Hemp has been used to meet a wide variety of commercial and domestic needs, dating as far back as 10,000 years ago.1 Hemp products were created in South America in the 1500s before hemp made its way to North America in the 1600s. Largely cultivated for its oils and fibers, hemp has long been praised for its cost-effective, durable, and long-lasting properties. Over the years, humans have realized thousands of possible applications and uses for hemp. As one of the most durable natural fibers available, hemp has become an ideal choice for products ranging from fabrics to ropes and twine.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is a species of cannabis sativa and is the same plant species as marijuana. However, there is an important distinction between industrial or medicinal hemp, and the cannabis plants grown for recreational purposes. Industrial hemp refers to cannabis sativa plants grown specifically for industrial use.2 Industrial or medicinal hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive component found in marijuana. This means that hemp-based products in your home cannot get you high, even if smoked or ingested. As a result, products made from this hemp are completely safe for the home.
Hemp is created by extracting the fibers from the stalks of the plant using a variety of methods. These fibers are strong, durable, and can be used to create several different products. Hemp oil is also collected from the plant for several beneficial products, including varnishes, paint, soaps, lotions, and so much more.3
Home Uses for Hemp
However, hemp is not just an industrial commodity—in fact, there are numerous home uses for hemp. Hemp is appealing to many individuals who believe that sustainability and investment in products that are eco-friendly is an important consideration. When it comes to investing in what is eco-friendly, hemp has long been making waves in several different industries, including health and beauty, as well as fashion. When considering uses for hemp in your home, the possibilities are truly endless.
So, what can you do with hemp at home? For products in the home, many people choose products that are reliable, safe, and sustainable, and hemp can tick all three boxes. Here are some popular home hemp products.
Looking at the big picture, researchers have long been exploring sustainable alternatives to our traditional method of making paper. Trees take decades to grow, and cultivating them for our paper needs creates a significantly negative impact on our environment. Wood pulp paper may be recyclable, but only up to three times.
Hemp paper, on the other hand, can be recycled up to seven times. Hemp can also regenerate in months, rather than decades, while providing the same high-quality paper as a tree.4 Hemp paper is also acid-free, so it won’t become brittle or yellow over time. Need proof? Just take a look at the Declaration of Independence, which was written on hemp paper.
Whether you like to keep a journal, or you enjoy crafts with your family, hemp paper is a fantastic option for your home. Hemp paper is a great addition to any craft space or office. In addition to paper for office and craft use, researchers are continuing to explore the benefits of using hemp for toilet paper and paper towel needs. Such a transition could create a significant shift towards better and more sustainable practices.
If you’re considering a different paper material for writing, you might as well invest in a better writing instrument, too. Hemp oil is an ideal, non-toxic alternative for ink. It dries faster and requires less processing than other methods of ink creation.
Hemp Plastic Alternatives
There is no denying the negative impact chemical-heavy, non-biodegradable plastic bags have on our environment. Hemp offers two great solutions for your home or grocery store needs. Plastic made with hemp is just as strong as a regular plastic bag but is 100% biodegradable. Another solution is a cloth bag made with hemp fibers. This provides a durable bag that can handle regular wear and tear and will provide a long-term alternative to plastic use.
If it’s time for a home improvement, you may want to consider your hemp alternatives. Most carpet available is made with synthetic materials that can be filled with debris, allergens, and toxic chemicals. This can affect the health of you and your family over time. Worse, when you remove a carpet, its synthetic materials will sit in a landfill for years to come. A hemp carpet provides the same durability as synthetic carpet and can withstand regular wear and tear. Once your carpet requires replacement, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your hemp carpet is biodegradable.
Painting the rooms of your home is a cost-effective method of revamping your space. Traditional paints can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are solvents that enter the air when the paint dries. This is not only bad for the environment, but it can also be bad for your health. In recent years, more restrictions have been enforced to combat this serious issue.5 Unfortunately, even with restrictions, this type of paint is still prevalent. With hemp-based paints, you don’t have to worry about breathing in toxic fumes. Hemp-based paint dries quickly and provides a durable finish.
Hemp Based Foods
Hemp seeds have recently made waves in the food and health industry as a plant-based superfood. Hemp seeds can provide 31% of your protein needs and 100% of your required daily amount from vitamin B1, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. Hemp seeds also contain healthy doses of iron and copper. Since hemp seeds don’t contain any phytic acid, your body can absorb nearly all the vitamins and minerals within the serving.6
For those with a dairy allergy, it can be difficult to find an alternative that tastes good and provides nutritional benefits. Hemp milk provides both without any of the side effects. This creates a milky drink that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. When compared with almond milk, hemp contains more healthy fats and protein with fewer calories than cow’s milk. Hemp is also considered a complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids required from our food.7 You can create your own hemp milk by soaking hemp seeds in water.
Are you a coffee lover? Why not combine the best of both worlds by adding some hemp milk to your morning CBD coffee or evening tea? We suggest this Chill CBD assorted coffee and tea combo pack. It comes with Black Tea, Chill CBD Green Tea, Chill CBD Coffee and Chill CBD Decaf Coffee all in one pack, so you can try all 4 and decide which one you like the best.
Hemp Fabrics and Clothing
Hemp has been trending in the fashion industry for some time.8 Consumers have long been pushing for clothing options that support sustainability. As a result, many top fashion brands are producing clothing opens made with hemp to drastically reduce textile waste in landfills. There is a common misconception that hemp would create uncomfortable clothing, largely due to its use as coarse rope. However, hemp can be just as soft as other commonly used fabrics and will become softer with repeated washing over time.
