Ministry of Hemp

Ministry of Hemp

America's leading advocate for hemp

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Cannabis Hemp Car looks to reverse Climate Change

  Ministry of Hemp talks with Bruce Michael Dietzen, founder of Renew Sports Cars – the startup that created the Cannabis Car.   We sat down with Bruce to learn…

 

Ministry of Hemp talks with Bruce Michael Dietzen, founder of Renew Sports Cars – the startup that created the Cannabis Car.

 


Bruce Michael Dietzen with his Cannabis Hemp Car
We sat down with Bruce to learn how he transitioned from being a National Sales Manager at Dell to starting a car company that could fundamentally change the landscape of the transportation industry.

But first, here is a bit of history. The original Hemp Car was introduced by Henry Ford back in 1941. This car was made from hemp, soy, flax wheat straw and ramie, and powered by hemp fuel made from the agricultural waste. Henry Ford was a hemp farmer, just like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and he was inspired to create the car not out of a concern about the environment, but to help struggling American farmers. Through this effort, Ford inadvertently almost paved the way for sustainable, carbon neutral cars. Yet, his discovery laid hidden for over 75 years.

Bruce talks about “Renew-ing” Ford’s vision and the benefits which hemp-based vehicles will bring.

Let’s start from the beginning. How did you first get introduced to hemp?

Bruce Dietzen: It was quite by accident actually. I had already begun the process of designing a car inspired by numerous European race cars from the 1950s. Back in those days, while American designers thought rocket ships were sexy, Europeans designers thought the only thing that was sexy was the voluptuous curves of a woman. In my humble opinion, they were right then, and that design maxim still holds true today. So I was simply designing a sexy car.

So what happened then?

 

“I knew I had to follow in Henry Ford’s footsteps.”

 

BD: That’s when someone told me “If you want something beyond just sexy and truly world changing, check out what Henry Ford did with his hemp car.” So I did. As it turns out, Ford spent 12 years, from 1929 to 1941, planning to make and fuel all future Ford Motor vehicles from plants like cannabis hemp.


henry ford built hemp car in 1941

He actually made a car with hemp?

BD: Yes. To draw a comparison, Henry Ford was the Steve Jobs of his day. He was always thinking years ahead. So I was compelled to look into his supposed hemp car in depth. And with some help from my new found friend Brandon Pitcher of Hemp Circle Industries and his network of analysts, we calculated just how green Henry Ford’s prototype hemp car really. Frankly, we were shocked with what we found.

What did you find?

BD: Henry Ford had discovered how to make cars from hemp that were four times greener than today’s electric vehicles, almost 75 years ago. That’s when I knew I had to follow in Henry Ford’s footsteps.

Four times greener? Most people assume that electric cars are the ultimate green solution. How is that possible?

BD: A Union of Concerned Scientists study recently concluded that the Lifetime Carbon Footprint (LCF) of today’s electric vehicles are about half that of gasoline cars. Unfortunately, they forgot to factor in that electric vehicles need a second set of lithium ion batteries in order to reach today’s average Vehicle Miles Traveled of 227,200 miles. Once, you factor a second set of batteries in, electric vehicles have an Lifetime Carbon Footprint that’s 66% of gas cars.

How does Henry Ford’s Hemp Car stack up against that?

BD: By making every component he possibly could from carbon negative plants like hemp, Ford offset the other carbon positive components. As a result, he effectively negated the CO2 generated during the manufacturing process which is usually about 23% of an internal combustion vehicle’s Life Carbon Footprint. He then fueled his car with cellulosic ethanol made from hemp remnants, which today is considered a second generation biofuel and 86% greener than gasoline. So the math was simple from there. Electric vehicles s have a footprint that’s 66% of gas cars, while Ford’s hemp car had a footprint that was 14% of gas cars. That’s a pretty big difference.

4.7 times greener. I get it. So what are the implications?

BD: Electric Vehicles aren’t going to save the planet but Ford’s vision could. The world’s fleet of cars and trucks is projected to increase by 2.5 times by 2050. Just to hold steady with the total CO2 they generate today, 100% of cars would have to be electric (of which only 50% are projected), and their footprint would have to drop from 66% of gas cars to 40%. That’s not going to be easy considering that the aluminum, lithium and petro-plastics used to make electric vehicles are intensely carbon positive, and the electricity used to charge electric vehicles will still be highly fossil fuel dependent for decades to come due to increased demand for more electricity.

By contrast, let’s envision today’s existing cars and trucks running on a biofuel that’s compatible with today’s liquid fuel infrastructure. Something like cellulosic Biobutanol. This is not only possible to do with minor modifications to existing engines, but the entire infrastructure required to produce these types of fuels right here in the States would cost less than the cost to build the F35 fighter jet. And the amount of CO2 which our vehicles add to the environment would be cut by 87% within a decade.

That’s quite a contrast. But you believe we could take a step beyond that right? Your vehicles could actually help reverse climate change?

 

“It’s now possible to create carbon negative fuels which are 100% compatible with the gas powered cars on the road today.”

 

BD: Yes. Again, by using agricultural waste, apparently it’s now possible to create carbon negative fuels which are 100% compatible with the gas powered cars on the road today. This type of fuel is carbon negative because it yields a byproduct called biochar which gets plowed back into agricultural soils. So some of the CO2 which plants pull out of the environment gets recycled, and some of it gets buried or “sequestered.” Using these types of fuels, we can actually help reverse climate change with every mile we travel.

And the agricultural waste from hemp plants can be used to make carbon negative fuels?

BD: Yes, as well as any other type of agricultural waste or yard trimmings.

You were a National Sales Manager at Dell, effectively retired, and had moved to Florida. You could’ve just kicked back and enjoyed retirement. What motivated you to launch this startup?

