- Hemp for Food
- Hemp for Commercial and Industrial Use
- Hemp for Sustainable Development
- Medicinal Marijuana
Hemp, also known as Industrial Hemp, has a significant role in history due to its application as a usable fibre over 10,000 years ago. It is an incredibly fast growing plant of the Cannabis sativa species that can be utilised, after refinement, for commercial objects such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastic, paint, insulation, food and animal feed.
Unlike other varieties of the cannabis plant, hemp lacks psychoactive effects due to its low concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and high concentration of cannabidiol (CBD). It is due to the low THC concentration that hemp can legally be grown in some countries, often with governments regulating this level.
Industrial applications include the creation of rope, clothing, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation and biofuel. These can be either 100% hemp, using the bast fibres or combined with alternative organic fibres such as flax, cotton and silk for use for apparel and furnishings. Additionally, the inner fibres have applications as mulch and animal bedding due to their woody composition.
Hemp and lime, which can be sourced from coral, are combined to create concrete-like blocks for use in construction as an insulating material. It has also been noted that hemp fibres are durable and strong, hence it is able to be used as an alternative to wood. This creates extremely breathable houses, something that is ideal for the tropics.
The 1998 study published in Environmental Economics found hemp to be environmentally friendly. This distinction was made due to a number of factors including decreased land use, leading to a decrease of ecological footprint. Additionally, it is said to be a carbon negative raw material, requiring no herbicides and only few pesticides. Hemp is also helpful in restoring depleted soils.
Early estimates (2008) outlined yields of dry stem hemp to be approximately 10 to 12 tonnes per hectare, with bast fibre collected at a rate of around 40% from such stems, from newly established harvests. Based on conservative calculations, profitability is assumed at $245 per tonne, with $2450 per hectare. Growing costs have been calculated to be $800 to $1200 per hectare.
Hemp has recently found itself the subject of positive publicity, for more information have a read of these articles:
One Plant to Rule Them All
Cannabis Construction: Entrepreneurs Using Hemp for Home-Building
Changes in Cannabis Laws Create a New Buzz for Hemp
Hemp can be grown and utilised as a food source. There are a number of health benefits to the consumption of hemp seeds, oils and protein powders. Hemp is touted as the next big ‘superfood’ due to its Omega 3-6 balance making it ideal. The following attributes see it impossible to beat:
- 3:1 balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Extremely high levels of plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals.
- Ideal digestibility of protein due to the natural ratios contained within hemp, meaning that the body does not have to convert anything to be able to gain nutritional benefits.
- Hemp contains over 18 amino acids, of which our bodies cannot produce on their own.
- Contains high levels of insoluble dietary fibre.
- GLA anti-inflammatory
- Gluten free.
- Lactose free.
A handful of hemp seeds per day contains enough nutrients to provide your recommended daily intake of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and protein. This essentially means that without even eating a proper meal, the body can be looked after. Hemp can be grown to encourage food security in developing nations and can be utilised to greatly improve the health of indigenous communities.
Hemp has a number of applications for commercial and industrial use, with over 25,000 products able to be made. Consider these facts:
- 1 acre of hemp (which can be grown in 4 months), can produce the same amount of paper that 4-10 acres of trees produces (which can take approximately 20 years to grow).
- Furthermore, hemp paper is of a greater quality than tree-based paper, also requiring less toxic chemicals in production. It can be recycled multiple times and will last centuries without degrading.
- Hemp fibre is considered stronger, softer and longer lasting than cotton.
- Additionally, over a twelve-month period an acre of hemp can produce the same amount of fibre that 2-3 acres of cotton can.
- Hemp fibres produce textiles, it is utilised as a textile by major fashion designers for example Stella McCartney, Armani and Calvin Klein.
- Hemp oil has cosmetic benefits due to its’ moisturising and healing properties, companies for example Dr. Bronner’s, Burt’s Bees, Neal’s Yard and Jason Natural Products all sell hemp cosmetic products.
- It can be used to produce a plastic alternative that is strong, durable, contains no harmful chemicals and is biodegradable. Cars, musical instruments, home furnishings, jewellery and toys can all be made from hemp plastics.
- Approximately 70% of the hemp plant is constituted by the inner fibres that are utilised for housing construction. Enough hemp to build a house can be produced on 1 hectare in 4 months.
- Hemp fibre is stronger yet lighter than wood.
- Biodiesel and biofuel can be produced as by-products of hemp cultivation.
- Hemp hydrocarbons can produce biomass energy sources such as fuel pellets, liquid fuels and gas.
Hemp can provide sustainable development for rural communities within developing nations. Incredibly, farmers in more than 30 countries are already receiving profits of around $1500 per hectare of hemp. Not only are there a number of direct positive sustainable impacts of hemp as a product, but there are also long term sustainable benefits for the producers.
Hemp can be grown and utilised for construction purposes. It can be used for housing, as when combined with lime it sets similar to stone, hence as a concrete alternative. When used for housing, hemp provides incredible insulation, keeping a house at a constant temperature. This is ideal for remote communities who do not have access to heating or cooling.
