8 Surprising Uses of Hemp

8 Surprising Uses of Hemp

Evidence of smoking marijuana has been found through ages of civilization including some alleging remnants discovered in the Native American Indian peace pipe (although the ingredients are considered secret).

Yet, if you ask someone what hemp is they will usually roll their eyes in wonder or comment that it’s something from pot. What most don’t know is how this amazing resource, derived from the controversial marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa L), has a rich history beyond its medicinal and recreational use.

These 8 surprising uses of hemp show how it is a friendly weed that may return as one of the most sustainable, diverse, and lucrative raw materials tamped down by fear and misunderstanding for way too long.


The construction industry has been scrambling to cater to the ever growing demand for greener applications. Hempcrete is one such answer as it is showing to be the rising new player in the green building market. It is made from the ground inner stalks of the hemp plant mixed with lime and water. Once it sets, it is as strong as most concrete applications but with unique benefits that include:

  • Mold, insect and fire resistant
  • Lighter than concrete
  • Reduces humidity
  • Rapid growth and rejuvenation rate (it’s a weed, it can grow practically anywhere!)
  • No off-gassing (airborne toxins)
  • Contains no THC, the psychoactive substance found in conventional marijuana

Seed of Life

Seeds from the hemp plant could be an excellent nutritional source containing high levels of:

  • Protein – 2 or 3 tablespoons yield about 11 grams
  • Omega 3 and 6 – It’s important to reduce processed food consumption and increase plant based sources such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to take advantage of the omega-6 content found in hemp. This will offer a better chance to systemically balance omega 3 and 6.
  • Magnesium – Good for muscle and bowel health
  • Vitamin A – Supports healthy skin
  • Potassium – Feeds muscles
  • Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) – This is an anti-cancer compound that The American Cancer Society recommends obtaining from food such as hemp especially if struggling with cancer, diabetes or skin allergies.

Good for the Ticker

Many studies show the significant effects of hemp seed compounds on supporting a healthy heart. This may be due in part to hemp containing high amounts of the amino acid arginine. Arginine is responsible for producing nitric oxide which helps dilate blood vessels to reduce blood  pressure.

Researchers from the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada had their data published in the European Journal of Nutrition (8/14) which concluded that,

“The results suggest that HMH [hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate] with strong hypotensive effects in SHRs [spontaneously hypertensive rats] could be used as a therapeutic agent for both the prevention and treatment of hypertension.”

In addition, a study published in Nutrition and Metabolism (4/21/10) stated that,

“The data discussed above supports the hypothesis that hempseed has the potential to beneficially influence heart disease.”

PMS/Menopause Relief

Any remedies that can alleviate the challenge for those struggling with PMS or menopause symptoms may benefit from adding hemp seed to their diet. GLA in hemp is also part of producing prostaglandin E1, a hormone which reduces prolactin a major player in female hormone function.

About 210 mg of GLA heavy foods such as hemp have shown a significant decrease of hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and other related symptoms.

Digestive Hulls

Nature produces foods that can be used in many forms to be able to assist human health. It is humans that often neglect these various botanical stages as potential remedies. This can be seen when sugar and flour is stripped of its natural, nutritious outer layer simply to change its brown hue to pure, nutrition-less white.

Hemp seeds have powerful hulls that when ingested act as insoluble fiber which is able to drag through the digestive tract like an internal street cleaner. It can also reduce insulin increase and regulate blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels while increasing good gut bacteria.

Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program, University of Kentucky published a study on various forms of fiber in Nutritional Reviews (4/09) stating that,

“Increased intake of soluble fiber improves glycemic and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals.”

Paper, Cloth and Fuel

In early American history, hemp used to be a major crop alongside spelt, oat, rye and sorghum. It was used in many forms and its most notable would be as writing paper, particularly that of the first draft of the Declaration of Independence which was later constructed on parchment. In addition, it is the material used in the first American flag sewn by Betsy Ross and can be transformed into bio fuel.

As marijuana continues to prove its many positive health and societal contributions the unnecessary stigma attached to its rocky past will surely lift. These 8 surprising uses of hemp may hopefully have you rethinking the integration of such a strong, sustainable, diverse, choice into our mainstream culture.