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‘Hemp surging as an environmental alternative to other fibers’


Lawrence Serbin, Hemp Traders

INTERVIEW: A 31-year veteran of the hemp industry, Lawrence Serbin is president of California-based Hemp Traders, which he founded in 1994. He started Cannagrove, a producer of engineered hemp “wood” particleboard in 2018 after having researched such material since 2005. Serbin is past national director of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp and past president and director at the national Hemp Industries Association. He served as chair of the California Hemp Advisory Board for the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 2017–2020. He is currently working to bring decortication, processing, and spinning facilities online to support the U.S. hemp construction and textile sectors.

HempToday: You have a wide, wide assortment of hemp products at Hemp Traders. What kind of products are trending now?

Lawrence Serbin: We have always sold hemp textiles, but at this moment, there is definitely a surge in the interest to use hemp as an environmental alternative to other fibers in textiles.

HT: You’ve mentioned that Hemp Traders now imports yarns from China since the machines don’t exist in the U.S. Won’t yarn from China always be less expensive?

LS: Perhaps. China has lower production costs due to a lower standard of living, so there is going to be a cost-benefit to working with China. And it is fairly inexpensive and environmental to ship things to and from China by boat. But we do have an opportunity to grow hemp in the United States.

HT: How is your work going with respect to bringing farmers and processors online to support the development of a U.S. supply chain for textiles and building materials? How do you see the investment picture shaping up there?

LS: Very well. We are growing our first farm size test crop in California’s Central Valley. The information we are getting this year will allow us to grow on a commercial scale in 2022. We have also set up a fiber processing facility near to where the hemp is grown.

HT: What are the economics of the hemp particle board you developed at Cannagrove? Is it even fair to ask, at this point, for price comparison with conventional wood-chip particle board?

LS: The first boards we made were more expensive than regular particleboard mainly due to having to ship the raw materials around the country to the factory that could produce it. The shipping costs were half of the cost of making the board. But when the hemp is made at a facility that is near to where the hemp is grown, it becomes much less expensive. And now with the higher costs of regular wood particleboard, hemp is going to be a less expensive alternative.

HT: What’s happening with hemp building materials in general? Do you see any significant movement in that market?

LS: One main problem with the hemp building market has been a lack of raw materials. Mostly we have had to import them. As we begin to grow more hemp in the United States for fiber, there will be much more material available at a lower cost. This will be what kick starts the hemp building industry.

HT: How do you see the arc of production for such biocomposite products going forward the next five years?

LS: I think we will see 2021 and 2022 begin to establish the markets for hemp fiber products and grain. After that, there will be a huge increase in demand with farmers increasing acres devoted to fiber and grain.

HT: Some parts of California don’t seem very friendly to hemp. What’s up with that in your state?

LS: There are two things going on. Some areas of the state have a history of marijuana production. Those areas are concerned that high CBD hemp flower varieties might cross-pollinate with their crop and lower the value. In other areas where people have grown for CBD, a pungent odor of cannabis around harvest time has had people complain. Overall there is overregulation of the hemp industry, especially when it comes to fiber crops, which don’t even produce a flower.

HT: When you started in hemp three decades ago, did you think the industry would develop faster than it has?

LS: In the beginning in the early 1990’s I thought we would first see industrial hemp legalized, followed by medical cannabis and then recreational cannabis. I thought this would all happen by the end of the decade. In reality we first saw medical marijuana legalized, followed by recreational, and then industrial. And it took over 25 years.

HT: Thirty-one years is a long time in hemp. You must have one or two heroes.

LS: There are a few people I admire. Canada legalized industrial hemp in the late 1990’s and two companies emerged to fill the demand for hemp foods. Hemp Oil Canada founded by Shawn Crew and Manitoba Harvest founded by Mike Fata. Those are good examples of what a professional hemp company should look like.

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Pot Porsches and Hempcrete are here

From stalled legislation to falling stock prices, cannabis didn’t have the greatest year. But investors are finding something to be optimistic about heading into 2022: industrial hemp.

Demand is poised to rise for hemp — the staid sister to the mood-altering forms of cannabis — as it’s increasingly adopted for a wide range of uses, including concrete blocks, clothing and even car parts. The shift is driven by environmental incentives such as carbon caps and single-use plastic bans, which are making some natural materials preferable to those made from petrochemicals.

