that are a boost to our brains. CBD has even been declared a neuroprotectant by the U.S. government, and studies show the cannabinoid may slow the onset of Alzheimer’s by reducing neuroinflammation.
5. Hemp May Improve Heart Health
Most studies on heart health talk of Omega 3 source from fish oil, but if you are vegetarian or concerned about polluted fish stocks, hemp seeds could provide a plant based alternative.
6. Hemp Can Help Balance Your Endocannabinoid System
You’re not alone. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the 1990s and is basically a vast network of receptors and cannabis-like chemicals (endocannabinoids) in the body. Its purpose is to modulate functions such as sleep, appetite, mood, pain, and reproduction. Sometimes this system can get out of balance, with scientists believing this to be a contributing factor behind many illnesses.
CBD, while not interacting directly with the endocannabinoid receptors, does increase the levels of the feel good endocannabinoid Anandamide in the body, which scientists believe is just one strategy to strengthen a depleted endocannabinoid system.
7. Hemp Helps Get Your Hormones in Balance
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which studies show reduces the hormone disrupting effects of prolactin. In a study of women with PMS, taking one gram of essential fatty acids (including 210 mg of GLA) per day resulted in a significant reduction in symptoms.
8. Hemp Oil Is Good for Your Skin
Remember what we said previously about antioxidants? Our skin is bombarded on a daily basis by free radicals and toxins, so if our beauty basic is something that is both moisturizing and provides an antioxidant shield, it might just be the ultimate anti-ageing double whammy.
CBD is currently being touted as the ultimate, supercharged ingredient for problem skin due to its anti-inflammatory nature and anti-seborrheic effects — which basically means it prevents the overproduction of sebum in the skin commonly associated with conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, and acne.
So, there we have it. All hail the mighty hemp!
Who knew that it was such a health hero of a plant? It can literally work its magic from our heads to our toes, and from inside our cells through to the biggest organ of our body, the skin.
Whether using it as superfood supplement in the form of cold pressed hemp seed oil or taking hemp extract CBD oil to keep our health issues at bay, it is most certainly an ancient answer to many of our modern day woes.
Hemp — be humble no more. Join us with pride in a healthy 2017.