Hempcrete – A Comprehensive Guide to Hemp Building Material
The construction industry is consuming more than 40% of the total energy and resources across the globe. The construction industry must be moving towards more sustainable practices to face occurring climate changes. For this reason, the industry is stirring away from using building materials that are mined or harvested from the forests.
The industry is switching towards using renewable resources, and hemp is the perfect material that is gaining huge popularity in the construction industry, with a hemp mixture known as hempcrete.
Hempcrete is one of the bio-based building materials that can be used to restore, renovate, or build any kind of building from apartments to houses and from service to public sector buildings, and from listed historical buildings to traditional buildings.
What is Hempcrete?
Hempcrete or hemp-lime is one of the most incredible building materials made from industrial hemp. It is a bio-composite material, which can be used in the construction as an alternative to traditional building materials like concrete.
Hempcrete is made from the balsa wood-like core of the cannabis sativa plant. This material can be mixed with water and lime to form hempcrete. It has high silica content, allowing it to bind well with lime. Hempcrete is a lightweight material and only weighs approximately one-eighth as compared to concrete.
The material is widely used in construction for centuries across Europe. However, hemp is now grown widely by certified commercial growers. The strain of hemp plant contains as low as 0.3% of THC, the psychoactive substance found in cannabis. This is quite a low level when compared to those found in medicinal and hallucinogenic varieties of cannabis (contains 5-10% of THC).
Fully dried hempcrete blocks will float in water. The material is not used as a structural element but as an insulating infill between the frame members. All the load is carried by the internal framing. In Europe, as much as 10-story buildings have been constructed using hempcrete.
While hemp is grown legally in Canada and Europe, it was illegal in the United States for several decades. However, with the gradual liberalization of laws in the country, the hemp production is getting legalized.
How are Hempcrete Blocks manufactured?
Traditionally, the hempcrete blocks were prepared at the site by mixing the raw material and then placing it into the formwork, or by using the equipment. Initially, this process required highly qualified workers.
However, with advancements in technology and an increase in the demand for hempcrete, hempcrete blocks are manufactured at the industry level. The production process of these blocks are divided into three steps:
- Mixing: Hemp shives, water, and lime are mixed to create hempcrete. The raw materials are dosed proportionately and mixed.
- Molding: Hempcrete obtained from the previous step is poured into the blocks of varying widths using a special press.
- Open-air Curing: The frail blocks are placed on an automatic conveyor belt after some time, which takes the blocks to the storage area for open-air drying. Drying is done to add strength and hardness to the hempcrete blocks. Blocks require about 6-10 weeks to get ready for usage. This time duration varies with the width of the block.
Applications of Hempcrete
- As roof and floor insulation
- As plasters
- As internal and external wall insulation
- New buildings
- For insulating old buildings
Benefits of Hempcrete
- Naturally Sourced Material
Hempcrete is completely organic, and the manufacturing doesn’t involve any synthetic component. Moreover, it doesn’t need a huge amount of energy for production, making it a highly environment-friendly material.
On the other hand, traditional building materials such as concrete have a large carbon footprint and are a major cause of concern for the whole planet.
- Low Maintenance
Hempcrete is a very low maintenance material, and it requires little to no caring. Once used in insulation, the material lasts for years and can help protect the structure of the building from various elements in an effective way.
- Structure Strength
The material is substantially dense as compared to traditional insulating materials. Thus, the use of hempcrete can help reinforce the structural capacity of the building. Moreover, the material provides an excellent surface for plaster finishes.
Hemp building material is used extensively for constructing buildings in earthquake-prone areas as the low density of the material renders it resistant to breakage under movement.
- Breathable Walls
Walls made from hempcrete are highly breathable, and it allows the moisture to pass through. It also has low thermal conductivity and wind-resistant properties, which makes it an ideal insulating material.
- Handles Moisture Efficiently
Due to the porous nature of the material, hempcrete can absorb a large amount of moisture without causing damage to the building’s structural integrity. The plant fibers also have a huge amount of internal surface, which also acts as a storage for moisture. Once the conditions are favorable, the material releases the absorbed moisture content.
- Carbon Absorbent
The hemp plant is carbon absorbent, and this property is imparted to hempcrete. For every cubic meter of hempcrete, it sequesters about 100 kilograms of carbon. When compared to the conventional construction materials, this amount is huge, as the conventional materials contribute to carbon emission during the manufacturing process.
