Cannabis and Its Many Uses
We still haven’t found all of the possible uses that cannabis has, and every day we find out more information about this marvelous plant. Cannabis has been around for millennia, used in religious performances, rituals, meditations and in some medicinal cases. It’s most well-known for to its resistance in the textile industry, where its resistant fibers are made into ropes, clothes, and trousers; it’s even been used in plumbing to help with water loss, and although Teflon is used nowadays hemp still lasts longer.
Recently, cannabis has been found to generate biofuels, its fibers have been modified to make plastic, and its seeds have been found to contain amazing nutritional properties both ground and pressed for oil. If that’s not enough, the leaves also have medicinal and dietary properties; you really can use absolutely everything on this plant! Today we’re going to talk about our favorite plant; cannabis and its many uses.
Let’s start with this plants’ fibers, which are some of the most resistant ones known to man; the first items of clothing ever discovered in archeological digs were clothes made entirely out of hemp; its fiber is extremely long-lasting and it can be rough like rope, while also having the capacity to be smoother than cotton. Apart from being smoother than cotton, it’s also extremely difficult to break and if that isn’t enough, hemp fibers are much more ecologic than other products, meaning that you’re guaranteed a product free of chemical substances, which isn’t the case for other fibers like cotton and polyester. This makes it the perfect fiber for sensible skin.
Hemp is also used for making ropes and nets used to fish, hunt and navigate. Hemp fiber is also extremely resistant to humidity, making them the perfect ally for plumbers. It’s also used as a dietary supplement for animals, and is good for almost the entire animal kingdom.
Cannabis has a lot of other uses apart from its resistant and flexible fibers; it can also be used as fuel, which is one of the most recent discoveries that has been made in regards to this amazing plant. At the beginning of the century the most used fuel was whale oil, and its biggest competitor was hemp seed oil; these seeds have a higher quality than petrol, and one of its major advantages is that it isn’t as limited or as prone to run out as other fossil fuels and it also isn’t as contaminating. Its high cellulose content is not only beneficial for the paper industry, but also for the biodiesel industry through a process called pyrolysis which increases the quality of fuel that is obtainable from cannabis fibers. Methanol, methane and gasoline are the three types of fuel that can be obtained; the first one is used nowadays in racing cars, and farmers also used it at the beginning of the century up until the Second World War when they began using petrol.
Fuel made from hemp seed oil is in fact easier to manufacture than actual petrol, making the process of turning it into diesel much cheaper and easier, although its composition is made up of elements that make it burn like fuel used for heating. When boiled, it is similar to petrol diesel, perfect for motors that don’t use up much carbon monoxide. According to Henry Ford, hemp seed oil is the perfect alternative to petrol, wood and almost every business that was starting up back then and that continue nowadays.
These seeds aren’t just used as fuel though, they can also be an amazing dietary supplement; their composition contains 30% proteins, 30% carbohydrates, 30% essential fat acids, omega 3-6-9, globulin, albumin and edestine, making them extremely easy and good for our bodies to digest. Hemp seeds also contain vitamins A, C, D, E, and B, as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron and amino acids, making for an almost complete diet. All of these ingredients can be found in hemp seed oil, toasted seeds, ground seeds, powdered seeds, germinated seeds… and you can use them with any meal; mixed with your dough for making bread, pizza, cookies, any kind of cake, ice-cream, they can even be used to make milk. Their incredible health benefits are noticeable in the days and weeks after regular consumption; their properties help prevent cardiovascular illnesses, skin issues, as well as containing antioxidants.
As well as being used as food and fuel for cars, hemp seed oil can also be used as fuel for lamps and to make varnish. When it comes to taste, they have a nice, light, and delicate taste, similar to almond oil. It also has a low fat level, meaning it could be a rather good alternative for butter. We recommend consuming these seeds raw; if cooked, once temperatures go above 60ºC the seeds will begin to lose some of their properties, with an ignition temperature of 180ºC.
And if all this wasn’t enough, there’s even more! Hemp fibers have been used as traditional construction materials for a long time, being turned into bricks by pressing hemp fibers into thick dense blocks. It also acts as an insulator against cold/heat in the winter and summer thanks to its genetic makeup; this can be applied to actually save money on climate control devices in houses like heating and air conditioning. It’s also been proven to be more elastic than concrete, making it ideal for areas with frequent seismic activity. It’s 100% ecologic and due to the fact that proteins are eradicated from its composition, insects won’t want to nest in it, making it the perfect material for people that have certain kinds of allergies.
Almost a century ago, Henry Ford made an entire car out of hemp which was a dangerous threat to many large industries that are still around today, like petrol which is something that mankind would find hard to live without; it’s fuel, it’s used to make plastic etc. We’re well aware that these uses aren’t biological and do not respect the environment. For a few years now, Henry Ford’s technique has been reconsidered so as to make non-toxic, recyclable 100% biodegradable plastic from cannabis. Plastic made from cannabis is much more flexible and has a unique amount of strength; it could even be used for car accessories, seats, bumpers or any other plastic material on a car.
This amazing plant has thousands of reasons why it should be legalized, but those who would get rid of it hold the power of industry behind them, and they don’t care about possible economic or health benefits.
Translation: Ciara Murphy