BD: I didn’t want to look back at the end of my life on this little blue ball and think “Wow, I sold a lot of computers.” I saw an opportunity to help save the planet and I took it.


Why use hemp in particular?

 

“Body panels and chassis components made from hemp are lighter weight than steel or metal, and are are far more dent resistant than steel. Every bit of plastic, carpeting and upholstery in a car can be made of hemp.”

 

BD: For car production, nothing beats hemp. Body panels and chassis components made from hemp are lighter weight than steel or metal, and are are far more dent resistant than steel. Every bit of plastic, carpeting and upholstery in a car can be made of hemp. So as I mentioned earlier, all of these components, when made from carbon negative hemp instead of carbon positive materials can reduce the lifetime carbon footprint of cars by up to 23%.

There are other plants we could use of course, but hemp grows faster than just about any other plant that can be used to make products. It needs far less fertilizer, insecticides and water. Its yield is higher and it’s actually good for the soil. It not only produces some of the strongest fiber in nature, but also produces very nutritious seeds as well as something called Cannabidiol which is being used to treat dozens of illnesses from Epilepsy to Alzheimers to Cancer. It’s the most versatile and beneficial planet on Earth.

So Henry Ford made the original hemp car back in 1941, but it never commercialized. Why do you think it never did?

BD: Oh it would have. And we all would likely be driving Cannabis Cars today if it weren’t for World War II. Ford had been working on his cannabis car for 12 years. In his mind, all vehicles would be made and fueled by plants in the future. But only months after debuting his car, President FDR, who was on a mission to “War Time Mobilize” the country, visited Ford in Dearborn and convinced him to stop making cars and make bombers instead. So for the duration of the war, that’s exactly what Ford did. During that period, Mr. Ford suffered several strokes, and then passed away shortly after the war ended. Several years later, his hemp prototype was destroyed for some undocumented reason, and Henry Ford’s greatest achievement was nearly lost to history.

It’s a fascinating story. In fact, we plan to make an episode in an upcoming Docu-series that does just that. So here’s the bottom line. Ford helped win the war, but he could have saved the planet.

So, do you think Henry Ford’s vision will ever come to fruition?

BD: Absolutely. In my humble opinion, we have no other choice than to adopt his vision and ‘War Time Mobilize’ once again. Because the war against climate change is the going to be the most important war humanity has ever faced.

 

“We have no other choice than to adopt his vision.”

 

Climatologists are now saying that we need to take dramatic measures beyond simply banning fossil fuels. We need to be actively sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. One of the most effective ways that we will hopefully be doing this in the near future is by making our durable goods, our vehicles and our fuels from carbon negative plants like hemp.

Do you think a car like this can become commercially viable? If so, what do you envision the price point to be?


Cannabis Hemp Car in Dallas TX
BD: Certainly. At an entry level price of $40,000 we already have a car that’s only a little more expensive than the average boring-mobile. And the high end, 640 hp version of the car is roughly half the price of exotic cars with comparable power to weight ratios.

What do you see as the biggest challenge/obstacle to get to that vision?

BD: The biggest challenge right now is financing individual car purchases. We get a lot of interest in the car, but most folks don’t have 40 thousand in cash. So we need to sell the first 20 cars or so for cash, establishing a value for these cars in the market. At that point, the financing companies will be more willing to finance or lease these vehicles.

This is one of those innovations that could truly change the fundamental landscape of the transportation/auto industry. How could the public support you?

BD: Folks can not only support Renew Sports Cars, but all the emerging companies making hemp products. Simply googling ‘hemp’ and buying hemp products can help grow the hemp industry. Every time they buy a hemp product, they not only support hemp related businesses, but they help save the planet.

We’d love to learn more about the Cannabis car you built.

BD: The best way to do that I suppose is to visit the Renew Sports Cars web site.

So, what’s next for you & Renew Sports Cars?

BD: The next thing we plan to do is build a few high performance versions of this car. One may be electric, and another one will have a 640 horsepower internal combustion engine capable of running on either gas or even 100% second and third generation biofuels. At roughly 2,900 pounds, it will have a power to weight ratio comparable to supercars in the half million dollar range, at less than half the price. I’m hoping that is going to get us on the cover of Car and Driver. I’d like to see that!


Cannabis hemp Car Documentary
The other thing I’m working on is a Docu-series with Diana Oliver who produced Hempsters, Plant the Seed. It’s called Hempsters, Cannabis Car and we’ll be traveling across the country investigating if all of these stories we keep hearing about cannabis being used to save lives and save the planet are really true…in a car made of cannabis hemp!

Thanks for your time today Bruce. We love the work you’re doing for hemp and look forward to seeing many more hemp cars in the future!

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Hippie Butter Review | Hemp Seed Butters

During the past week, we had the opportunity to try Hippie Butter’s Hemp Seed Butter products. Hippie Butter offers two different types of seed butter: The Gourmet Hemp Seed Butter…

During the past week, we had the opportunity to try Hippie Butter’s Hemp Seed Butter products. Hippie Butter offers two different types of seed butter: The Gourmet Hemp Seed Butter (original flavor) and The Cacao Hemp Seed Butter (chocolate flavor). So we’ll break this review down for each of those products.

Hippie Butter Hemp Seed Butter Products

Hippie Butter’s Gourmet Hemp Seed Butter and Cacao Hemp Seed Butter

The Gourmet Hemp Seed Butter

PRESENTATION & TEXTURE

Honestly, when I first opened the bottle, I wasn’t sure what to think. The content was green with a consistency similar to that of peanut butter. It wasn’t the most appealing color to be honest. As their website puts it, the Gourmet Hemp Seed Butter is “the finely ground and pressed form of the Hemp Seed. It has a green tinge to it due to its healthy chlorophyll content.”