- Resistant to Hazards
The most important feature of hemp building material is its resilience to common problems faced by traditional building materials. It is highly resistant to flame, making the material an inherent fireproofing material.
As lime is used in the binding process, the material is also resistant to fungus and possesses antimicrobial properties. This leads to resistance from the formation of mold even in high humidity conditions. The material is also parasite-resistant.
- Excellent Insulating Properties
With its antifungal, moisture absorbent, and antimicrobial properties, the material is a great insulator during both cold and hot climates. The material is perfect to use in areas with extremely high humid climates.
Additionally, it also has outstanding soundproofing properties, making it an ideal material for blocking the external noise.
Hempcrete is an extremely lightweight material. As mentioned earlier, it weighs only one-eighth of that of concrete. Due to its lightweight, the material can be easily transported to greater heights.
- Recyclable and Non-Toxic Material
It is a non-toxic building material and doesn’t percolate any harmful substance into the building structure. Hence, the material doesn’t harm the construction and the inhabitants of the building in any way. Hempcrete is biodegradable, and it can be easily reused.
Due to the multiple benefits of hempcrete over traditional building materials, hempcrete is gaining huge popularity in the construction industry. More and more companies are coming forward to manufacture hempcrete blocks. The material can be used in a wide range of construction projects. The possibilities are endless, and so does the benefits of the material. Hence, it can be one of the best choices available for construction companies in the future.
All You Need To Know About Import And Export Of Cannabis
Cannabis, due to its ever-growing health benefits, is getting popular. It can be found in various forms in a number of industries. Over the past few years, an immense increase has been registered in the import exports of medical cannabis. Among many countries, the suite of clients related to cannabis is expanding. For this purpose, one needs a thorough, detailed legal advice related to manufacturing, overseas hemp import-export issues, and legal procedure or customs.
Due to cannabis being a drug, the import and export of the products of medical cannabis internationally, including the ones made of low THC cannabis, are highly administered and subject to International Drug Convention.
It requires a legal approval of the national governments of both of the countries that are importing and exporting the products before the shipment can proceed. Some of the countries are lenient about food or nutritional products having cannabis, but it depends on the laws of different countries.
The supply of medicinal cannabis is not really affected, but it requires a legal import export license and permits to export.
There are several products of cannabis that are eligible for export with the license:
- Cannabis resin extracts that are manufactured under Narcotic drugs act 1967 license and permit. But, it is applicable for the one that is not in the form of final dosage.
- In Australia, medicinal cannabis products can be exported under a GMP license.
- Export-only enlisted medicinal cannabis products or products that are registered on the Australian Registered Therapeutic Goods may also be eligible.
How to ship medical cannabis internationally?
Before you start shipping cannabis internationally, here is what must be kept in mind:
- Try to start with countries having developed health departments and strong export authorities. For example, countries like Colombia, South Africa, Lesotho, Jamaica, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands would do great.
- Take a start in countries in which federal laws allow the production of cannabis. There are quite a few countries like Mexico, Switzerland, Luxembourg.
- There are countries that allow medicinal cannabis imports, especially in the E.U.; so, find such countries to trade.
- Acquire cannabis import and export permits and make suitable deals. And always make sure you report all imports and exports to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
For your information, The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is the “independent control body for international drug conventions” of the United Nations (UN). The 1961 Single Convention allows the manufacturing and administering of cannabis for research and medical purposes only, that too under certain conditions. The authorities decide a specific space or area where cannabis can be cultivated and has the exclusive right to import or export cannabis, trade at wholesale, and maintain supply. The countries having businesses related to cannabis have already taken such steps to proceed.
The import export market for medical cannabis is expanding considerably. However, apart from the difficulties regarding permits and other legal issues, there are many other important matters to work through. Especially the quality standards of the product matter a lot.
For that purpose, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) assurance is compulsory to trade medical cannabis. For instance, as such there are no designated standards of regulations between and among countries for medical cannabis quality check. That includes all contents, like adulterants, composition, ingredients, and the levels of toxic residues in the product. That is somehow scary thinking cannabis as a medicine. Supply chain integrity is also an issue.
International trade laws of cannabis
International trade is regulated by UN drug Control treaties (three-core), and notably by international trade and investment law. For instance, The UN drug control treaties like single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (amended later) deal with this subject. Specific UN control treaties make sure the international import export of cannabis restricts to medical and research purposes only. Moreover, they set measures for export import of cannabis, such as schemes for permits and licensing.