Food security is an important factor for sustainable development. Hemp provides an abundance of health benefits, thus the production of this commodity can aid in providing health and nutrition to remote indigenous communities. This will also go towards providing food security for regions.
The development of bio-fuels can be stimulated through hemp production, which also heavily reduces fossil fuels and nuclear power. The production of various bio-fuels from hemp can aid regions in meeting their energy requirements. Additionally, aiding countries in reducing energy import bills and ensuring long-term sustainable energy supply.
Not only can locals reap the benefits of hemp through basic human rights such as food and shelter, but it can assist in stimulating the local economy. Hemp is a sought after commodity, the world over hence, the export market is huge and ever growing. Hemp is the key for developing nations to enter into a thriving industry early, and reap the long-term benefits.
The growing of hemp can provide jobs and income to remote indigenous communities helps to alleviate poverty and address the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
The LEMCO Team is very passionate about working to create sustainable livelihoods in developing countries world-wide.
LEMCO is committed to creating value for stakeholders through developing strategies for supporting investment into high yield agricultural systems, forming strategic joint ventures, and partnering with reputable providers of breakthrough health and wellness products.
LEMCO has identified that future growth and demand for hemp based products and medicinal applications of marijuana oil are poised for exponential growth. As such LEMCO has already started discussions to support the creation of hemp based industries and also to investigate the potential for approving the growing of hemp and medicinal cannabis/marijuana with Government Ministers in several South Pacific Nations.
Developing medicinal marijuana industries involves working with good partners to supply the latest in technology for hydroponic equipment, renewable energy systems, fresh water management systems, new greenhouse systems and sustainable building solutions
Benefits of Medicinal Marijuana
Marijuana/Cannabis is one of the most powerful healing plants on the planet. Like coconut oil the benefits of using this plant for supporting a wellness regime has been suppressed by pharmaceutical industries for the last century.
Medicinal Marijuana has been found to suppress cancer, reduce blood pressure, treat glaucoma, alleviate pain, and help inhibit HIV. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relief), anti-emetic (relieves nausea and vomiting), appetite stimulant (induces hunger) and neuroprotective.
The news about the healing powers of cannabis are quickly becoming known worldwide and it is time to embrace the benefits of this plant and give everyone the opportunity to benefit from its brilliant healing properties.
Over 23,000 studies tout the benefits of medicinal marijuana for people facing everything from Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain and diabetes. Backed by an enormous body of scientific research, ever more progressive cannabis laws, and enthusiastic public opinion, cannabis is earning the reputation it deserves as a ground breaking health solution.
“We are at the dawn of a new age in medicine and a new day for mankind. Not only can hemp save the world, it can eliminate a great deal of human suffering and can even put an end to starvation. What are we waiting for?” Rick Simpson
“It is a well-known fact that Cannabis – especially Cannabis oil – has numerous valuable therapeutic effects and that is why the Australian Government has finally had to include Cannabis as a Schedule 4 Prescription Medicine in last year’s SUSMP (Standards for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons). We are finally making some excellent progress in finding natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs to treat serious illness.” Dr Raymont
As affirmed by Dr Raymont, the Australian government recently passed national laws to permit the use of medicinal marijuana for people with painful and chronic illnesses. The resultant Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill allows licensing and permit schemes to be established for the cultivation and production of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal and scientific purposes. To grow medicinal marijuana legally, applying for a manufacturer licence and securing a permit is required. Working with various Ministries in other developing Commonwealth Island Nations we are looking forward to creating a strong level of cooperation
Growing medicinal marijuana in developing countries has the real opportunity to create strong employment opportunities and opportunity for export to countries accepting of medicinal marijuana and health based products.
Legal marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the United States
Thousands of millionaires are being created in the US and other countries by this industry. Sharing the wealth with developing countries is something we need to endeavour to do to improve livelihoods and help curb the destruction of precious rainforest areas.
At LEMCO we are committed to finding a way to work with harnessing this rapidly expanding industry and making medicinal marijuana available to families all over the world whilst alleviating poverty in developing countries.
1.2 million people are already using medicinal marijuana for a wide variety of medical problems, from cancer to epilepsy to depression.
The estimated size of the 2015 hemp market is $573M USD, including CBD products ($65 million), foods ($90 million), and personal care products ($147 million). This marks an estimated 10% increase over 2014, and does not even include sales data from big box retailers, which could more than double the estimate. The growing of HEMP offers an amazing opportunity for creating new industries and supporting sustainable development and climate change initiatives.
The estimated size of the legal U.S. marijuana industry (both medical and recreational) in 2016 was $7.1B USD – a boost of more than 25% over the year 2015. This substantial increase is linked to massive growth in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and other states expected to approve both medical and recreational use.
56% of physicians support nationwide (US) legalization of medicinal marijuana. Oncologists and Hematologists are the biggest supporters. As acceptance by the medical community snowballs, physicians are petitioning to open quality testing labs, marijuana clinics, and other businesses.