“Industrial hemp is the biggest opportunity in the cannabis sector as a whole,” said Mina Mishrikey, a partner at Merida Capital Partners. His firm has invested around 90% to 95% of its $500 million in assets under management in cannabis businesses centered around THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but aims to make more investments in industrial hemp, Mishrikey told me.

Hemp could use the boost after the market struggled to capitalize on the hype following the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp and led to over-planting when not enough companies were ready to create end products. In 2021, the number of acres of hemp planted fell to 33,844 from 70,530 a year earlier and 465,787 in 2019 according to New Frontier Data.

Adding to the challenges, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently refused to regulate one of hemp's best-known products — CBD, or cannabidiol — as a dietary ingredient, casting a specter of uncertainty over the otherwise booming market for creams, tinctures and gummies.

As a material, hemp remains more expensive than alternatives that come from petrochemicals. But India, Canada, Germany and South Africa are among the countries cracking down on plastics in 2022, making alternatives more economical. Meanwhile, pressure to shift from oil and gas to renewable industries is increasing and carbon credits are becoming more valuable — and that’s an area where hemp has an advantage.

Mishrikey sees the plant’s ability to capture carbon while it’s growing, and its ability to use less water than cotton, as key factors that help it disrupt a range of products. Just one category of industrial hemp alone — precast concrete — is worth around $20 billion, roughly the same size as the current U.S. legal marijuana market, he pointed out.

His fund’s investments include Canadian Rockies Hemp Corp., based in Bruderheim, Alberta, which processes hemp for use in textiles, pulp and paper, animal bedding, rope, composites and automobile components, according to its website. Another is Bast Fibre Technologies Inc., based in Victoria, British Columbia, which has a processing technology to make nonwoven fabrics with natural fibers including hemp. That could be helpful for the booming market in wipes, which are ripe for disruption due to the sewer-clogging gobs known as fatbergs.

Hemp could play a role in many categories: plastics, textiles, papers, building materials, protein for humans and animals, and concrete of all forms. Some of the more innovative applications include hempcrete, where hemp fibers are infused in the mortar, and a Porsche car with some components made of hemp. Some see hemp as a viable alternative to almost anything made from petrochemicals, due to the properties of its cellulose fibers.

The U.S. will have some catching up to do: China is the leading grower of hemp and is  tiptoeing into the CBD market, starting with Hong Kong. The plants also require different agricultural and processing techniques compared to other forms of cannabis, meaning the supply chain will have to be built out from scratch. Processing the plant's tough fibers, called decortication, is an arduous practice that takes heavy machinery and has created something of a bottleneck.

That bottleneck is about to get some help from a $500 million impact fund by rePlant Hemp Advisors, launched in early November by Geoff Whaling, co-founder of Collective Growth Corp., and others including Michael Woods, former chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Rothschild & Co. Asset Management U.S. The fund plans to help develop U.S. infrastructure to process hemp and improve the supply chain, focusing on hemp for food and fiber.

“I probably have a dozen companies call me a week” about using hemp in their products, Whaling said, citing brands like Chobani, Wrangler jeans and Tesla.

“They all want to know where they can get 100 tons of fiber a year, and the answer, at this point, is nowhere,” he said. “No major manufacturer will sign unless there's a two-year supply in a warehouse.”

But slowly, that’s changing.

“We're seeing more countries advancing and mandating use of sustainable fibers, more auto companies adopting natural fiber solutions,” Whaling said. “It really is an industrial hemp revolution.”

Number of the week 

16.6% The compound annual growth rate of the legal U.S. cannabis market from 2020 to 2025, as estimated by New Frontier Data in their 2021 Year in Review report.

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What do empty cans have in common with vegetables grown in stone wool?

Deborah 'Debbie' Kelly Spillane

Deborah Kelly Spillane13 August 2021

Circularity, webinar, nl

If you’ve ever been to Denmark, you might have been surprised to see people picking up empty bottles and cans instead of putting them in the bin. This is one of the first learnings for newcomers living in Denmark: By returning bottles and cans to the deposit machine in the supermarket, they can be exchanged for cash. This is a classic example of the circular economy – a way to keep materials in use for as long as possible.

As we realise the irreversible damage our “take, make and waste” consumerist society is inflicting on our planet, calls for a stronger circular economy are growing ever louder. And they are being met in new and innovative ways across many different industries – from the way we build to the way we heat our homes in winter.