To be brief, the treaties provide for some of the following purposes related to cannabis trade or import export:
- The 1961 Convention includes cannabis and cannabis resin as a Schedule IV drug. Further, it restricts the import and export of schedule drugs for research and medical purpose only. This convention also limits the quantity of import of such drugs.
- The 1971 Convention includes THC and its isomers in Schedule II and prohibits the import and export of THC and similar drugs for research.
- The 1988 amendment conclusively requires parties to criminalize imports and exports done in infringement to permitted trade under the above (1961 and 1971) conventions.
Companies that legally supports the import export of cannabis
Lately, with the legalization proceedings in U.S and Canada, this industry has flourished. Companies are now legally trading from Canada to U.S.
The prominent companies that are legally trading medical cannabis are:
- Tilray (TLRY)
- Canopy Growth (CGC)
What are consumers saying about CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is the main non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants that have generated a significant buzz of late owing to its purported health benefits. The market for hemp-derived CBD products has witnessed the emergence and proliferation of innovative products, leading to the implementation of legislation, which has generated considerable confusion. Though the federal government still lists cannabis as a Schedule I drug, Washington D.C. and 33 US states have legalized marijuana for recreation and medical use to some extent.
However, recent amendments in federal laws relating to cannabis have taken hemp and hemp-based CBD products out of the ambit of legalization. So, technically speaking, the cultivation of hemp and marketing of hemp-based products is now legal in all the 50 US states. Putting things in perspective, CBD and all CBD-based products have ignited unprecedented interest in consumers, the misleading legalese surrounding hemp notwithstanding.
The perception of the adult US population in general and the opinions of the CBD consumers, in particular, have hugely evolved over the years. While nearly 46% of US adults believed that marijuana should be legalized further, about 8% did not back the idea. Nevertheless, almost 50% of the adult populace, by and large, agreed that cannabis should be made more accessible for both therapeutic and recreational purposes.
How popular is CBD with consumers?
If you are somebody who has even an inkling of CBD and its touted benefits, then you might be aware that cannabidiol is now easily accessible both online and offline. You’ll come across hemp-based CBD products in drugstores, convenience stores, and wellness care retail outlets as well as in e-commerce platforms. Major producers and retailers all over the US promote a mind-boggling range of CBD products, including but not limited to edibles, beverages, healthcare, self-care, and beauty products.
Consumer Reports, a US-based nonprofit establishment that focuses on consumer-based research and impartial product testing, surveyed over 4,000 Americans and found that over a fourth of the US population has sampled CBD. Numerically speaking, nearly 64 million Americans have experimented with CBD or at least one CBD-based item in the past two years. One out of every seven of the total number of respondents iterated that they used CBD daily.
Americans, starting from adolescents to septuagenarians and octogenarians, have some experience of using CBD. The survey also indicated that CBD consumption was most prevalent in individuals in their twenties, as 40% of them said they had used CBD.
The benefits that customers are enjoying from consuming CBD products
The majority of those participating in the Consumer Reports survey reported that CBD consumption led to specific health benefits.
Anxiety & Depression
For instance, recurrent CBD use greatly benefited those participants who suffered from anxiety or depression and hence had abnormal stress levels. Interestingly enough, CBD consumption enabled them to steer clear of prescription drugs or OTC medicines, including opiates and opioids.
CBD, which is sold in a myriad of varieties including pills, topical lotions, tinctures, edibles, and oils, has several health benefits. Brightfield Group, a market research agency dedicated to cannabis, estimates that the market for hemp-derived CBD will burgeon to $22 billion by 2022. Several types of research and studies on CBD have indicated that the compound may have some influence on the human endocannabinoid system.
Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Attributes
How CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system’s receptors might affect our feelings and emotions. A good number of medical researchers and scientists are strongly of the opinion that CBD’s interplay with our inherent endocannabinoid system also impinges on our circadian rhythm.
If current studies and trials are to be believed, then humans can reap maximum benefits from CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant attributes. That said, periodic use of CBD could go a long way in alleviating anxiety levels, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and epileptic seizures. At the same time, individuals beset with hip, knee, and ankle joint issues can expect to get effective relief from sustained CBD use.
Regular use of CBD in any form also could help individuals deal with backaches, headaches, inflammation, and so on. Consumption of CBD could help improve one’s appetite and stimulate a craving for munchies as well as could help tackle sleeplessness. One good thing about taking CBD is that you may hardly experience any side-effects.
Nearly three-fourths who took part in the survey told that they did not experience any side effects after consuming CBD.
