Hemp is a low-TetraHydroCannabinoid (THC) variety of Cannabis Sativa plant, grown for centuries as a source of fibres and oil. The primary-processing of the hemp tree produces five main products; three products from the hemp stalk (fibres and its by-product – tow plus hurds) and two products from the seeds (oil and its by-product the seedcake). A combination of these five hemp products offers a wide array of high-value industrial applications in a number of industries including bio fuel, cosmetics, textile, nutrition, automotive, animal care, biomass and construction.

Hemp Properties

 

Renewable natural source of fibre

  • Hemp is a renewable source of fibre whose family Cannabis Sativa has natural growing conditions in South Africa.
  • Hemp is an extremely fast growing crop that takes 3 months to maturity.

Superior yields per ha

  • Hemp fibres yield per ha is normally four times that of most plant fibre yields.
  • Hemp farmers can earn R25,000 per ha compared with R13,000 averaged by most crops planted during the same time.
  • Hemps ability to assist with soil regeneration makes hemp best used as a rotational crop so immediately increases revenue generated from the use of land and also promotes food security from rotational food cropping.

Durability and special qualities

  • Hemp fibres are superior in strength and most durable of all natural fibres.
  • Blended with other fibres, hemp adds value to natural composites and textiles.
  • Due to its porous nature, hemp is more water absorbent and dye friendly.
  • Hemp composites are stronger than plastic and lighter than steel.
  • Adding 20% of hemp oil increases the qualities of bio fuels.
  • Blending hemp oil with flax/pumpkin oil increases omega 3, 6, 9 content.

Earth Friendly

  • Hemp is a completely biodegradable plant
  • Hemp can be grown without the use of fertilisers and chemical pesticides.
  • Hemp roots are deep regenerating the soil and prevent soil erosion / exhaustion.
  • Hemp leaves adding rich organic matter to the topsoil and retains its moisture.
  • Hemp breathes so that it is cool in warm weather and warm in cooler weather.
  • The hemp plant produces cellulose fibres that are purer than wood fibres.
  • Most insects cause only limited damage to hemp, thus it seldom uses insecticides.
  • SA’s dew means hemp can be pre-processed without water pollution.

Social Development

  • Hemp is labour intensive employing up to five people per hectare.
  • Hemp in the rural areas assists with job-creation and poverty eradication.
  • Setting up a primary processing plant would employ at least 1000 people.
  • Hemp variant applications give opportunities for skills development in the whole value chain including from farming and down stream beneficiating.

Enterprise Development

  • Hemp’s value chain of hemp gives several entrepreneurial opportunities.

The Hemp Industry Today

Given its association with high THC content Cannabis Sativa plants, hemp was banned in 1928. However, the 1990’s saw renewed global interest in industrial hemp as ecological regulatory policies increasingly favour eco-friendly produce. Today most EU governments offer incentives for researching and cultivating hemp for commercial purposes. The hemp industry has high potential for sustainability in the short and long term for three reasons: it has multiple uses, it supplies a growing industry and it is environmentally friendly. Hemp offers a wide array of high-value industrial applications and bi-products in many industries:

Hemp has been adopted by more than 30 countries across the world as an established agricultural commodity including Australia, Austria, California, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hawaii, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Korea, Portugal, Thailand, the UK and the Ukraine. In Africa Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique are investigating opportunities for establishing hemp industries.

More Awesome Facts

  • Contains less than 1% THC = non-smokable.
  • Grows easily just about anywhere.
  • Is used to produce goodness in many shapes and sizes.