Before we get into some exciting examples of circular businesses, let’s take a look at exactly what it means and just why it is so important. At the time of writing, the vast majority of the world’s resources, including metals, plastics, wood, concrete, chemicals are used only once before they become waste. Circularity is philosophy that reduces this enormous waste by keeping materials in use for as long as possible to decrease our carbon footprint and the constant exploitation of our natural world. It is based on three principles:

  • Design out waste and pollution
  • Keep products and materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems

Circle House – circularity in construction

Let’s look at some real life examples of this philosophy put into practice. Close to Aarhus, Denmark, a social housing project has been built to demonstrate circularity in construction. With the construction industry being responsible for one third of all waste created worldwide[1], this move towards circularity is much-needed.

This unique building is the first fully circular building of it’s kind and the construction of this revolutionising building meant brining together many different stakeholders to re-think the construction process and selecting the very best materials. The Circle House project shows that it is possible to overcome the challenges involved and it has started a much-needed discussion around circularity in construction. You can read more about Circle House here:11 August 2021Not just home sweet home but a material bank

From waste to heat

In Denmark today, 64 percent of all Danish households[2] get their heating from district heating. In the small town of Vamdrup, a short drive from Aarhus, you’ll find another example of how local businesses and are working together to re-use waste heat. Here ROCKWOOL’s stone wool factory contributes excess heat from its cooling systems to the local district heating network. This is then used to heat the homes of 1,500 local residents.

By turning what is often seen as a waste product into heat, local homeowners save 10 percent of their heating bills. At the same time, ROCKWOOL reduces the energy needed for cooling. And ultimately by reducing the need to heat and cool, everybody benefits from the reduced CO2 emissions.28 April 2021Top 10 Sustainable case studies

Grown in stone

But circularity is about more than just building and recycling bottles – and it can be found at the cutting-edge of new, innovative methods of growing our food. If you’ve had a fresh salad lately, it might have come from a ‘hydroponic’ farm. You can think of these farms as high-tech green houses, many of which grows produce in highly controlled conditions using no soil. Instead these farms use soil substitutes, such as stone wool. It can be hard to wrap your head around the idea of growing fresh produce in stone  but this material is ideal for achieving more growth with less space and fewer resources.09 May 2018Growing more with less

In Denmark, the  indoor farm Katrine & Alfred grows tomatoes, cucumbers and chilis using Grodan stone wool blocks. The even density of the stone wool creates stable growing conditions and avoids many of the natural deviations that occur in soil. The exact amount of nutrients can be delivered straight to the plant, which results in less environmental impact and a more uniform product.

What’s more, this controlled method of farming lets the company save on fertilisers, and enables them to recycle and reuse water. In fact, growing one kilo of tomatoes in a state-of-the-art greenhouse using hydroponics takes only four liters of water whereas soil-based growing would require 60 litres[3]. That’s something that can only make your salad taste even better!

It’s time for circular thinking

Faced with an ever-shrinking window of time where we can take action to reduce our impact on the planet, redefining growth and industrial practices has become more urgent than ever before. Whether it’s building homes with less environmental impact, reusing waste heat or just recycling our empty bottles, circularity provides ways to rebalance our lifestyles that we need to embrace.

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The Decentralized Human Organisation (DHO)

The Decentralized Human Organisation (DHO)

Welcoming Hypha’s Decentralized Human Organisation

It’s said that the next wave of enlightenment won’t be individuals but a group of people coming together with a deep, committed and purposeful vision.

We’re living through the modern day Renaissance, while simultaneously experiencing peaks of ecological, political, economic and social crises. Future societies will look back and say that the “Dark Ages” hadn’t quite ended yet.

The Dark Ages are almost over.

We’re at the dawn of welcoming in new systems of governance, thought and value distribution. Human awareness and consciousness is shifting from a local awareness to a global awareness.

“We’re not defending nature; we’re nature defending itself.” — Unknown

You are a part of this transition. Your awareness comes with the duty to bring your unique perspectives and gifts to this new paradigm.

It’s important not to have a revolution.

A revolution is merely a shift in power from one group of people to another within the same paradigm.

This isn’t a revolution for some. This is a Renaissance for all of humanity.

We’ll need to navigate this new terrain with impeccable integrity and dedication to this new paradigm.

Otherwise we may revert into old systems of exploitation and domination and merely walk away with a revolution.

The Decentralized Human Organisation (DHO)

The DHO is in many ways similar to a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organisation) Except in that it places the humans that comprise it in the center. Opposed to trying to automate humans away, the DHO seeks to automate the majority of tasks to empower humans to more effectively and joyfully collaborate.

The old paradigm told us to show up, punch the ticket, appease the boss and generally do what we’re told.