Taking into account the bewildering legal status of hemp-derived CBD, cannabis users, especially medical marijuana users, feel that the federal government and also their respective state governments should take effective measures to make CBD more accessible.
Mars Wrigley Wins Trademark Case Against Companies Selling Cannabinoids Under the Name “Skittles”
Mars Canada Inc., a leading manufacturer of candy like M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, ORBIT®, EXTRA®, and Skittles®, and Mars Wrigley recently settled a dispute over the use of the Skittles trademark on illicit cannabis products. Federal Judge Patrick Gleeson ordered three online marijuana merchants to “deliver up and destroy all infringing items and packaging” on August 12 in addition to paying different fines for violating Mars’ trademark.
In the motion, Gleeson stated, “I also find that using appropriated trademarks that are obviously and obviously attractive to children in order to advertise and offer for sale a potentially dangerous product represents a marked departure from ordinary standards of decent behavior that deserves to be denounced and deterred.”
“I have given serious consideration to the potential injury to consumers who would mistakenly drink the Defendants’ Infringing Product thinking it to be a genuine SKITTLES product as well as to the Plaintiff. It is even more important to condemn the Defendants’ actions because SKITTLES are a sweet treat that youngsters find appealing, Gleeson continued.
Mars initially filed the case in May 2021, alleging trademark infringement by the unlawful merchants. The business issued a press release saying, “Mars Wrigley strongly condemns the exploitation of popular candy brands in the marketing and sale of THC products, which is profoundly deceptive and irresponsible.” “The usage of Mars Wrigley’s brands in this way is illegal, improper, and it must end, especially to prevent children from accidentally eating these illegal THC products,” the statement reads.
The business particularly highlighted items being sold illegally on e-commerce sites in Canada and the United States under the names “Medicated Skittles,” “Starburst Gummies,” and “Life Savers Medicated Gummies.” These items “represent a substantial hazard to the public since anyone, children and adults alike, might readily mistake the infringing cannabis-infused products for Wrigley’s iconic and beloved candies and mistakenly swallow,” according to a complaint submitted in Riverside, California, at the time.
The National Post claims that Mars employed private investigators to buy imitation goods that violated the company’s trademarks.
Due to the frequent use of “Gorilla Glue” in strain names, the Ohio-based glue manufacturer that makes Gorilla Glue sued GG Strains in August 2017. By October, a settlement had been reached, stipulating that GG1, GG4, GG5, and other adhesives would take the place of Gorilla Glue #1, #4, and #5. Among other conditions, the cultivator’s website domain would be transferred to the Gorilla Glue firm ownership by January 2020.
Ross Johnson, co-founder of GG Strains and Gorilla Glue, was optimistic despite the fact that it was a significant setback. Johnson proclaimed, “We’re going to survive and triumph over it.” “Was there a setback? It is most obviously a setback. However, everything is now behind us, which enables us to advance. Sadly, according to the Cannabis Business Times, Johnson passed away in 2019 and his co-founder Don Peabody (also known as Joesy Whales) in 2020.
Similar legal actions have also been taken in relation to other well-known trademarked brands. The business sued marijuana businesses infringing on the items bearing the Hershey’s Chocolate brand in February 2018. UPS (United Parcel Service) filed a lawsuit in February 2019 against a set of delivery companies known as United Pot Smokers, UPS420, and THCPlant for using deceptive brand identification. Later in July 2019, the creator of the confectionery Sour Patch Kids took legal action against “Stoney Patch,” an illegal cannabis consumable.
Challenges Crushing the Dreams of American Hemp Farmers
All You Need To Know About Import And Export Of Cannabis
What Makes Hemp Fiber Better Than Alternative Options?
Final Legality of Private Cannabis Clubs Still a Long Way Off, But Liddell Relieved as Prospect of Jail Time Recedes
Bill Maher Thinks Republicans Will ‘Steal’ Pot Legalization
KZN Start-Up Tri-Medi Canna Clinches UK Partner to Set Up Cannabis Export Facility in SA
Industrial Hemp4 weeks ago
Your Guide To Understanding Hemp Fiber
Education3 weeks ago
The Genetics Improvement Of Hemp
Education2 weeks ago
What Makes Hemp Fiber Better Than Alternative Options?
Business1 week ago
All You Need To Know About Import And Export Of Cannabis
Industrial Hemp20 hours ago
Challenges Crushing the Dreams of American Hemp Farmers