Cannabis - It's not just for smoking.
With so many states promoting legalization, many of them have an excess of cannabis. Because marijuana is still federally illegal, cannabis cannot be shipped out of state. That issue is leaving many states, Oregon included, with more cannabis than they know what to do with. Luckily, some entrepreneurs are picking up the slack. So what are 5 of the weirdest ways cannabis is being used?
Image taken by SarahMcD - Wikimedia Commons
Cannabis is replacing hops in beer production.
Did you know cannabis is closely related to hops? The two can actually be used interchangeably in beer production. Brewers are picking up the slack and infusing new beer blends with cannabis or brewing with it outright. These beers won't necessarily get you stoned. Some new batches are CBD exclusive, and others utilize the unique terpene profiles of cannabis to give their beer a truly original flavor.
Other draft houses are incorporating hemp honey and even toasted hemp seeds into their brewing process. With the wild variety of flavor profiles cannabis has, we expect you'll be seeing many more breweries create cannabis-centric brews in the future.
Hemp is being used to replace concrete.
Did you know hemp can be used to make a concrete substitute? Hempcrete is made using the core of the hemp plant and lime. This produces a lightweight material with a very high silica content. Hempcrete is only an eighth the weight of concrete and can be used as insulation or a primary building material. It is fire resistant, insulates well, and has a finish much like stucco.
Hempcrete isn't new, it was actually re-discovered as a building material in a 6th-century bridge in France.
Hemp was the original denim.
You'll notice a pattern in industrial-usage resurgence. Manufacturers are becoming much more interested in hemp as a material, and are beginning to use it again instead of cotton. Levi jeans were originally made with hemp fiber. Current manufacturers are taking up that mantle, and you'll find many options if you want to experience the original denim.
Hemp may replace graphene in supercapacitors.
Graphene is a micron thin material with a unique structure that makes it an incredible capacitor for electricity. The problem? It's currently very expensive to make. Engineer David Mitlin has identified a way to create nanosheets using heated hemp fibers. These sheets have a similar molecular structure to graphene. That makes them ideal for many of the same applications.
Hemp fiber sheets actually perform better than graphene. The biggest current hurdle is getting the process just right, but Mitlin says, “We’re past the proof-of-principle stage for the fully functional supercapacitor,” he said to ACS. “Now we’re gearing up for small-scale manufacturing.”
Hemp is great for environmental cleaning.
Did you know hemp is being used to clean up Chernobyl? Yes. That Chernobyl. Because hemp grows so quickly, it doesn't suffer negative effects from the toxins it accumulates, and that's where it shines. Hemp can eliminate heavy metals like cadmium from the soil. That makes it useful in remediation of the more 1,000 superfund sites across the United States.
Once it's used in this manner, hemp can still be harvested for industrial purposes like biofuel creation. That bonus is just the icing on the hemp cake.