Centuries old, hemp grows in popularity for home building

Centuries old, hemp grows in popularity for home building

The Cover photo from Harmless Home of hempcrete blocks for a home project in British Columbia. The woody fibers of the cannabis plant — it grows from seed to harvest in about four months — when mixed with lime produces a natural, light concrete that retains thermal mass and is highly insulating.

The Romans have been using it since the days of Julius Caesar, but not to get high. Both Washington and Jefferson grew it.

Now that several states have legalized the use of marijuana for some recreational and medical purposes, one of the biggest untapped markets for the cannabis plant itself — at least one variety — could be as a building tool.

The most sustainable building material is not concrete or steel — it is fast-growing hemp. Hemp structures date to Roman times. A hemp mortar bridge was constructed back in the 6th century, when France was still Gaul.

Now a wave of builders and botanists are working to renew this market. Mixing hemp’s woody fibers with lime produces a natural, light concrete that retains thermal mass and is highly insulating. No pests, no mold, good acoustics, low humidity, no pesticide. It grows from seed to harvest in about four months.

A strain of the ubiquitous Cannabis sativa, the slender hemp plant is truly weedlike in its ability to flourish in a wide variety of climates, growing as high as 15 feet and nearly an inch in diameter. The plant’s inner layer, the pith, is surrounded by a woody core called the hurd. This is the source of the tough fiber, which can be used for rope, sails and paper.

Hemp is typically planted in March and May in northern climes, or between September and November below the equator. Once cut, usually by hand, plants are left to dry for a few days before they’re bundled and dumped into vats of water, which swells the stalks. Those dried fibers are then blended for a variety of uses, such as adding lime. This creates blocklike bricks known as hempcrete.

Industrial hemp contains a mere 0.3 percent of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the substance responsible for the buzz when smoking weed. The cannabis present at a reggae fest, for instance, contains as much as 20 percent.

The two strains look different, too. Hemp’s sativa is taller; the shorter indica has resiny trichomes accounting for its psychoactive power. The rule goes: the better the budding flower, the poorer the hemp.

Also unlike pot, you cannot grow hemp in an indoor hydroponics setup; the plant’s deep roots need to spread, so outdoor cultivation is required. The plant’s seeds and leaves can be eaten raw, dried into powder or pressed into oils.

Getting a mature plant in just a few months — with less fertilizer than needed for industrial crops like corn, and without chemical fertilizers or bug sprays — makes the potential for profit huge. As hemp taps water underground, its long roots circulate air, which improves soil quality — another boon for farmers looking to rotate crops.

Battling the plant’s powerful drug connotation might be the toughest hurdle for farmers and builders, and is possibly a more formidable obstacle during the Trump administration. The plant is still highly regulated.

This January, though, California legalized use of the plant in full. And the federal farm legislation of 2014 legalized hemp’s cultivation for research purposes in universities in states where it has been approved by law. New York now funds a research initiative for as much as $10 million in grants toward hemp businesses, with participation in the pilot program from institutions that include Cornell University.

Still, in the United States special permits are needed to build with hemp, and the requirements can vary by county and state. The first modern hemp house was constructed in 2010, in North Carolina. There are now about 50 such homes in the country.

But not much hemp is grown here; a little less than 10,000 acres so far, enough for about 5,000 single-family homes. Cultivated acreage in Canada is double that, and in China’s Yunnan province, 10,000 farmers grow it. Roughly 30 nations now produce hemp, including Spain, Austria, Russia and Australia.

Hemp was rediscovered in the 1980s across Europe, where cultivation is legal, and France has became the European Union’s largest hemp producer. Hundreds of buildings across the continent use the substance as insulation to fill walls and roofs, and under floors in wood-framed buildings.

Manufacturers say it is ideal for low-rise construction, a product that is stuccolike in appearance and toxin-free. Its promoters also boast that it has a lower carbon footprint, requiring three times less heat to create than standard limestone concrete.

More like drywall than concrete, hempcrete cannot be used for a foundation or structure; it is an insulation that needs to breathe, said Joy Beckerman, a hemp law specialist and vice president of the Hemp Industries Association, a trade group.

Hemp should not be used at ground level, or it loses its resistance to mold and rot. Lime plaster coatings or magnesium oxide boards have to be applied to anything touching hempcrete, or the lime will calcify it and lose its ability to absorb and release water.

While that sounds like a lot of work, Beckerman pointed to the long-term payoff.

“In many climates, a 12-foot hempcrete wall will facilitate approximately 60-degrees indoor temperatures year-around without heating or cooling systems,” she said. “The overall environmental footprint is dramatically lower than traditional construction.”