In the DHO there are no bosses. You are accountable to your role and the other team members. But, most of all, you’re accountable to your purpose, your passion, your personal growth and your gifts.

It’s your responsibility (your ability to respond) to identify your gifts, create a role that best empowers you to share these gifts, then contribute to the creation of a new paradigm.

No one can tell you how to do this, what your gifts are, or how you’d like to receive value for your gifts. This is up to you to decide.

It is up to the other members of the DAO to decide whether or not to receive these gifts. But, it’s not up to them to tell you how to give, how to contribute, or what your purpose is.

This is going to be awkward at first as we learn to take our first steps in this new paradigm of self-empowerment and freedom.

We’ll need to exercise our atrophied communication and relationship skills.

Skills that we had as children when we — without hesitation — spoke truthfully, expressing our thoughts, concerns, opinions and emotions.

This new paradigm will require us to fully show up, wounds and all.

What you make of this structure is up you.

Success here isn’t just making (literally) money. Success is changing money. It’s changing how and what we value as a society.

Sure, there is enormous value to be made and shared. However, true success is a thriving planet, with a purpose driven society where people are deeply and truly nourished.
Welcome to the dawn of of these new systems. We’re building them now and Hypha DHO is a live experiment.

DHO = Decentralised Human/Holacratic/Holonic Organism/Organization

The DHO scales using nested (holonic) circles and breaks down decision making and role patterns that emerged from the practices and organisational patterns of Holacracy.
We use the term organism because the DHO is a structure that allows human collaboration to behave as the cells of our bodies do. Our bodies have no rigid hierarchy, no top-down control mechanisms but are able to coordinate actives on a massive scale to create an entirely new being — a human. The same is true for the DHO. What this new being looks like us up to us.

Are You Ready?

Overview of the DHO

The DHO: dho.hypha.earth (site)
Rieki Cordon

August 13, 2019

 
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Ecologische solar boat project in volle vaart.

Ecologische solar boat project in volle vaart.

Vandaag werden we hartelijk ontvangen in de unieke wereld van kapitein Peter Van Elslander op zijn ecologische solarboat.
Een vaarwater van rust en ontspanning.

Voor ondernemer Peter Van Elslander is het duidelijk, zijn ecologische pleziervaarten zijn meer dan een bron van ontspanning., ze zijn vooral in hoge mate een solide en creatief aanbod inzake mobiele verplaatsingen op het water.

Geen enkele storende prikkel bij het varen, de afwezigheid van ronkende motoren, het varen over het water is zonder geluid, de solarboot glijdt stil en trillingsvrij over het wateroppervlak. Tijdens de tocht hebben we ons zalig in de divan genesteld en nuttigen we een heerlijk gekoelde drank, die altijd aan boord aanwezig zijn.

De onthaasting en de natuur vanop het water is een zalige belevenis. Geen mens die tijdens je verblijf beslag op je legt, zuivere ‘Quality time’ waarbij Captain Sunset samen met jou op zoek gaat naar begrippen rust en deze omkadert in zorgvrije momenten.

De afwezigheid van storende prikkels maken dit bijzonder concept tot puur genieten en geeft een mens een nieuwe dimensie.

Peter heeft een warm hart. Hij is begaan met zijn bootreizigers, zijn jarenlange ervaring als ondernemer heeft een echte en hechte know-how en band geschept van ecologische en stijlvolle aard.Een boottocht met de solarboot zal je gemoed en geest verrijken.

Alles verloopt volgens de hygiënische normen inzake de coronamaatregelen.
In augustus kan je nog de ganse maand genieten in de omgeving.
Eerste afvaart is 13:00, laatste afvaart is 17:30.
Reserveren is niet noodzakelijk. Prijs is €5 per persoon.
Het vertrekpunt is in augustus steeds de Plaisancebrug achter de Brusselpoort te Mechelen.

Andere mogelijke formules: Elke dag, van 1 augustus tot en met 31 augustus is het ook mogelijk de boot af te huren met Peter zelf als uw lieve, vriendelijke kapitein.
Dit is vanaf 18:30 mogelijk. Prijzen zijn €200 voor 2 uur varen, €150 voor 1 uur en €100 voor een half uurtje. Indien er onderweg ergens getafeld wordt bedraagt de prijs per ingegaan uur wachttijd €25.

Met veel plezier licht ik u verder in over de vele mogelijkheden hieromtrent om iets op uw maat te maken.

