- By Jorrit
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12. Hemp: A multi-purpose plant
Hemp (Cannabis with THC<0.3%) has a large variety of applications ranging from textile to building material. Did you know that hemp fibers are one of the strongest natural fibers? They are also sustainable and versatile! Harvested via a process called “retting”, they can have a high flexibility or be very stiff depending on the organization of the layers inside the fibers. Hemp fibers are very durable, breathable, hypoallergenic and able to absorb moisture. Some applications of hemp fibers include paper production, concrete-like material (hempcrete), textiles such as towels and clothes and insulation material. Cultivation of hemp is very sustainable because of the natural resistance of hemp to mold and other pests. Other parts of hemp also have many applications. Hemp oil can be used for cooking but also for biofuel production! Hemp seeds instead can be eaten raw or cooked and are rich in nutrients. Overall, hemp is a multi-purpose plant with a versatile use in industry, and we are recently rediscovering most of its application!