TASTE

The gourmet hemp butter has a very natural taste that you will find strangely addicting. Since its just a grounded version of hemp seeds, the unique nutty flavor of hemp seeds is even more accented. It might taste a bit “different” or “too unique” at first, but this taste really grows on you. If you want to add some sweetness to this nutty flavor, I found adding some honey or cinnamon to be really effective.

The Cacao Hemp Seed Butter


Hippie Butter's Cacao Hemp Butter
PRESENTATION & TEXTURE

The Cacao Hemp Butter definitely has a more appealing look than the Gourmet – as you would assume since it is chocolate flavored. The butter is reddish brown with white hulled hemp seeds visible throughout. The consistency is a bit harder than the Gourmet hemp butter. After putting it in the refrigerator, the butter got a bit harder, so it didn’t really “spread” on my toast. But, honestly, it wasn’t too hard using a knife to get the butter out of the jar.

TASTE

Hippie Butter really did an amazing job on the flavor of the Cacao Hemp Butter. With a dark chocolate and nutty taste, the Cacao Hemp Butter really makes you crave more. The chocolate isn’t too sweet, as the nutty flavor counterbalances the sweetness. So the sweetness will never feel like you had “too much”. Since it is chocolate flavored, there was no need for me to add anything else to the butter. Honestly, it’s like a much healthier version of a Nutella.

WAYS TO EAT THE HEMP SEED BUTTERS


Spreading Cacao Hemp Butter on Apples

Spreading Gourmet Hemp Butter on Bread

I tried out the hemp seed butters in several different ways for the next couple days. I toasted some bread and made myself a hemp seed butter sandwich, cut up some apples and dipped them in the hemp butter, and I also just grabbed a spoon and ate a spoonful of it as a snack. I’m sure there’s plenty of other ways you could eat it as a snack – spreading it across some crackers, mixing it with your smoothie, etc.

Personally, for the Gourmet Hemp Seed Butter, I enjoyed spreading it on my apples the most. The sweetness of an apple really blended well with the nutty flavor of the original hemp seed flavor. For the Cacao Hemp Butter, I loved spreading it on a toast and enjoying it as a late night snack. It really satisfies all your “sweet tooth” cravings at night, and is a much healthier alternative!

NUTRITION


Gourmet Hemp Butter Nutrition Facts
What I really LOVED about the hemp butters was the dietary effects that I noticed in the past few weeks that I’ve been eating them. As Hippie Butter describes on their website, hemp seed butters “offer virtually perfect nutrition”. It packs 11g of protein per serving while also packing the exact proportion of amino acids found in other sources of protein such as milk, eggs, meat, and soy. Setting these descriptive language aside, what I noticed most is how long hemp seed butter keeps you full for. After adding hemp seed butter to my breakfast (by either spreading it on my toast or apple), I’ve noticed that I don’t get hungry as quickly. I can last until lunch without having a snack. I also have felt a lot more energized throughout the day after adding hemp seed butter to my diet.

CONCLUSION

For those who are on the fence of trying any hemp seed products, I would recommend trying out Hippie Butter’s Hemp Seed Butters. They’re a great way to add hemp seeds to your diet and for you to fall in love with hemp! Below is my final summary of their hemp seed butter products:


Hippie Buter Hemp Seed Butter Review Graph





The Ministry of Hemp team personally reviews unique hemp brands and their products to share the benefits and interesting aspects of the application of hemp. We share our honest thoughts and opinions, with the goal to help guide your next hemp purchase.

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Hemp offers sustainable solutions to our earth-killing practices

With global warming causing more droughts and weather irregularities across the globe, hemp offers a viable long-term sustainable solution to replace many of our current earth-damaging practices Hemp, the non-psychoactive…

With global warming causing more droughts and weather irregularities across the globe, hemp offers a viable long-term sustainable solution to replace many of our current earth-damaging practices


hemp farming offers sustainable solutions

Hemp, the non-psychoactive strains of the Cannabis family, was once one of the most ubiquitous plants in the world. First found around 8,000 BCE in central Asia, hemp spread across multiple continents through the ages and was a fundamental part of the agricultural revolution. Throughout several civilizations, hemp was used for food, textiles, oil, and industrial purposes. Yet, after getting confused with marijuana in the 1900s, hemp was soon outlawed and forgotten. Many of its benefits were lost in the modern world.

Popular Mechanics published an article back in 1941 with findings that hemp “can be used to produce more than 25,000 products”. In several other countries, hemp has continued to be used for food, textiles, and even in construction to build houses that are more energy efficient than regular buildings.


popular mechanics hemp billion dollar crop

Hemp can help our Farmers and the Planet

The best part of hemp is that its applications are completely eco-friendly and sustainable.

Farmers can actually restore the health of their farmland by planting hemp as it eliminates the need to use agrochemicals such as herbicides or pesticides. Since hemp grows so densely and its roots are so deep, it kills off weeds naturally.

Planting hemp can offer an alternative solution to many of our current practices that are damaging this planet. With a growing cycle of only 4–6 months, hemp is a more sustainable option than trees for paper. Anything you can make out of fossil fuel, you can make out of hemp. This includes energy, plastic, or any other petroleum based products.


hemp's diverse applications

Hemp has too many applications for us to ignore, especially as we fight an uphill battle against climate change. Bringing hemp back could be key to our sustainability efforts in preserving our soil and natural resources. Developing different applications of hemp and spreading it to the mainstream will help increase the supply of hemp and jumpstart a shift to a healthier society.

It’s time for us to take another look at hemp

We encourage you to learn more about the benefits and uses of hemp by getting involved with hemp events in your city. This is a fantastic way to meet hemp enthusiasts in your community, while helping to grow hemp awareness.

You can also support the hemp movement by writing to your legislators. Ask them to support the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to legalize hemp allow our farmers to grow this crop. Zev Paiss, the founder of the National Hemp Association, claims “The Industrial Hemp Farming Act could be the largest jobs bill that Congress can pass in 2016”.

