That brings us to one of the most amazing uses for hemp: hempcretes. Essentially hemp bricks, these building materials are made by combining the inner core of the hemp plant with a lime binder and water. Hempcretes have tons of benefits that make many wonder why we don’t all live in hemp homes. For instance, hempcretes are basically fireproof and resistant to pests like mice and cockroaches. Not to mention, they’re “earthquake resistant” because their low-density makes them less likely to crack if moved.
Plus, hempcretes have incredible insulation. These hemp bricks allow walls to breathe, meaning homes stay cooler in the summer and retain more heat during the winter. Therefore, hempcretes can even help reduce a home’s energy costs.
So why aren’t all of our buildings made of hemp? It comes down to two major things: hempcretes are not cheap and so, for now, are only available to the most wealthy, environmentally conscious among us. Plus, hemp farms are still very limited in the U.S. While the 2014 Farm Bill opened the door to hemp farmers across the U.S., they still need to be approved by state-sponsored programs, which are limited and not available in every state.
However, it does look like hemp is the way of the future. Before prohibition, hemp was an extremely popular and versatile crop in the U.S. and, hopefully, if more people can see all the incredible potential uses for hemp, we’ll come back around full circle.
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