The thousand properties of Hemp
For years now, we have been assisting, in Italy as well as Europe, an important return to the cultivation of Hemp
Hemp has been known from time immemorial and due to its versatility, it can be used in many different fields. In this article, we will analyse some macro-areas in which this plant proves to be very precious.
For years now, we have been assisting, in Italy as well as Europe, an important return to the cultivation of Hemp,intended to be transformed into paper, to substitute plastic or to create products for therapeutic purposes.
Hemp seeds are included in the category of the so-called protein foods, as they contain all essential amino acids.
Rich in omega 3, they are a valuable support in contrasting arterial sclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
They contribute to the strengthening of the immune system and the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linolenic acid and alpha-linoleic acid, allow the correct functioning of the muscles, of the nerve receptors and of various glands present in our organism. Rich in vitamin E, they exert an important antioxidant action.
The nutrients present in the Hemp seeds favour the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system, they lower the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure and reinforce the immune system. Added also to foods, Hemp seeds are mainly used to enrich salads and in the preparation of biscuits.
Hemp Oil, obtained from the cold-pressed seeds, is an extraordinary natural food supplement, which can be used for the seasoning of foods. Hemp oil should be used as a raw condiment in order to avoid the loss of its properties; it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B.
Hempseed oil has important antioxidant properties. Vitamins B1 and B2 give the oil its moisturising qualities, which make the skin soft and smooth, and can also be used to make wraps and masks for dry and damaged hair.
Hemp fibre was already used to produce paper 2000 years ago. The first printed copy of the Gutenberg Bible was made with hemp paper. Which are the advantages of the use of hemp for the production of paper?
The first advantage is related to the production; a hectare of hemp produces the same quantity of cellulose various hectares of forest would produce in many years. The second advantage has environmental features; today much is said about the danger of deforestation throughout the world and hemp could help to contain this phenomenon.
For some years now, in the building sector we have been able to observe an increasing presence of vegetable material on the market, hemp bio-bricks created in the majority of the manufacturing processes, with moulds in which a mixture composed of hemp waste fibres and lime is inserted.
Many companies, today, offer products of increasing quality. Which are the advantages of the use of bio-bricks? The first is of environmental nature, they provide a high level of performance in terms of thermal insulation, with considerable advantages with regard to energy consumption.
The second is technical. In earthquake-prone countries, having lightweight constructions, which adapt to the movements of the seism, may prove to be crucial. In Modena, the first house made out of Hemp was constructed after the earthquake striking the Emilia Romagna region in 2012.
The climate changes should encourage us to revise our daily habits and one of them is the use of plastic. The data spread in the media are terrifying: each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, in addition to the estimated 150 million tonnes already present in the marine environments.
These figures demonstrate that, if a drastic change of course will not be made, in less than ten years we could find ourselves with an estimated 250 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the ocean.
Also in this case, Hemp could prove to be an excellent ally; in several Countries already, starting with the United States, bioplastic obtained from Hemp is a fact. It’s a natural product that does not pollute.
China has already started to substitute traditional plastic with material made out of hemp fibres, such as car components. Henry Ford entered human history in 1937 when he developed the first car prototype entirely made out of plastic materials obtained through the processing of soybeans and hemp seeds.
Hemp cultivated on a specific land, has an interesting function of soil remediation. Heavy metals or residues of chemical pesticides are absorbed by the root system of the Hemp plant, by means of a process called ‘phytoremediation’.
In the Taranto area, just a few miles from the largest steel-manufacturing company in Europe, we can find a group of courageous farmers, who are trying to clear the lands contaminated with dioxin. The toxins released by the industry destroyed the surrounding agricultural economy, that is trying to look towards the future, focusing on hemp.
In this article we have seen some of the macro-areas in which Hemp could prove to be decisive, starting from environmental issues. The future, according to the forecasts of important agencies, such as Prohibition Partners, is green.
According to this company of consultancy and data collection on the legal markets of cannabis, talking about Europe alone, in the past twelve months the cannabis sector has grown more than in the past six years. Six Countries announced legislative measures for this sector, with already 500 million euros invested.