U mag tot en met 12 personen komen zolang deze van dezelfde bubbel zijn natuurlijk.
Vanaf september 2020 kan je ook onthaasten met een staycation.

Privé faciliteiten met vakantiesfeer:Vanaf 1 september is het ook mogelijk de boot te huren, de tarieven hiervoor heeft Peter nog niet beslist, maar er zijn ook meerdaagse tochten mogelijk met overnachting vanaf dan. Best is hiervoor telefonisch contact op te nemen om samen te overleggen en de mogelijke formules onderling te bespreken, gaande van inspirerende tot beloftevolle arrangementen voor privépersonen en beperkte zakenrelaties.Van samen genieten, het delen van eenzelfde ervaring heeft Captain Sunset met de solarboot zijn handelsmerk gemaakt en hiermee in Mechelen zowat uitgegroeid is tot een uniek concept.

Info : Peter Van Elslander- Captain Sunset – Solar Boat Trips Mechelen
GSM en Whatsapp: +32 476 37.57.51

Reportage & Foto’s : Eric Creve, Inge Sève.
BBONM 20.08.2020

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From Globalization To A Planetary Mindset

It’s time for new cooperative platforms that address irreducible interdependence.

 

Globalization as we have known it is over. Kaput. As John Gray summarily puts it in his contribution to Noema, “forget it.” For the British philosopher, we are returning to the pluralism that existed before the post-Cold War neoliberal expansion and even the recent centuries of Western hegemony. This is the fragmentation that Chinese thinker Yuk Hui also talks about in Noema. For him, that means any new order will arise at multiple starting points, or bifurcations, that depart from the course we were on.

 

There will be many possible permutations, from Cold War and economic decoupling between the two great powers, protectionist trade policies and immigration curbs. We will see a patchwork of industrial policies aimed at strengthening national resilience instead of global integration. So-called “robust” supply chains that are partly global and partly domestic to build in redundancy as a hedge against political or natural disruptions are already appearing. While the populist revolt dealt the death blow to globalization, alternative political dispositions waiting in the wings have also so far shown little interest in resuscitating it.

 

What remains, and is irreducible, is the planetary. Obviously, the global ecosystem, including climate and pandemics that cross borders, qualify as planetary. The challenges here are recognized as common and convergent for all.

 

Thus, reconciling the centrifugal pull of ingathering with the centripetal imperative of planetary cooperation is the so-called “primary contradiction” going forward.

 

This contradiction will play out across a global communications web that has spun a synchronized planetary consciousness in which all are aware of what everyone else is doing, or not doing, in more or less real time. Inexorably, a kind of global mind, or “noosphere” as Teilhard de Chardin envisioned it, is emerging. But it is today as much a terrain of contestation rooted in divergent political and cultural tempers, including an ever more differentiating splinternet, as a space of common ground.  

 

The “noopolitik” of the coming era could not be more different than the realpolitik of the last century. Rather than solid nation-states in which elites calculate balances of power, noopolitik is a transparent endeavor open to all manner of connected players in a now gaseous global realm in which nations are attempting to reclaim sovereignty even as the solidity they once assumed diminishes with every passing day.

 

The ultimate project of a planetary approach, therefore, is to forge a shared narrative for the noosphere. This doesn’t imply some one-size-fits-all Leviathan-like order that sets solutions to whatever ails the world, but a prevalent normative awareness that a cooperative approach is the only way to make irreducible interdependence work for each of us instead of against all of us.

 

That shared consciousness, or “noorative,” will only take hold in the first instance if its foundation rests not on wooly abstractions but on the existential imperative of cooperation in such clear and present realities as climate and pandemics. In effect, this noorative would combine the Chinese strategist Zheng Bijian’s idea of “building on a convergence of interests to establish a community of interests” with the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk’s notion of “planetary co-immunism,” as he explains in an interview with Noema.

 

This new order of cooperation, and the evolved consciousness that arises out of its concrete actions, can only be built one brick at a time through new planetary platforms. A “partnership of rivals” among nation-states and the “civilization-states” that are in conflict in some realms, but nonetheless have cross interests in others, is one such way. It can also be built through “networks of the willing” among both civil society and states so disposed. In other words, alternative, parallel practices and institutions will have to be built on another foundation than a U.N.-style “trade union for nations-states” in order to ultimately go beyond the lessening but still weighty pull of their inertia.