Help us get the American agriculture back on track.

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Building Green Houses Through Hemp – Tiny Hemp Houses

Ministry of Hemp sits down with John Patterson, educational director at Hemp Solutions and founder of Tiny Hemp Houses to learn about building green through hemp Tiny Hemp Houses is…

Ministry of Hemp sits down with John Patterson, educational director at Hemp Solutions and founder of Tiny Hemp Houses to learn about building green through hemp

John Patterson Hemp

Tiny Hemp Houses is changing the game in how we build houses.

Rather than using the dry walls, synthetic paint, and other hazardous materials, John Patterson uses a mixture of hemp, called hempcrete, which is completely natural and sustainable. To help raise awareness of what hemp can do for us in construction and industrial applications, Tiny Hemp Houses offers hemp building classes and education opportunities on hempcrete to the general public.

This week, we got the opportunity to chat with John to learn about his passion for hemp and to get an overview on hempcrete and its benefits.

Hi John, thanks for taking the time. To kick it off, could you share your background and your role in the hemp community today?

John Patterson: I’ve been a carpenter most of my life and have always looked for better ways to build houses. I especially was always looking to try to build more eco-friendly and “green” – but I had a hard time finding a commodity that was actually green and compatible for construction.

That was almost 4–5 years ago. I then started doing online research and looked at various ingredients like straws. That’s when I came across a hemp building class and jumped at the opportunity. I haven’t turned back since. After learning how it works, I started running hemp workshops, helped people build hemp houses, and also educated them on hempcrete.

hemp house

Six months ago, I even joined up with Hemp Solutions as an Education Director.

How did you first get introduced to hemp and what inspired your passion for it?

JP: My earliest memory of hemp was back when I was 8 years old. My uncle had a 5 acre farm, where there was a small batch of hemp field. I can recall this because there’s a picture of me near that field. I loved going out there as it was a taste of farm life for us.

But one day, we got to my uncle’s farm and there were like 9 cop cars. They were burning the hemp field. They claimed that it was marijuana, but I knew even at that young age that it wasn’t a drug that was growing on the farm.

This left a lasting impression on me and I think that’s why I got so interested when I learned about that hemp building class. Before then, I never knew that you could use hemp for construction or anything like that.

“We really need to stop digging for resources and start growing them above ground.”

My passion for hemp continues to grow because of its potential. The building material industry is huge and applications of hemp are growing. For example, at Hemp Solutions, we are developing a water filtration system with hemp.

There are so many things that the world needs and we really need to stop digging for resources and start growing them above ground.

Hempcrete is still a foreign concept for the general public – could you provide us an overview of what it is and how it works?

“Hempcrete can be a sustainable replacement for dry walls, insulation, exterior boardings, house wraps, and paint.”

JP: Hempcrete, unlike what its name implies, is actually not a replacement for concrete.

Hempcrete is the mix of the inner part of the hemp plant – called “hurd” – and a lime based binder. It is used for thermal wall system and can be a sustainable replacement for dry walls, insulation, exterior boardings, house wraps, and paint.

Hempcrete

So how it actually works is when you’re building a house, you still have to use concrete to lay the foundation and build up the framework. But then, with hemp lime binding, you wrap the frame with our mix and it creates a wall that replaces all the other components that I mentioned before.

What’s great about hempcrete is that you can use it for your floor, wall, and even your ceiling. It works great as a thermal insulator and allows you to live in a healthy environment.

Do you think that the US is behind other industrialized countries in hemp research and development? How do you see that affecting us?

JP: Most definitely – Europe has been using hemp and lime based binders for at least 20 years. It’s now a much more accepted material over there and they’ve done a lot of testing. They make hundreds of buildings a year whereas the United States has only built about ten structures total.

But I don’t think that should discourage us. We can catch up because there’s proof of concept and things we can borrow from Europe. I’ve been invited to teach hemp building classes in Poland and many cities in the United States. Hemp building experts from around the globe are willing to teach us what they’ve learned in the hemp industry. Europeans are realizing that hemp will soon take off in the US – and they know that when US gets interested in something, a lot of demand and innovation occurs.

Among different hemp applications, what makes most sense for the US to develop?

JP: Some hemp strains grow better in certain areas compared to others. If you’re harvesting for seed, Canada is a good climate for that. Southern climates are better for the stalks. Colorado seems to be doing well growing hemp for CBD applications.

The United States is a big place, so I think we can focus on different applications for different regions. It’ll also be up to where the demand comes from. The market will create the demand for the farmers. We have to form the market for more farmers to grow hemp and for more processors to be put in place to process the hemp.

Before we have a market, there’s no reason for the farmers to grow it.

“It’ll be up to the ingenuity of the people in the industry to utilize hemp- how can industrial hemp be good replacements for currently used components?”

Where I think the opportunities lay in the US is by growing good stalk strain and hurd. But it’ll be up to the ingenuity of the people in the industry to utilize these supplies – how can industrial hemp be good replacements for currently used components?

How has the hemp landscape in the US changed while you’ve been involved?

JP: When you look at the NoCo Hemp Expo, you can tell how much the landscape has changed in the three years its been around. Just by observing the venue and professionalism, you can tell how much the industry has grown.

It was much smaller in the first year – it was hosted at a large bar. Last year, we saw many new companies displaying about hemp. This year – year 3 – there were bigger companies, more investments, fancier brochures and better marketing. You can tell that more people are noticing hemp. Real businesspeople and farmers are taking hemp seriously.

More investors are interested in hemp, are more aware of it, and are making decisions to put money into hemp. In previous years, they might have been said “What a great idea, but can I make any money with it?”

Now, they are actually seeing the numbers coming out of Canada, Europe, and even Colorado.

