COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL HEMP
The Hemp Story
There are well over 25,000 documented uses for Hemp. Research shows that hemp can be a viable substitute for plastics, being used in automotive panelling, building constructions, and recreational products.
In recent years, industrial hemp has been viewed world-wide as a versatile and environmentally friendly plant that has many industrial applications. Currently hemp is legally grown in Canada and many European and Asian countries. Authorities across Australia are now examining industrial hemp as a viable commercial crop, where the current consumer and business environment will certainly make industrial hemp cultivation and processing commercially feasible.
Many consumers are starting to prefer products made from natural materials. This is evident with the emergence of hemp products from international companies and organisations, such as “The Body Shop”, who are sourcing natural hemp materials for a number of their products.
Industrial hemp, when grown in rotation, may reduce weeds and raise yields for crops grown in following years. Several agronomic studies have found that industrial hemp is more effective than other crops at reducing selected weeds. One study found that industrial hemp raised yields by improving soil ventilation and water balance.
Before beginning a discussion of the uses for industrial hemp products, it is worthwhile to define a few terms.
One of the frequently cited positive qualities of industrial hemp is that there are numerous available applications and uses. Applications have been discovered for using hemp in everything from food products to textiles to structural materials. Consequently, the viability of industrial hemp as an agricultural crop is strongly linked to these markets and products for which hemp can feasibly be used to produce.