When it comes to the hemp vs. cotton debate, the winner is clear. The process necessary to grow hemp requires little to no use of herbicides or pesticides. This makes it safe for the skin by drastically reducing the likelihood of triggering an allergy. Hemp is also a more practical, more sustainable source than cotton—an acre of hemp can produce triple the amount of fabric as an acre of cotton, and clothes made from hemp are up to four times warmer.9 Brands like Levi, Jungmaven, and Patagonia are providing their customers with hemp fashion options that are fashionable and better for the environment.
Hemp Health and Beauty Products
Another industry that embraces the numerous benefits of hemp is the health and beauty industry. When it comes to stocking your home’s shelves with quality self-care products, you’ll love the additional benefits that hemp can provide. Hemp can be found in several different products such as lotions, skincare, and shampoos.
Many commercial skin care products can cause more harm than good in the long run, especially for those who have a sensitivity to certain ingredients. By contrast, skincare that uses hemp seed oil is full of beneficial vitamins that support healthy skin. Hemp seed oil contains vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains numerous antioxidants, fatty acids, and amino acids. Switching to hemp-based skincare products in your home can help reduce acne, clear pores, and provide some anti-aging properties.10
Shampoo is another area where hemp seed oil shines. Many consumers don’t realize it, but even expensive shampoos can strip away your hair’s natural, essential oils. This can lead to damage and breakage over time. Worse, many cheaper shampoos on the market essentially coat your hair follicles and scalp with wax and chemicals. This can create further problems, such as dry scalp and dandruff. The vitamin E found in hemp seed oil may reduce hair loss, and the other vitamins and minerals found in this oil can support healthy hair growth.
DIY With Hemp
In addition to the numerous products that you can purchase for your home that utilize hemp, there are also fun and creative ways to create art and décor with hemp fiber. Hemp can be used to create these DIY items and so much more.
Hemp cord comes in a wide variety of colors, allowing you to create the perfect piece of jewelry to go with any mood or outfit. Woven or braided hemp cord can be an inexpensive base for several different pieces of jewelry, especially bracelets and necklaces. You can add colorful beads or buttons to create a piece that is entirely unique.
Jars, Vases, and Lamps
Hemp cord can also help you provide a vintage look to your lamps and centerpieces. Wrapping hemp cord around the base of vases and jars can elevate their appearance, adding an elegant touch throughout your home. Similarly, you can fully wrap your lamp or wrap certain sections for a unique look.
Hemp can be used to create breathtaking hanging décor. There are several tutorials available online to help individuals learn how to weave hemp cords together to create décor such as wind chimes or dream catchers. Or, soak hemp cord in glue and wrap around a ball; wait until it dries and use your hemp globe as a rustic pendant globe.
Hemp cord can be used to create eye-catching baskets and bags that can be used for home storage. You’ll love having the perfect storage bin that is durable, long-lasting, and sustainable. Hemp can even be used to create tissue box holders and rope coasters.
Frames and Bulletin Boards
Hemp rope, cord, or string can be used to wrap anything from dollar-store photo frames to art frames, window trim, and more. All you need to do is simply glue it in place. Or, cover a damaged cork board with hemp cord for a sustainable, rustic bulletin board you can use for years to come.
Add Hemp to Your Home
As you can see, home uses for hemp are extremely varied. Hemp can change the way you take care of your skin and hair, enrich your existing diet, and provide a closet full of the latest fashion trends that encourage sustainability. Hemp cord also provides the means to create several different DIY projects that are perfect for beginners and experts alike. Really, the sustainability benefits and endless uses of hemp make it the perfect product for your home life if you ask me.
- Charitos, I. A., Gagliano-Candela, R., Santacroce, L., & Bottalico, L. (2021). The Cannabis spread throughout the continents and its therapeutic use in history. Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders), 21(3), 407-417.
- Manaia, J. P., Manaia, A. T., & Rodriges, L. (2019). Industrial hemp fibers: An overview. Fibers, 7(12), 106.
- Petrovici, A. R., Simionescu, N., Sandu, A. I., Paraschiv, V., Silion, M., & Pinteala, M. (2021). New Insights on Hemp Oil Enriched in Cannabidiol: Decarboxylation, Antioxidant Properties and In Vitro Anticancer Effect. Antioxidants, 10(5), 738.
- Smith, A. D. (2021). Exploring the Marketing Potential of Hemp-based Paper Products.
- Schieweck, A., & Bock, M. C. (2015). Emissions from low-VOC and zero-VOC paints–Valuable alternatives to conventional formulations also for use in sensitive environments? Building and Environment, 85, 243-252.
- Leonard, W., Zhang, P., Ying, D., & Fang, Z. (2020). Hempseed in food industry: Nutritional value, health benefits, and industrial applications. Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety, 19(1), 282-308.
- Vahanvaty, U. S. (2009). Hemp seed and hemp milk: the new super foods?. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition, 1(4), 232-234.
- Dhondt, F., & Muthu, S. S. (2021). The Future of Hemp in the Fashion Industry. Hemp and Sustainability, 109-123
- Schumacher, A. G. D., Pequito, S., & Pazour, J. (2020). Industrial hemp fiber: A sustainable and economical alternative to cotton. Journal of Cleaner Production, 268, 122180.
- Pei, L., Luo, Y., Gu, X., & Wang, J. (2020). Formation, stability and properties of hemp seed oil emulsions for application in the cosmetics industry. Tenside Surfactants Detergents, 57(6), 451-459
Jenny Weatherall is the co-owner and CEO of Eminent SEO, a design and marketing agency founded in 2009. She has worked in the industry since 2005, when she fell in love with digital marketing… and her now husband and partner, Chris. Together they have 6 children and 3 granddaughters.
Jenny has a passion for learning and sharing what she learns. She has researched, written and published hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics, including: SEO, design, marketing, ethics, business management, sustainability, inclusion, behavioral health, wellness and work-life balance.