A recently published article by The Cool Down (“America’s mainstream climate brand”) detailed how hemp can be “transformed into a material called hempcrete.”
“Hempcrete is a carbon-negative building material made out of hemp, which is increasingly being used in place of concrete. The biocomposite material is created from hemp shiv — the woody core of hemp stalks — and mixed with a binder, such as lime powder, and water,” according to the article. “The result is a tough, adaptable material that can be mixed with varying proportions of hemp and lime depending on its intended purpose.”
The New York Times highlighted that trend in a story published earlier this year, reporting in February that interest in hemp “as a viable substitute for construction material is growing as developers seek greener building options.”
“Hemp can be used in block form, as it was in the building of the sports center, or poured like traditional concrete using hempcrete, a combination of lime, hemp fibers and a chemical binder. Hemp panels can also be used…Hemp is already used in a variety of industrial products, including rope, textiles and biofuel. But hemp construction is hampered by high costs and a supply chain that is not fully formed. And proponents must overcome resistance to a product that is often mistakenly tied to recreational drug use. Advocates say hemp offers many environmental benefits that builders and policymakers seek when creating a carbon-neutral product that is also resistant to fire, mold and weather,” the Times reported.
The write-up by The Cool Down noted that hempcrete offers “multiple benefits for buildings,” particularly as “the building industry hunts for less carbon-intensive materials.”
“For one thing, hemp makes an extraordinary carbon sink when it is growing — research suggests that the crop can capture twice the amount of carbon dioxide that trees can. That carbon dioxide is then locked away in the walls of your hempcrete home for as long as it stays standing,” the article said. “Hemp’s strength at sequestering carbon could be crucial for a building industry that is currently responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions. Making cement, a key ingredient in concrete, produces vast amounts of air pollution. Manufacturers use fossil fuels to heat limestone and clay in a kiln, releasing an estimated 600 kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere for every ton of cement made.”
It is just one of a variety of uses for hemp, a hearty and versatile crop that has appeared in manifold consumer products in the United States ever since Congress legalized it for industrial use in 2018.
A recently published study suggested that hemp-derived topical solutions could trigger hair growth in patients with alopecia.
The researchers examined a group of about 30 people, evenly divided between men and women, who “used a once-daily topical hemp extract formulation, averaging about 33 mg/day for 6 months.” They said that the “results revealed that all subjects had some regrowth.”
“A hair count of the greatest area of alopecia was carried out before treatment was started and again after 6 months of treatment. To facilitate consistent hair count analysis, a permanent tattoo was placed at the point for maximum hair loss on the scalp,” the researchers explained in detailing their methodology,” the authors of the study said. “The subjects were also asked to qualitatively rate their psychosocial perception of ‘scalp coverage’ improvement after the study was completed. The qualitative scale included ‘very unhappy,’ ‘unhappy,’ ‘neutral,’ ‘happy,’ and ‘very happy.’ The subjects were photographed in a standard manner before and after the study. The photographs were compared for improvements in ‘scalp coverage’ by an independent physician. The qualitative scale included ‘none,’ ‘mild,’ ‘moderate,’ and ‘extensive’ improvement of scalp coverage.”