There still are not international standards for building with hemp, or codes regulating how it should be used structurally or safely. ASTM International, a technical standards organization, formed a committee to address this in 2017.

Nonetheless, the use of hempcrete is spreading. A Washington state company is retrofitting homes with it. Left Hand Hemp in Denver completed the first permitted structure in Colorado last year. There’s Hempire in Ukraine, Inno-Ventures in Nepal. Israel’s first hemp house was constructed in March on the slopes of Mount Carmel.

Down south, New Zealanders turned 500 bales of Dutch hemp into a property that fetched around $650,000. In Britain, HAB Housing built five homes with hempcrete last year. Canada’s JustBioFiber recently completed a house on Vancouver Island with an interlocking internal framed hemp-block inspired by Legos.

It is a niche but growing sector of the cannabis market. In 2015, the Hemp Industries Association estimated the retail market at $573 million in the United States.

“When I started Hempitecture in 2013 and presented the concept, venture capitalists laughed at the idea,” said Matthew Mead, the founder of Hempitecture, a construction firm in Washington. “Now there are over 25 states with pro-hemp amendments and legislation, and the federal farm bill has its own provision supporting the development of research toward industrial hemp.”

One major issue is cultivation. Although it has been legal to grow hemp in Canada since 1998, farmers need to apply for licenses. In Australia, industrial hemp agriculture has been legal for more than 20 years.

In the United States, a provision in the farm bill removed hemp grown for “research purposes” from the Controlled Substances Act. Farmers and researchers in more than a dozen states can now import hemp seeds. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act, pending in the House for the seventh time, would exempt hemp plants in toto from the controlled substance designation, an Olympic leap toward a burgeoning agro-business.

Much like the “pot-repreneurs” who set up marijuana dispensaries a decade ago, before laws were definitive, a generation is pushing ahead despite uncertainties.

Sergiy Kovalenkov, 33, a Ukrainian civil engineer who spent the last three years building hemp structures and consulting on projects in Ukraine, France, Sweden and Jamaica, is beginning a project in California. The hardest steps, Kovalenkov said, are paperwork, permits and seeds.

“Building codes vary from state to state, with regulations in terms of fire and seismic activities,” he said. “If we’re talking sustainable product, seeds cannot come from Poland or France. It has to come from California.”

Only one facility in the United States processes hemp stocks, in North Carolina. Kovalenkov’s firm, Hempire USA, has also devised its own fiber separation system. “The demand is going to be quite big in the next three to five years,” Kovalenkov said.

But what does a hemp house smell like?

“It smells like comfort,” Kovalenkov said, laughing. “It smells a little like lime. We’re using the stock. You cannot smell cannabis — it has nothing to do with smoking weed or cannabis plants. It’s an industrial agriculture crop.”

In October, representatives from 14 countries attended the seventh annual Hemp Building Symposium at the International Hemp Building Association in Quebec. Terry Radford, the president of JustBioFiber Structural Solutions, an IT-pro-turned-tinkerer, unveiled a prefab hemp composite that could be more attractive to city planners and government building code officials.

“The problem with hempcrete right now,” he said, “is each one has to be inspected and have an exemption from the building code. It’s difficult for builders to get approved. If you’re trying to get a mortgage on your house, it’s pretty restrictive. That’s our biggest challenge.”

“Our idea is to get the material certified by building coders, rather than have each one approved,” he added. “The difference between hempcrete and my block product is that we’re a structural product. Hempcrete by itself is just an insulation.” The startup is preparing to produce a 112,000-square-foot facility in British Columbia.

Mead, the head of Hempitecture, echoes the concerns of others. For farmers to expand, he said, the infrastructure has to be there. Without a network to process materials, “it will be difficult for farmers to know if they can grow this crop and turn a profit.”

HempingtonPost.com is a media source presenting the most current & trusted Global HEMP/Cannabis Information

Reposted from the Las Vegas SUN – HarmlessHome & the New York TIMES

Superhero/Savior of Humanity

Superhero/Savior of Humanity

Industrial Hemp:brings together some of the leaders of the industrial hemp movement to discuss their views, research and experience.
View this outstanding publication

 The articles range from poetry by Native American activist John Trudell to an interview with David Bronner and Will Allen as they reminisce over being arrested for protesting in front of the DEA offices against the fact that industrial hemp is still considered to be a Schedule I substance.  Established contemporary artists Karen Gunderson and Glenn Goldberg create work from and about hemp while Mitch Epstein, one of the finest photographers of his generation, takes a stunning cover portrait of Alex White Plume wearing his grandfather’s feather bonnet.

Mia Feroleto, producer and creative director of HEMP NY CITY, edits this collection to share what is and the possibilities of what can be with industrial hemp.

1. Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of Vote Hemp on the history of industrial hemp and the industrial hemp movement

2. Joel Stanley, CW Botanicals
on the creation of Charlotte’s Web

3. Michael Carus, Nova
board member of the EU Industrial Hemp Association
on hemp in the EU

4. Jeffrey Silberman, Chairman of the Sustainable Textiles Department at FIT on hemp textiles

5. Will Allen, farmer and activist, named one of the 50 most influential people by Politico; and David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap
on their experience in the hemp movement as activists

6. Glenn Goldberg, artist
on his experience at Dieu Donne making hand made hemp paper works

7. Mike Lewis, founder of Growing Warriors and hemp farmer in Kentucky
on farming hemp and the founding of Growing Warriors

8. Heather Jackson, Executive Director of The Realm of Caring Foundation,
on her personal experience

9. Steve Allin, builder, on building with hempcrete around the world

10. Michael Reif, attorney, and Marcus Grignon, farmer and activist, on Native American issues with farming hemp

Knowing the Rules while Making Cannabis History!

Knowing the Rules while Making Cannabis History!

We are thrilled to share this excellent interview with Tyler Strause, Founder & President of RandysClub.org.

Enlightening, This interview is informing, inspiring and engaging, you will definitely find your time well spent!
A scientist at heart as well as a dedicated activist for this legacy industry of Cannabis/Hemp/Medicinals Strause knows what he talking about, it’s his life’s passion. I need say no more, listen UP!

we’re making Cannabis History!

Tyler Strause interviewed on The Cannabis Entrepreneur Show

This interview with Tyler allows us to gain a greater understanding as we emerge into this mega transitional Cannabis industry paradigm! ‘We are moving from unregulated to regulated. It’s important to discover and understand the truth within the Cannabis Hemp world while being aware of the rules of this game-changing industry…there are many rules & regulations!

The Strause Family work as a symbiotic unit with RandysClub

Find RandysCLub on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/cannaka.product/

find RandysRemedys Products here at HempingtonPost Marketplace
https://hempingtonpost.com/marketplace-view-all/

We hope you enjoy and become more enlightened just from tuning in- I know I did!

Join the Evolution
Darlene Mea
Founder/CEO
Hempington Post

.

Why HEMP can save humankind: Research scientist speaks out…

Why HEMP can save humankind: Research scientist speaks out…

Why the world’s most useful plant is illegal?

It’s all about corporate greed and government-control of the population. Hemp – one of the world’s most useful plants – has been used to create fuel, paper, clothing, food and natural medicine. So why has the United States (plus other countries) criminalized the production of this valuable commodity? (“Dirty” details below)

Discover the awesome healing power of hemp

One of the most power videos on HEMP you can experience   https://youtu.be/t-Vm9Zz8X64

this article is reposted from Jonathan Landsman, NaturalNews


The (ugly) reason why hemp is illegal

In 1901, Andrew Mellon (and his brother Richard) started an oil company in Texas called Gulf Oil. They wanted to drill in Kuwait but the British were in control – at that time. So, Gulf Oil appealed to the U.S. government and this is where it gets disturbing.

You see – Andrew Mellon gave up his position as Treasury Secretary of the U.S. (1921-1932) to become U.S. Ambassador to Britain (1932-1933). Naturally, as he traveled to Great Britain – he would bring up the subject of Gulf Oil’s interest in Kuwait. Just two years later, in 1934, British Petroleum and Gulf Oil struck a 50-50 deal and in 1938, struck oil!

The hidden agenda gets worse

In 1930, while Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department, Andrew Mellon appointed Harry Anslinger as the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Many political experts see Anslinger and his campaign against marijuana as a secret agenda to eliminate hemp as an industrial competitor. When you follow the money – everything gets a little clearer.

In the 1920’s and 30’s, the DuPont Petrochemical Company (heavily financed by Andrew Mellow) was making similar advances with oil – instead of hemp. DuPont went on to become a leader in the development of Rayon fiber (synthetic fabrics), paint, synthetic rubber, plastics and other (toxic) chemicals. Clearly, Andrew Mellon had a vested interest in destroying the hemp industry.

By the way, Andrew Mellon became one of the wealthiest people in the United States. In fact, while serving as Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, his wealth peaked at around $300 – $400 million by 1929 -30. Andrew Mellon, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and many other industrialists (of the early 1900’s) would stop at nothing to kill the hemp industry. It’s time to re-discover the power of hemp to heal the world.

The NaturalNews Talk Hour begins this Thursday evening at 6pm Pacific / 9pm Eastern,

and registration is FREE. Click this link – http://www.naturalhealth365.com and enter your email for FREE show details + a FREE gift!

John Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva, the world’s leading brand of organic hemp foods and coconut oil. John is the author of four books on hemp and composting – with over 1 Million copies sold. He has successfully sued the United States DEA to keep hemp foods legal in 2001 – and has founded (3) nonprofit ecological groups.

Knowledge is power! Learn how to dramatically improve your health.

HEMP VS PLASTICS 2017

HEMP VS PLASTICS 2017

Why Hemp Could Be The Future Of Plastics

The world of #Hemp is emerging faster then we can stay up with, and we’ve only just begun.  It’s definitely strange that hemp is safe and legal in some countries and not in others.  In the United States, we import over 1/2 billion dollars a year in hemp products from countries like China and Canada and some European Countries, yet our American farmers can not grow commercially.  These laws need to be changed as soon as possible, and here’s a great article to explain why. Hemp is a Multi-Billion dollar Industry ready and waiting to be grown!

Leslie Bocskor, investment banker and president of cannabis advisory firm Electrum Partners, is one of the most passionate people in the cannabis industry Benzinga has come across. In a recent chat, Benzinga asked him to discuss a topic he was passionate about, an issue he found particularly interesting.

The Rise Of A Hemp-Ire

Bocskor recently became fascinated with hemp. Not marijuana, but good old-fashioned hemp, the kind that was used to make fabrics in the nineteenth century. “I have been talking to some scientists and there is a conversation about hemp for plastic,” he began, pointing out that Henry Ford — Ford Motor Company F 0.18% — had built one of his first cars using hemp plastic. In fact, that car even ran on hemp fuel.

“This could potentially create the largest carbon-negative industry in the world,” he continued.

But, what does carbon negative even mean?

Nowadays, most plastics are hydrocarbon-based, which means they use fossil petrochemicals pulled out of the Earth to be made. Leaving any discussions about climate change, global warming and carbon emissions aside, it does not take much scientific knowledge to understand why the process of making plastics out of petrochemicals implies pollution.

Hemp plastic, on the other hand, is extremely useful or convenient for several reasons,

Bocskor went on.

1. “I’m told it doesn’t have any of the ‘ene’s.’ Toluene, benzene, things like that, which are the most toxic byproducts of plastics that are produced from hydrocarbons.”

2. “I’m told that hemp can be engineered for biodegrading that will reduce it into much less harmful compounds than the ones that can be done with hydrocarbon-based plastics.”

3. “We can have fields, acres, and acres, hectares of hemp farms that are pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere – as plants do. Then, that carbon from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere gets used to make the plastics, and the plastics, when they are going into a landfill and they are no longer usable, will biodegrade bringing carbon back into the soil [anecdotal data and initial research have suggested]. So, it’s essentially carbon negative, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it back into the soil.”

Better Understanding Hemp

It’s important to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. Although they both belong to the same genus and species, they characteristics differ widely. The main difference: hemp does not have enough THC to have significant psychoactive properties; this basically means it cannot be used to get high.

“Hemp is far less controversial than marijuana. So, it’s hard to understand why it isn’t supported by the U.S. government, to help remediate the soil and add to the crop rotation, and even help the farmers in states like West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia, who have been seeing reducing crops for tobacco — which so much of their economies have been based on,” Bocskor pointed out. “This is a crop that is not only able to replace tobacco, but it even grows more easily, remediates the soil and has so many other potential areas that we can go with it besides hemp plastic, and hemp paper.

“In fact, this is a crop that would not even need subsidies, unlike so many other crops that we grow,” he supplemented. “So, this is an opportunity to not only bring economic benefit back to those regions I mentioned before but to do it in a way that has so many more positives.”

Betting On The Future

Companies in the industrial hemp industry include:

However, the valuations of these companies are pretty low. We wondered why.

“You have to say converging market forces,” the expert explicated. “On the one hand, hemp is potentially disruptive to the paper industry, to the textile industry, and to the plastics industry. And, disruption is not something that anybody in any industry that has an established, long-running, well-entrenched business likes.”

As Albert O. Hirschman points out in his book “The Rhetoric of Reaction,” defenders of the status quo conceive change as risky, and thus use this argument to fight it.

“The disruption potential of hemp combined with the fact that it’s not as glamorous, interesting or immediately profitable as marijuana makes it difficult for the industry,” Bocskor continued, calling for increased research to back the growth of the environmentally-friendly industry.

“I happen to think that the global hemp market could easily be bigger than the cannabis market in 10 years,” the specialist concluded. “When you start to look at the paper market, the textile market for cotton, the plastics market on a global scale, you realize that these are industries that dwarf what could be the cannabis market on a global basis.”

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