Despite being subject to many of the same outdated regulations as its more popular cousin, industrial hemp has the potential to be the biggest agricultural cash crop since corn.
Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants and one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including foods and beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, nutritional supplements, fabrics and textiles, yarns and spun fibers, paper, construction and insulation materials, and other manufactured goods
Among the known uses is an eco-friendly green building substitute called “hempcrete” that LEED professionals and sustainable builders the world over have their eye on.
Using the tough interior core of the plant stalk, and a lime-based binder, a non-toxic concrete and insulation alternative (hempcrete) is born. What makes hempcrete so attractive is that hemp is (a) a rapidly renewable resource and (b) absorbs high amounts of carbon dioxide both while it’s growing and even afterward in hempcrete form.
Now that LEED has grown to become the world’s most widely used green building rating system, green construction is becoming increasingly profitable and desirable within the global construction industry.
Fueled by demand from health and environmentally conscious consumers, hemp sales in the US alone are expected to reach $1.25 billion by 2022.