How do you see the hemp industry continuing to change in the near future? What is your biggest concern?

JP: It does hamper the enthusiasm since hemp is not federally legalized. We need the national movement. If we drag our feet too long and over-regulate, people won’t be interested in hemp.

When the government states it as a drug, people will be turned off. Until the ban is lifted, we’ll only have small cottage farmers growing hemp. The big guys won’t get in it until they see more momentum. People don’t want to lose their farms and go to jail.

I agree that the timeline of deregulation is probably the biggest risk for hemp’s future in the US. But on the flip side, what excites you the most?

JP: I’m extremely excited that we’ve had the momentum that we’ve had. With all the attention we’re gaining, it’ll soon be like trying to stop a freight train . I’m excited to see the positive movement continuing to grow to help lift the federal ban.

I also am excited for the higher tech applications of hemp. I expect to see more usage in transportation, like bodies of cars. As I mentioned before, we are looking into a water filtration system – using hemp as a way to filter water using bio based technologies.

It’s exciting how many companies and industries are already interested in the use of hemp even before it’s legalized. The people are ready for it. People need to be pissed off that we’ve been lied to about one of the most useful plants in the world.

What type of impact do you want to make for hemp?

“We want to educate people towards a more bio-based economy and let people know what is really affecting their health – what they eat, where they live, and even their communities.”

JP: Our education mission is not only to un-do what was done to hemp, but to enlighten people to all of the great uses that we can develop to change the way we live. We have a lot of work to do still. When I travel to places outside of Colorado, a lot of places are unaware of hemp’s many uses and what it can do for their local economy.

My goal is to let people know they have options for their resources – industrial hemp is one of them. We want to educate people towards a more bio-based economy and let people know what is really affecting their health – what they eat, where they live (homes) and their communities.

Thanks for all your great insights today. Are there any final comments you’d like to leave behind with our readers?

JP: I would encourage everyone to learn more about how hemp building works and the impact that it could make in our community. I have a hemp building workshop coming up in May that I’d like to share with everyone. Check out the flyer and come learn more about hemp building!


Hempcrete information flyer John Patterson

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Hemp vs Cotton: How Cotton is killing the earth

Cotton has become the de facto source for materials ranging from apparel, bags, sheets, towels, and pretty much most other household fabric. Approximately half of all textiles are made of…

Cotton has become the de facto source for materials ranging from apparel, bags, sheets, towels, and pretty much most other household fabric. Approximately half of all textiles are made of cotton.

Yet, we don’t hear much about the impact cotton makes to our environment.


cotton vs hemp

Here are some quick facts:

  • Cotton is the largest user of water among all agricultural commodities
  • It can take 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt
  • Cotton cultivation severely degrades soil quality. In the past 70 years, cotton production has depleted and degraded the soil in many areas
  • Cotton farming uses 25% of the world’s pesticides and consumes 7% of all fertilizers
  • Runoff of pesticides, fertilizers, and minerals from cotton fields contaminates rivers, lakes, wetlands, and underground aquifers
  • These pollutants affect biodiversity and have caused species extinction throughout the world

Considering this reality,the World Wild Life contends that current cotton production methods are environmentally unsustainable — ultimately undermining the industry’s ability to maintain future production.

So what can we do about it?

It’s unlikely that we’ll stop wearing cotton shirts tomorrow. We can’t just start boycotting cotton products – what would we wear if it wasn’t for cotton? Yet, we can start building the foundation that could provide us with an alternative to cotton. Yes, we probably won’t ever be able to “get rid of” cotton, but we can at least reduce its production level to a sustainable amount. And what better alternative is there than hemp.

“I believe that hemp is going to be the fiber of choice in both the home furnishing and fashion industries” – Calvin Klein

Hemp offers us a viable, affordable, and sustainable option to moving away from cotton:

  • Hemp uses 50% less water than cotton to produce
  • It does not require any agrochemicals such as pesticides or fertilizers
  • Hemp actually helps improve soil condition and stabilization thanks to its long, fast-growing taproots
  • Hemp’s wide climatic adaptation and fast-growing foot-long roots allow it to thrive in drought-damaged soil
  • Hemp offers 8X the tensile strength and 4X the durability of cotton

When more consumers, textile manufacturers, and apparel brands become aware of hemp, it will become a viable alternative to cotton. Many pioneers of the clothing industry have already predicted this, including Calvin Klein saying, “I believe that hemp is going to be the fiber of choice in both the home furnishing and fashion industries”.

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Zev Paiss – Founder of National Hemp Association

The National Hemp Association, founded in 2014, is dedicated to the re-birth of industrial hemp in America. Their mission is to help connect farmers, processors, manufactures, researchers, investors and policy…

The National Hemp Association, founded in 2014, is dedicated to the re-birth of industrial hemp in America. Their mission is to help connect farmers, processors, manufactures, researchers, investors and policy makers to accelerate the growth of this important industry in the US.

Zev Paiss profile

Zev Paiss

Zev is the Executive Director of NHA and was one of the core founders of the organization.

Hi, Zev. Thanks again for taking the time. I’ve been looking forward to learning more about your background and your work with NHA.

Zev Paiss: Thank you

What’s your background and how did you first learn about hemp?

ZP: I’ve been a sustainability educator and consultant for 30-35 years. I’ve worked in areas such as renewable energy, urban agriculture, alternative transportation, and healthy organic foods.

I first learned about hemp about 4-5 years ago, and was amazed at how it could provide a sustainable alternative for so many different products and industries. So when Colorado passed the bill that legalized hemp farming in 2012 (Colorado Amendment 64), I wanted to get involved in it.

I tracked down who was behind passing the legislation and found a loosely formed group of hemp experts. I then asked if they wanted form a formal association and offered to help form one since I had past experience working with various associations.

