Hemp..The Better Choice for Construction Materials!

When you think of construction, one of the first things that generally comes to mind is “wood”. We have become so accustomed to using wood as our main resource for building and then we turn around and voice concerns about things like, I don’t know… deforestation perhaps?

Ummm… yeah, that kind of goes hand in hand, doesn’t it? But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if there were resources out there far superior to wood? Resources that are not only better for the environment as a whole, but also having the capabilities to withstand extreme weather conditions as well?

Consider this. Have you ever looked at beautiful, ancient structures and wondered how in the world they have managed to “stand the test of time”? I would surmise to say that would be because of the materials used to build them. Take Florida for example. There are structures in Florida that are a few hundred years old, if not older (but that’s for another subject)…still standing, still beautiful, even after multitudes of hurricanes. How could that be? The answer to that is a mixture of crushed shell and limestone! Huh, who knew!

For those who are unaware, limestone is a sedimentary rock that is used in construction because of its high strength, durability, and is resistant to corrosion. In fact, the fine grains of limestone rock allow density so it can last for centuries (hence those that have withstood the “test of time”). It also has heat-resistant and non-slip properties. Bonus!

Now, some of you may say, “Well, that’s great, but what does it have to do with a blog site like Katts Remedies?”

And, like always, my response is, “I’m about to tell you!”

As mentioned in previous articles regarding the Industrial Hemp industry, the hemp and cannabis plants can be used from root to the tip of the buds for hundreds of things. Within the woody cor of the stalk, there is a substance called hemp hurd or “shiv” which has a high silica content that allows it to bind well with limestone. Among all the natural fibers, this property is unique to hemp. The result is a lightweight, cement-like material we know as Hempcrete. While Hempcrete is not used as a structural material, it is used as an insulation element within the framework and helps reduce racking (the lateral movement or swaying of a structure), particularly in response to external forces such as wind, seismic activity, or even machinery vibrations. With that being said, there is another huge benefit to using hemp as a building material. It not only moderates temperatures in a building, it also absorbs CO2 and regenerates it into oxygen which is extremely beneficial to those working in that environment because the more oxygen to the brain, they will be less fatigued, more alert, cognitive, and productive. Is that not how you would prefer your employees to be?

This is pretty amazing, is it not? But what if I told you Hempcrete isn’t the only building material out there? What if that framework I mentioned above could be made from hemp also? Well it can!

Were you aware there is also a product known as Hempwood?

Hemp wood is an engineered wood composite made by pressing hemp stalks covered with a soy-based adhesive into a block of wood which is then cut into boards. Not only is the production of Hempwood quicker compared to some other wood varieties like Oak (which takes more than a decade to mature), Hempwood is a better alternative because it is denser, harder, and more stable than Oak. Also, let us not forget, a hemp crop only takes approximately 4 months to grow and can quite literally be grown in almost any environment around the world. No need to worry about imports with this plant!

Okay, so we have our concrete, we have our lumber, what other construction materials can be created from hemp?

Oh, wait! I know!

We have our frames and insulation, but what about the actual walls and subfloors? How about some cabinetry even? That would mean we need some fiberboard, right? Well guess what? That too can be made from, you guessed it…hemp!

President and owner of Hemp Traders, Lawrence Serbin, has led the development of what is called CannaBoard, which is a new, hemp-derived particle board comprised of hemp fibers and a non-toxic, formaldehyde-free resin as a binder that can be used anywhere you would use particle board. And once again, because hemp is a fast-growing annual plant, it makes it perfect for creating yet another building material that is fantastic for the environment, not to mention, our overall health. Think about it. Beyond the hemp fibers, which are renewable, the binders contain no toxins like the traditional particle board that releases carcinogenic chemicals into the air.

So, on one hand, we have building materials that are not only environmentally friendly, but also have health benefits…and on the other hand we have building materials made from trees that take YEARS to replace, mixed with toxic chemicals that are poisonous to humans. Is there really a decision to be made here?

Think about it. From frames and fillers to cabinets, floors, and more! Remind me again why Big Government continues to find ways to keep these products from the fore?

Talk about “Green Living”!

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