Recently we found ourselves at the base of the Himalayas where wild hemp thrives. During this time we were blown away by the potential of hemp and it occurred to us that more often than not, the industrial properties of the cannabis plant tend to be misunderstood.
In order to help set the record straight, here a several common misconceptions about hemp:
1. Hemp Can Get You “High”
The THC levels in hemp varieties are practically non-existent, therefore no one can get high from smoking it. Don’t bother trying!
2. Hemp is just for Hippies
Hemp is far more prevalent in the marketplace than you may realise. Ford, Mercedes, and BMW have been using hemp-based composites in their cars for a decade. Popular brands such as Adidas, Nike, Converse and Vans have created products from hemp.
The marketplace for hemp ranges from textiles and building materials to health foods and beauty products. There is a growing demand by all walks of life for this versatile, eco-friendly resource.
3. Hemp can’t benefit the economy.
Hemp products like food, clothing and nutritional supplements make up a $450 million dollar industry right now. The entire plant can be harvested from it’s roots to its stalk to its seeds. These parts can then be turned into health foods, clothing, building materials, skin care products, paper and much more. Although this is a controversial and complex topic, there is definite scope for improved economic efficiency.
4. Hemp clothing is uncomfortable
The hemp fibre used in clothing is a strong natural fibre that, like cotton, gets progressively softer with each passing day you wear it and each time you wash it. Although it may not start off quite as soft, it is still soft and certainly would not be considered uncomfortable.
The plus is that the fibre is much stronger and durable. Repeated washing will not break the fibre down anywhere near as quickly as cotton.
5. Hemp doesn’t help our environment
Image Credit: Vegan Lynx
The fastest growing species of tree takes at least ten years to reach maturity. Hemp only takes three to four months. Even at this rapid growth rate, hemp requires no pesticides. In fact, it doesn’t require any chemicals at all to grow whereas cotton accounts for 25% of pesticide use worldwide. The growing nature of the plant competes with weeds and over-powers their ability to sustain themselves.
Hemp requires less land and doesn’t damage the soil unlike cotton. Planting hemp actually improves the soil with products made soley from hemp completely biodegradable and recyclable.
Although the two plants are related and oftentimes referred to as “cousins”, hemp is not the same plant as marijuana. Many people will make this mistake in casual conversation, however it is in fact not true.
Hemp and marijuana are both distinct varieties of the Cannabis plant, but the two have very distinct differences. Marijuana contains high levels as THC. Hemp, however contains only trace amounts of the substance and cannot be used as a psychoactive drug like marijuana.
There are clear benefits of using hemp to promote sustainability and preservation of the environment. Therefore, we are excited to expand our product range to apparel made from wild hemp fibres. Hemp bags & clothing will be live on the Duffle & Co. website soon.