So in May 2014, we officially launched the Rocky Mountain Hemp Association, which was focused in Colorado. But after a couple months, we realized there was a vacuum at the national level, as we were getting calls and emails from all over the country. So we decided to take it a step further and changed our name to the National Hemp Association by the end of 2014.

National Hemp Association

What inspired your passion for hemp?

“I realized how many products could be made from hemp that weren’t being utilized today”

ZP: Before I really got into hemp, I was already aware of what it is and a couple of its applications. For example, I knew historically hemp was used for things such as rope, cordage, clothing. But, as I looked more into it, I realized how many products could be made from hemp that weren’t being utilized today. That’s when I realized I could get into this and help introduce this to many different industries.

What type of benefits do you see hemp bringing to our society?

“The Industrial Hemp Farming Act could be the largest jobs bill that Congress can pass in 2016”

ZP: When you look at other countries that have been using hemp for a while, hemp is just another crop that they can take advantage of and use in many different products. Canada is growing its hemp seeds and hemp oil products. China has used hemp fiber to build a textile industry. A lot of countries even use it internally as animal feed because it’s a great rotational crop and very nutritious for animals

Specifically in the US, hemp will provide more jobs for our farmers as a crop that’s profitable. Right now, many farmers are struggling to make money from traditional crops. Hemp will also help clean up our farmlands, as you don’t need to use pesticides or any other chemicals when planting hemp.

So when you look at these implications, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act could be the biggest bill that congress can pass to bring positive economical and environmental changes. This act will create jobs in multiple industries – from farming, manufacturing, to even retail.

There’s been articles recently mentioning how Tennessee farmers are giving up on hemp after giving it a try last year. What is your take on this?

There needs to be an understanding that we are still in a research and development phase with hemp. This crop was last harvested in the US back in mid 1900s, so there’s a lot of things we need to relearn. Farmers need to understand there is still a risk with planting hemp and we experienced this first-hand in Tennessee.

I’d say there were two main reasons why things didn’t turn out well in Tennessee. First is the delays caused by the DEA, which delayed the planting period by 1–2 months for the farmers.

Tennessee also experienced a ridiculous amount of rain last year. Hemp does not require a lot of water and that much water actually stunted the growth of the crop.

But if you look at other states like Kentucky or Colorado, they are increasing their cultivation this year and other states are starting to step in to pilot the crop as well.

How has the hemp landscape changed in the US while you’ve been involved?

ZP: It’s changed in several ways. One change is that there’s much higher activity at the state level and more people are pressuring state legislators to pass hemp laws. We’re going to hit more than 30 states that have passed some type of hemp law soon.

Although we’re not fully there yet, we’ve made steady progress at the federal level as well.

The other piece is on the research that’s going on. As more farmers plant hemp, there’s been more research to map the genome of various cultivars. People are researching what cultivar will grow best in Kentucky compared to Colorado, and comparing what grows well where.

There’s also research going on in the unexpected benefits of hemp, such as looking into its application in supercapacitors and as a replacement for graphene.

When you look at the retail side, there’s been a lot of hemp brands popping up. There are a huge number of very small companies entering this space and developing products in food, cosmetics, body products, apparel, etc. There’s a company here in Colorado called HempBox that sends samples of hemp products to consumers on a monthly basis. They have over 400 companies signed up to raise awareness of hemp brands.

Hemp-Box

HempBox delivers sample products to your door every month

 

How do you see hemp’s status continuing to change in the near future? What excites you most about hemp’s future?

“Anything you can make out of fossil fuel, you can make out of hemp”

ZP: I’m most excited about the potential use of industrial hemp as a replacement of fossil fuel. Anything you can make out of fossil fuel, you can make out of hemp. This includes energy, plastic, paper, and even construction materials like hempcrete and particle boards.

What is your biggest concern?

ZP: There’s always going to be a shadow hanging around hemp until it’s fully legalized at the federal level. Until we can pass the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, we’re going to have a lot of challenges moving forward because the DEA is going to continue to do what they do until we remove it from the Controlled Substances Act

What type of impact do you want to make for hemp? What type of legacy do you want to leave behind?

ZP: There’s 4 main goals that I have:

  1. To lead the passing of the legislation at the federal level
  2. Reenergize the farming community with a much more profitable crop
  3. Reduce dependence on fossil fuel
  4. Improve the health of America by promoting hemp products

If I can help achieve all this, I will die a happy man.

What kind of support do you need from the public to legalize hemp? How can normal citizens help?

ZP: Go to our website and write a letter to your legislator to ask them to please support the industrial hemp farming act. There is a campaign for Farmers to write letters too; they just need to customize the letter with their own details and ask that they be allowed to grow hemp.

The biggest help we can get is to donate to our federal campaign. It’s costing us over $20K dollars a month to support our Washington D.C. team and send hemp experts to testify before Congress.

Zev, this was truly insightful. Thank you for your time!

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Hemp Essential Oil, the Queen of Essential Oils

People often confuse hemp essential oil with hemp oil. Although both oils come from the same plant, they are in fact very different. So, let’s clarify the difference. WHAT IS…

Hemp Essential Oil

People often confuse hemp essential oil with hemp oil. Although both oils come from the same plant, they are in fact very different.

So, let’s clarify the difference.

WHAT IS HEMP ESSENTIAL OIL?

Hemp seed oil comes from the seed, whereas essential oil comes from the upper leaves and flowers of the hemp plant

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of hemp plant. The seeds are cold-pressed to produce an oil that is nutty and green in flavor. It’s commonly known as nature’s most nutritionally balanced oil.

Hemp essential oil, also known as cannabis essential oil, comes from the upper leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. The leaves and flowers are then steam distilled to capture the pure essence of the plant. Pale yellow to light green in color with a a highly concentrated therapeutic aroma. It takes over fifty pounds to make 1 ounce of hemp essential oil. It is also one of the most expensive oils in the world – and contains no THC or CBD.

