The cannabis plant has already shown us that it has many uses. The fresh leaves can be juiced for miraculous health benefits. There are tons of common ways to utilize cannabis both medically and recreationally by managing the balance of our endocannabinoid system. While these methods and their benefits deserve continued research, there are even more ways that Cannabis can change the world.
Hempcrete is a bio-composite material that is used in construction and insulation. It differs from classic concrete in that it doesn’t require expansion joints. This is because hempcrete lacks the brittleness of concrete. The building material is made from a pulp manufactured from the stems of the cannabis plant. This pulp is then mixed with lime, a product that is used as the binding agent. The resulting material is referred to as Hempcrete. It is also sometimes called Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre. Living in a hemp house is cool on its own. But there is much more to hempcrete than that. This viable competition for concrete can actually help save the Earth.
Better Than Concrete?
There are tons of benefits to building with materials made from the stalks of cannabis plants. This miraculous building material is fire-proof, water-proof, and rot-proof provided it is used in above-ground buildings. It is also strong, lightweight, and durable with a compressive strength of around 1 MPa. The low density of the material makes hempcrete ideal for earthquake-prone areas as movement is less apt to cause cracks. Even more, hemp walls can easily take in water without rotting or becoming damaged. It is important to note, however, that this density is only 15% of regular concrete. Because of this, hempcrete structures must be built with the frame of a partner material to support the building’s vertical load.
Similar to other plant products, hemp absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen. A regular hemp plant also absorbs large amounts of carbon. Both the CO2 and carbon become ‘locked’ into the hemp plant instead of being released into the air. This means that manufacturing hempcrete actually improves the quality of our environment. Furthermore, the production of the lime used to bind hempcrete requires far less heat compared to industrial concrete manufacturing would. The strong, lightweight, building material also becomes stronger over time. Though lime does take longer to petrify than hemp, eventually the wall will become completely petrified. This means that a hemp wall will last thousands of years as compared to the meager 40-100 years we’ll get out of modern structures.
Buildings made from hemp are not only built to last, they also help preserve our delicate environment. For these reasons, we should all consider this viable option when building our future homes, offices, and other structures. Hempcrete is a great way to build long lasting structures that help conserve our natural surroundings.