 

One example of this approach was embodied in the Berggruen Institute’s 21stCentury Council presentation to former Mexican President Felipe Calderón when he hosted the G20 in 2012 — the first time that supranational body tackled climate change. We proposed that while G20 summitry could set broad goals, it lacked the legitimacy to implement them across different jurisdictions. To that end we recommended that “a web of national and subnational networks should be fostered to provide global public goods, such as low-carbon growth, from below through ‘coalitions of the willing’ working together to build up a threshold of global change.”

 

Only once the trust- and legitimacy-building experience of new platforms that address climate and pandemics gain traction can that cooperative spirit meaningfully address other imminent planetary challenges — bioengineering, AI and the creation of inorganic life.

 

The time has arrived to stop regretting the lost illusions of globalization and start thinking of how to construct a new order grounded in the undeniable realities of interdependence.


Jonathan Zawada for Noema Magazine BY NATHAN GARDELS AUGUST 7, 2020 

 
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Processing and Farming Equipment in the Hemp Industry

From cultivation to extraction, the hemp industry requires highly specialized technology to flourish.

AMANDA LUKETAAmanda Luketa is a freelance technical writer and former cannabis industry mechanical engineer. She believes strongly in helping others, federal legalization, and the power of curiosity. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing and yoga.

With the passing of the Farm Bill, the hemp industry has seen a long-awaited boom in production and revenue. There are many uses for hemp, from textiles to products containing only CBD, with some companies even using hemp as a biomass energy source. The equipment for producing hemp products is complex and requires technology from various disciplines. Take a look at some of the specialized processing and farming equipment used within the hemp industry.

HEMP FARMING EQUIPMENT

There are many ways to grow hemp, with some methods being more sophisticated than others. Hemp farming requires substantial agricultural knowledge and research, as the exact equipment used will depend on the precise growing methodology.  

Another critical factor in which equipment a farmer chooses is whether or not the hemp will be used for textiles or for CBD oil. If used for textiles, hemp can be planted at a much higher density – up to 400,000 plants per square acres – but if CBD production is the goal, the density drops substantially to a maximum of around 1,600 plants per acre.

This is because textile hemp is grown similarly to wheat, with tall stalks that are then used for industrial applications. CBD hemp, on the other hand, is cultivated to be small and leafy, staying lower to the ground, with the plant’s flowers used for oil production.  

Here is some of the equipment involved in the hemp farming process:

Seed Drill

A seed drill streamlines the process of sowing hemp seeds and can be used to plant many acres of the crop efficiently.

Transplanter

If not starting from seeds, a transplanter can be used to move a substantial quantity of early hemp plants into the field, placing them with the appropriate spacing and position.

Combine

Also used for harvesting wheat, a combine is used to cut and collect the hemp stalks and grain material. This equipment is typically used when harvesting textile-based hemp crops, as it is a rough process that would compromise the structure of the plant when used for CBD production.

CBD Hemp Harvester

Explicitly designed to harvest hemp used for CBD oil production, this harvester works differently than the combine. The CBD hemp harvester carefully cuts each hemp plant and loads it onto a trailer, without damaging the plant’s structure. A typical harvester processes up to 5 acres of CBD hemp per day, and can also be used for cannabis crops.

HEMP PROCESSING EQUIPMENT

The bulk of the processing requirements for hemp consist of decortication. Hemp decortication is the process of separating the hemp fiber from the plant stalk. Hemp is also processed into CBD oil by companies in the hemp extraction space. Take a look at the cutting-edge technology designed for hemp processing:

Continuous Countercurrent Reactor for Decortication

The Continuous Countercurrent Reactor (CCR), developed by PureHemp Technology out of Fort Lupton, CO, is designed to streamline the decortication process. The reactor works by passing hemp stalks through the machine in the opposite direction as a liquid reagent, to efficiently separate the hemp into pulp and sugar co-products.

The CCR can be used for efficient biomass production, as part of the effort to reduce the planet’s dependency on fossil fuels.

R-2 Decorticator System

Developed by CannaSystems, a Canada-based company serving the industrial hemp industry, the R-2 decorticator is designed to be a semi-portable turnkey solution for separating hemp. The unit is a hydraulic, diesel-powered system, and can process up to five tons of hemp per hour.  

HempTrain for Consumer Products

This industrial powerhouse, developed by Canadian Greenfield, is designed to process and decorticate hemp into up to nine different products.

Applications for these products range from hemp-based kitty litter to hemp skin care products and potting mixes.