HISTORY OF HEMP ESSENTIAL OIL

Hemp essential oil is not just a new fad. In fact it has been revered throughout history. But where did essential oils come from and who used them?

A deep connection and understanding between man and the earth was formed as early as the hunter-gatherer era. Realizing the effects that plants had on the body, hunter-gatherers learned that some plants brought on stupor, some lifted the spirit, others purged and, of course, some nourished the body.

Soon it became essential for the well-being of man to capture the aroma of plants to promote overall health. Not only on the physical level, but on an emotional and spiritual level as well.

Hemp’s essential oil was well known for its therapeutic abilities, helping to release stress and relax the body.

Leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic portions of botanicals were pressed, ground or soaked into fat. This infused the plants’ healing and therapeutic properties into the oil. This ultimately created chemical compounds that could be stored and used at will. There is even evidence of a crude steam distillation apparatus dating back as early as 300 B.C., as man began to fine tune the extraction process.

Traders would regularly travel long distances to bring these treasured aromatic oils to their homeland.

USING ESSENTIAL OIL FOR STRESS AND RELAXATION

Hemp, man’s oldest cultivated crop, was well known for its essential oil aroma and therapeutic abilities on the central nervous system. It was a key in helping to release stress and relax the body. Its warm, sweet scent played a part in Biblical times, being used as an ingredient in the holy anointing oil that also included myrrh, cassia, sweet cinnamon and olive oil.

HempSeedOil2

The Egyptians also used hemp and other essential oils for medicinal and spiritual purposes. The wealthiest Egyptians were afforded the extravagance of lavishing perfumed oils on their body. The Greeks and Romans enjoyed these precious oils in their luxurious baths as well.

During the 11th Century, steam distillation became common practice and essential oils were not only used for medicinal purposes throughout the world, but were also believed to help attain a higher frequency of spirituality.

By the 16th century, oils could be purchased at an “apothecary,” and many more essential oils were introduced for their healing properties.

Herbal medications and essential oils were still being used up until the Victorian Age, when they unfortunately were pushed to the side in favor of pharmaceutical drugs.

REVIVING HEMP ESSENTIAL OIL

We are bringing back Hemp, the Queen of essential oils and its earthy, peppery and faintly sweet scent

Recently however, we are bringing back the Queen of essential oils: the powerful aroma of hemp. Its earthy, peppery and faintly sweet scent is alluring and sensual; blending perfectly with other fragrances to perfect the art of aromatherapy.

Kushed logo

We invite you to discover a more relaxed balanced and peaceful way of being. Experience the incredible healing and therapeutic properties of hemp essential oil in our signature line of candles and essential oil blends.

 

ABOUT ALISON

Alison

Kushed founder, Alison Joy, began her love affair with candles in 2003, blending soy wax with essential oils from her kitchen in the one bedroom condo she shared with her seven year-old son. Her research led her to one of the more taboo essential oils, cannabis essential oil. It was here, in the combining of floral and other natural aromas with cannabis essential oil that she found the perfect prescription to relax her mind and soothe her soul.

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Top 6 Things To Consider When Buying Hemp Protein

Among the many variants of protein powders, hemp protein is gaining popularity as a superior source of vegan protein. Compared to its vegan competitors, hemp offers a higher concentration of…

Among the many variants of protein powders, hemp protein is gaining popularity as a superior source of vegan protein. Compared to its vegan competitors, hemp offers a higher concentration of protein as well as a strong combination of other nutritional content.


hemp protein

So when you come around and decide to try out hemp protein, what are some things to consider? Here are the top 6 things you should keep in mind:

1. Protein Amount?

The protein amount offered per serving is different by brand and product. It can vary from 11g to 20g per serving. There seems to be two trends.

  • Hemp protein products that also emphasize fiber typically offers less protein per serving, while the portion of fiber increases
  • Flavored hemp proteins, such as chocolate, offer noticeably less protein per serving

2. Flavor?

Hemp protein, unlike whey, typically does not come in variety of flavors. It’s original flavor essentially has no additive mixed in. These powders have a bit of a nutty taste that you might have to get used to.

There are a couple brands on the market who do offer flavored options. Nutiva and Manitoba Harvest offer Chocolate and Vanilla flavors.
 

hemp chocolate protein

3. Organic?

Most hemp protein brands advertise on their packaging or nutrition label if they offer Organic hemp. About half of hemp products on the market are organic options. Even without being organic, most hemp protein that are from Canada are non-GMO, non-irradiated, and chemical free. Most brands also do not add or mix any artificial ingredients in their protein.

4. Price?

Price for hemp protein can range from $9 per lb to $23 per lb. These prices are dependent on the brand, the amount of protein per serving, and the packaging size. A 5 lb bag will be much cheaper per lb than a 1 lb bag. Here’s the best value hemp products you’ll find on the market, calculated by the price per lb:

  1. Manitoba HempPro Fibre $9-$14 per lb (11g of protein per serving)
  2. Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder $9.49 per lb (14g of protein per serving)
  3. Manitoba HempPro 50 $9-$12 per lb (15g of protein per serving)
  4. Nature’s Way Hemp Protein and Fiber Powder $12.39 (11g of protein per serving)
  5. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein High Fiber $12.67 per lb (11g of protein per serving)
  6. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein $13.16 per lb (15g of protein per serving)
  7. Manitoba HempPro 70 $15 per lb (20g of protein per serving)
  8. Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Hemp Protein $15.57 (12 g of protein per serving)

5. Reviews?

The quality of hemp protein products are backed by their amazing online reviews. On average, hemp protein brands have Amazon reviews higher than 4 stars, with most of them having over 100 reviewers. Below are the average ratings of the highest rated protein products on Amazon:

  1. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein – 4.1/5.0 (3000+ reviews)
  2. Manitoba HempPro – 4.1/5.0 (1100+ reviews)
  3. Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Hemp Protein – 4.4/5.0 (200+ reviews)
  4. Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder 4.2/5.0 (50+ reviews)
  5. Nature’s Way Hemp Protein and Fiber Powder – 3.9/5.0 (100+ reviews)

6. How to make a great hemp protein shake?

hemp protein recipe

Hemp protein is known to be a bit harder to drink by just mixing with water as it is a bit chunkier and can taste a bit grainy. Here are some simple ingredients you can add to your shake to improve the taste:

  • Banana
  • Frozen berries
  • Cinnamon
  • Peanut butter
  • Fruit juice

For a full review of hemp protein products, visit our Hemp Protein Product Reviews page.
 

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7 Things To Consider When Buying Hemp Seeds

If you’ve decided to give hemp seeds a try, you’ll quickly find out that there’s a lot of options you can choose from. It’s easy to get confused after searching…

top things to consider when buying hemp seeds

If you’ve decided to give hemp seeds a try, you’ll quickly find out that there’s a lot of options you can choose from. It’s easy to get confused after searching for options online, as there are many smaller boutique brands that you might not have heard of.

We’re here to help.

Here’s the top 7 things to consider when buying hemp seeds:

  1. What kind of hemp seeds do I want?
  2. Where was the hemp grown?
  3. What the hemp taste like?
  4. What brand should I buy from?
  5. Who offers the best price?
  6. Who has the best reviews?
  7. What are different ways to eat raw hemp seeds?

Now, let’s start breaking these down one by one.

1. What kind of hemp seeds should you buy?

Hulled hemp, often called hemp hearts, is the entire hemp seed with the crunchy outer shell removed. Removing the shell also makes the hemp hearts more nutritious, as it increases the overall percentage of protein and essential fatty acids.

toasted hemp seeds
Toasted hemp seeds are whole hemp seeds that are roasted in high temperatures for a varied length of time. This results in a popcorn like snack that makes it easy to snack on.

In addition to hulled & toasted hemp seeds, producers add hemp seeds as a key ingredient to hemp bars or spreads.

Depending on how you want to eat hemp seeds, you have many choices to choose from.

2. Check where the hemp seeds are from

For good edible hemp seed, Canada is known to be the best quality. This is not only because of the taste of the hemp strain that the Canadian farmers use, but also because of the strict restrictions that the Canadian government enforces.

Canadian farmers are only allowed to use hemp seed varieties that are listed under Health Canada’s List of Approved Cultivars. All hemp seeds from Canada are non-GMO verified, which means the seeds are not genetically modified. Canadian farmers also don’t use pesticides when farming hemp. You can also look for the “Pro-Cert Organic” certifications on the brands that you buy.

Lot of hemp manufacturers are now warning consumers to watch out for Chinese hemp that is flooding the market. Chinese hemp producers aren’t regulated as strictly as Canadian farmers. Since you won’t be able to taste the hemp until you buy a packet, make sure to check their labels to ensure the hemp is certified from Canada!

3. What does hemp seed taste like?

hemp seeds
Hemp seeds have a pleasant nutty taste that could be compared to unflavored sunflower seeds, but with a much softer texture.

4. What brand should I buy from?

It’s relatively easy to find hemp seeds online now through Amazon and Google. If you’re strictly looking for raw or toasted hemp seeds, I’d recommend buying through Amazon. We’ve compiled a ranking of brands based on price and reviews below.

If you’re looking to buy other types of hemp seed products (like hemp bars or hemp spreads), there’s actually several domestic brands that offer delicious options.

5. Amazon Price Comparison: Which hemp brands are most price competitive?

Price for hemp seeds are most cost competitive on Amazon. Products range from $9 per lb to $23 per lb. These prices are dependent on the brand and the packaging size.

  1. Just Hemp Foods Hulled Hemp Seeds $8.75 per lb
  2. Nutiva Organic Shelled Hempseed $9.60 per lb
  3. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts $9.87 per lb
  4. Terrasoul Raw Hulled Hemp Seeds $18.40 per lb
  5. Hemptopia Toasted Hemp Seeds $18.99 per lb
  6. Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Hemp Seeds $29.44 per lb
  7. Himalania Dark Chocolate Covered Hemp Seeds $35.36 per lb

6. Amazon Review Comparison: Which hemp brand has the best reviews?

The quality of hemp seed brands can be attested by their online reviews. On average, hemp protein brands have Amazon reviews higher than 4.6 stars, with most of them having over 100 reviewers. Below are the average ratings of the highest rated protein products on Amazon:

  1. Just Hemp Foods Hulled Hemp Seeds– 4.8/5.0 (600+ reviews)
  2. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts– 4.8/5.0 (2600+ reviews)
  3. Nutiva Organic Shelled Hempseed – 4.8/5.0 (1400+ reviews)
  4. Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Hemp Seeds – 4.4/5.0 (223 reviews)
  5. Terrasoul Raw Hulled Hemp Seeds – 4.6/5.0 (114 reviews)
  6. Himalania Dark Chocolate Covered Hemp Seeds – 4.2/5.0 (66 reviews)

7. What are different ways I can eat hemp seeds?

hemp seed salad

  • Eat raw as a snack
  • Mix into your smoothie
  • Sprinkle on top of cereal, salads, yogurt, or even oatmeal
  • Substitute hemp for breadcrumbs to coat chicken or fish
  • Blend with water to make hemp seed milk
  • Ground hemp seed to use it as a condiment
  • Toasted hemp seeds can be eaten like popcorn

To see a full review of hemp seed products, check out our Hemp Seed Reviews page.
 

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