Precision KPD Series for Extraction

Designed to operate on an industrial scale, the Precision KPD extraction system can process over 25,000 pounds of hemp per day for manufacture into CBD oil. Features include a continuous feed system and compatibility with ethanol, heptane, or hexane as an extraction solvent.

GROWING HEMP IS A SCIENCE

Those considering entering the exciting space of hemp cultivation and processing must do thorough research before beginning an operation. Hemp is unique in that it draws from both conventional agricultural methods, as well as precise science from the cannabis industry. Growing hemp for CBD oil production may prove more of a challenge than for textiles, though both can provide a rewarding opportunity for the new or experienced farmer.

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Hempcrete

Hempcrete or hemp concrete being a carbon-negative (carbon consuming) material is a great alternative for contractors to use in construction works. Hempcrete is prepared by mixing hemp shives (the inner woody core of hemp plant), water, and lime as the binding agent. Hempcrete has low density and excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties.

There are a lot of hempcrete products available in the market, but the one that stands out is Hempcrete block. Hempcrete blocks are produced by the pressing, ageing and packing of hempcrete through appropriate machinery. The product finally obtained is solid but light, durable, and with excellent insulation properties.

The main source of strength of hempcrete comes from the high silica content (approx. 70%) in hemp shives, which makes it easy for the raw materials to bind together.

Production of Hempcrete Blocks

Earlier, Hempcrete blocks were prepared right at the site by mixing the raw materials and placing the mixture in the formwork, or by using equipment that required a highly qualified workforce.

But today, with the increase in demand and technological advancement, factories have been set up to produce hempcrete-based materials. The production process is divided into three simple steps :

1) Mixing

The raw materials (hemp shives, lime-based binder and water) of hempcrete are proportionately dosed and mixed together.

2) Moulding

Hempcrete obtained is poured in the blocks of widths between 6 and 30 cm in a special press.

3) Open-air Curing

After a while, the frail blocks of hempcrete are placed on an automatic conveyor belt which takes them to a storage area for open air-drying. This brings strength and hardness to the blocks. Depending on the width of blocks, it takes around 6-10 weeks for the blocks to become ready to use.

Applications of Hempcrete Blocks

  1. As external and internal Wall insulation
  2. As floors and roof Insulation
  3. Underneath floors
  4. As Plasters
  5. New Builds
  6. For Insulating older buildings
  7. Renovation

Advantages of Hempcrete Blocks

  1. Hempcrete has a negative carbon footprint of -72.0 kg/m² of wall which makes hempcrete block construction energy efficient and eco-friendly technique.
  2. The construction doesn’t take much time and reduces the labour costs and results in a cleaner site.
  3. Hempcrete is a low thermal mass material which means that it absorbs the heat during the day and emits it out during the night thus providing energy-cost savings.
  4. The quasi ductile behaviour of hempcrete blocks makes it reusable without affecting its structural properties.
  5. Hempcrete is a microbe and parasite resistant material.
  6. Hempcrete blocks have a fire-rating of 60-120 minutes.
  7. The low U-value (thermal transmittance) and enhanced insulation of hempcrete blocks help deliver low operational costs through reduced heating and cooling requirements.
  8. Hempcrete blocks are light in weight and are easy to transport and handle.
  9. Hempcrete blocks have excellent heat and sound insulation properties.
  10. Hempcrete blocks help in constituting breathable walls.

Disadvantages of Hempcrete Blocks

  1. Hempcrete has a low compressive strength and elastic modulus which makes it unsuitable for bearing direct loads- It needs a frame to carry the loads.
  2. Hempcrete walls are thicker which risks the reduction in carpet area.
  3. The raw material hemp of hempcrete is illegal to grow at a lot of places which makes it necessary for you to have it shipped from some other place.
  4. Forms are needed which must be continuously raised as you build.
Akshay Dashore

Akshay Dashore

EDITORAkshay is a Civil Engineer who has experience in various Pile foundation projects. Civil Engineering intrigues him but what intrigues him, even more, is the implementation of hybridized materials in construction projects. He is the author, editor, and partner at theconstructor.org.

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SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL OF THE LEAVES, STALKS, STEMS, ROOTS, AND EVEN SOIL?

Biomass, or the leftover plant material, can be used in a numerous ways. Biomass comes in a number of its own varieties. Some farmers mulch the entire plant. Others focus solely on leaves or roots. Some solely use trim to create high-potency oils. Using biomass promotes regenerative, sustainable gardening, and can also be quite enjoyable.

Many farmers sell biomass to concentrate processors. This is a great way to increase revenue and build relationships within the local cannabis community.

These leftover materials can be used to make a number of specialized products. Take a look at just some of the ways to utilize the rest of your hemp and cannabis harvest.

WHAT TO DO WITH HEMP AND CANNABIS STALKS?

The stalks of hemp pants can be broken down and shipped off for use in all kinds of textile industries. These industries include building materials, garments, and even utility equipment. Businesses with accounts on Kush.comcan connect directly with buyers from across the nation. Create your free account now by clicking here.

If you don’t have a supply chain, and aren’t a member of Kush.com, then you could simply mulch them. Mulching can be done by shredding the stalks. Shredding creates more surface area for a quicker decomposition. Shredded stalks can be applied on top of the soil in your garden, yard or in the compost bin. 

Mulching or composting is very valuable, because it gives life back to the soil. In compost micro-organisms break down organic matter. This produces nitrogen and other minerals in the process. 

Mulched stalks can be returned to a crop next season. You could also use them to grow a variety of other crops if you choose, because it’s nutrient dense. 

In mulch, the shredded pieces of stalk decrease evaporation and allow the soil to hold moisture more effectively. This can be great for growing in arid, hot climates. 

A micro-biome is also created when mulch is applied to the ground as well. This creates an environment for beneficial bugs, bacteria, and other wildlife to grow and thrive

Stalks can be shredded by purchasing or renting a wood chipper. You could also simply mow them with a gas powered mower or tractor with a shredder attached.

WHAT TO DO WITH CANNABIS LEAVES?

Sugar leaves are rich and coated with trichomes giving them higher CBD and THC content. Although not as potent as their bud brothers and sisters, they can still be used to make tea, hash, or topical oils. 

For hash, sugar leaves can be dried, chopped, and further processed into hash or cannabutter. These processed items can go into a wide variety of products.

Larger fan leaves are perfect for making teas. Fan leaves can be dried and stored in a sealed container with a silicone packet to regulate moisture. When you’re ready, the leaves can be placed in a cup, bathed in hot water and sipped to your enjoyment and leisure. 

For oil production, a great number of leaves have to be collected. Once you have enough, press them to gain a rich oil that can be used in a multitude of products or distributed on it’s own.

WHAT TO DO WITH CANNABIS ROOTS?

As with all parts of biomass, roots can be used in a multitude of ways. Roots have a long history of medicinal use due to their anti-inflammatory properties. 

Roots can be brewed into a tea for gastrointestinal relief. They are also commonly processed into topical ointments or salves for skin ailments.  
Processing roots has been done for generations across the world. Creams and salves have been known to help with arthritis, gout, burns, rashes, and muscle pain. 

Want to give it a try at home? Boil some into your next cup of tea or process a few roots for use in a topical lotion to treat aches and pains. To learn more on the benefits of cannabis roots check out The National Library of Medicine.

WHAT TO DO WITH CANNABIS SOIL?

Let us not forget about the soil. Here is where all the magic begins. Feed the soil and it will feed your plant. 

At the end of the harvest, soil is low in minerals and nutrients, but can still be used a number of ways. If you plan on replanting in the same soil, try applying some minerals and additions. Compost or a seed starting solid fertilizer (NPK 4-4-4) are great places to start. 

Also, before planting any new seeds or started plants, give the soil a good till or cultivation. This can be as simple as stirring the new compost or fertilizer into the soil with your hand if it’s in pots. You could also get a cultivator and till up the ground if outdoors. This not only combines the soil with the new amendments, but it also introduces a vital compound into the equation, oxygen. 

This aerates the soil and allows life to grow more vigorously. In this case microorganisms and beneficial fungi. This simple task can go a long way in starting your next crop in the right direction. If you plan on replacing all your potting soil with new potting soil, the old soil can be composted as well. 

When going this route, be sure to combine the soil with as close to equal parts brown material ( dried leaves, dried stalks, dried “brown” organic matter) and green material (freshly cut “green” leaves, stems, veggies, etc.). This allows the compost to start it’s process of new life with the right balance of ingredients. 

Remember composting isn’t only decomposing matter, it’s also consuming matter. It’s about creating the right environment for beneficial bacteria, fungi, insects, and worms to live, work, and feed in harmony. Giving you a nutrient rich source for enriching your soil and growing healthy crops for years to come.

[PRO TIP] Remember that any plants or soil with pests or disease should not be composted. These will continue to grow and infect your compost bin and every future crop it is applied to. A trash heap, landfill, or burn pile is more suited place to dispose of it

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