The Many Uses of Hemp

Hemp is used to produce more than 25,000 commercial and industrial products in nine (9) main markets: agriculture, construction materials, textiles, food, automotive, personal care, paper, furniture and recycling. While new product applications are always being discovered, here is a comprehensive list of the uses of hemp.

Construction | Cat Litter | Garden Care | Technical Textiles | Apparel Textiles Paper | Personal Care | Technical Products | Food Products

Cat Litter

Most cat litters fall into two main categories; clay-based and biodegradable.

Traditionally, cat litters use bentonite clay, due to its ability to absorb liquid. This creates a potential health risk, as bentonite expands as it absorbs liquids. There is prevailing notion that chronic ingestion or contact can lead to sodium bentonite toxicosis, causing respiratory problems, gastrointestinal blockage, and sometimes even death. Ingestion commonly occurs during cat cleanings, upon licking their fur and paws. Kittens are particularly prone to sodium bentonite toxicosis, as their curiosity causes them to eat and ingest litter. Furthermore, crystalline silica dust, the other ingredient used for clumping litter, is known to be carcinogenic when inhaled by pets and humans. Odor from cat urine can also become a problem with clay-based litter, if litter trays are not cleaned and changed regularly (at least once a week). Unfortunately, to mitigate odour many products use strong perfumes as masking agents.

Biodegradable litter is made from a variety of plant-based resources, such as corn, wheat, walnuts, pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper and hemp. Many pet owners prefer to use biodegradable litter as an alternative to clay-based ones, due to the health hazards clay-based litters can have if inhaled or ingested. Biodegradable litters are also preferred due to their environmental friendliness, flushability, compostability, and deodorizing properties. Though slightly more expensive by volume, consumers tend to save money as plant-based litters tend to last longer without creating unpleasant odors.

Hemp cat litter is a great example of how engineered hemp products can out-perform traditional products. Engineered for superior absorption, odor control and product longevity, Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp. makes the world’s first hemp-based cat litter. It has been specially processed to remain scent free and retain the natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of hemp.

Litter Tips

Where should I put the litter box in my house?

Place the box in a quiet, well-ventilated place that is away from the cat’s food and water dishes. Choose a spot that is open and easily accessible for the cat.

Is the size of the litter box important?

Very! It’s crucial to give your cat plenty of space to dig in the litter comfortable and turn around inside the box. The general rule is the litter box should be 1.5 times as long as the cat’s body. Deeper boxes may also help keep the litter in the box, but needs to be placed in an area with a lower entry point for easier accessibly, especially for older and heavier cats.

Should I use a covered/hooded litter box?

While some cats prefer covered boxes for privacy, some cats prefer an uncovered litter box so they don’t feel trapped and can see everything around them. In addition, larger cats may have difficulty turning around in a covered box.

What is litter aversion?

Litter aversion is a cat’s strong dislike of a particular litter. Cats with litter aversion may partially or totally avoid the litter box. Common signs of litter aversion the cat may exhibit include;

  • Rushing while using the box
  • Not digging in the litter or burying waste
  • Scratching the area around the box
  • Trying to balance on the edge of the box
  • Choosing to go right beside the box

What causes litter aversion?

Rapid changes to the type of litter used can cause litter aversion. Litters that are strongly scented are more likely to create aversion issues. Cats naturally have more sensitive noses than humans; your cat may not like the same scents you do. Cats often prefer unscented litter, such as hemp fiber cat litter. Other common causes include having too much or too little litter in the box, not receiving enough privacy in the box or the litter box may not be clean enough; most cats prefer their litter as clean as possible.

How can I overcome litter aversion?

Make sure the box is cleaned on a daily basis. Select a litter with excellent odor control, such as Greenfield Pets™ hemp cat litter. Always transition to a new litter, litter box size and box location slowly. If your cat continues to go outside the box, seek advice from your veterinarian to rule out health problems, such as gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections; afflictions that can limit you cat’s ability to control bowels and bladder. Never punish a cat for going outside the box; this can make the problem worse by stressing out the cat more. If you have multiple cats in the household, there may be too many cats using the same box; most cats prefer their own box and it’s recommend each at should have their own box.

Garden Products

Potting Mix

There are many different soils and potting mixes. Commonly, container plants and seedlings thrive best in sterile environments with plenty of drainage. A good potting mix should not dry out too quickly or be too dense so plant roots are unable to access oxygen; a problem inherent in soil-based potting mixes. In order to combat this, typically potting mixes are a combination of peat, coir, pine bark and vermiculite. These plant-based materials however, do not provide the nutrition plants require. Hemp, while not commonly known to be used as a potting mix is a great example of how soil-free potting mixes can provide better nutrition and aeration to plants. Engineered for superior water retention and enhanced growth, Hemponica™ is the world’s first hemp fiber based soil-free potting mix. In addition to being specially processed for superior growth, hemp is also naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, making your plants less hospitable to the pests so often found in soil.

Plant Food

Plant food is ultimately nutrients which are added to container plants and seedlings in order to promote growth and well being. There are two main categories for plant food; synthetic and natural organic.

Synthetic plant foods are chemical nutrients, traditionally salts, that are added to soils and potting mixes to preferentially accelerate the growth of plants. Synthetic plant food is water-soluble, dissolving rapidly or slowly releasing nutrients into the water supply, coating plants with chemical nutrients. It is commonly know that synthetic plant foods have higher leeching and chemical burn potential due to solubility and a high salt index.

Natural organic plant foods contain nutrients that are plant, animal, and mineral derived, to provide plants with optimal growing conditions. Natural plant food is digested by soil microorganisms, which then release nutrients to the plants. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, natural plant fertilizers don’t have a high salt index and mitigate the risk of chemically burning plants if overfed. Soil structure can be improved for better moisture retention, nutrient retention, aeration and drainage when using organic fertilizers; hemp is a great example of a natural organic plant food. It provides superior aeration, moisture retention, plant growth nutrients and has a natural resistance to insects, diseases, and extreme climates. Hemp-Pak™, the world’s first natural all-purpose plant food made from industrial hemp.

Garden Mulch

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil to conserve moisture, improve the health of the soil and reduce weed growth. Mulch is usually an organic material, such as bark, grass, peat moss and hemp, but can also be an inorganic material such as sand, gravel and rubber.

Commonly, mulch is used on outdoor plants to help them grow properly. The idea of mulching indoor plants is often omitted. Mulching your plants is the single best thing your can do to keep your plants healthy. Here are some reasons why you should mulch your indoor plants.

Technical Textiles (technical fiber)

Textiles where technical features such as durability, moisture absorption, sunlight stability, color fastness, mold/mildew/bacteria/fungal resistance and stain resistance outweigh the importance of aesthetics. Technical textiles are primarily made from bast fiber of the hemp stalk.

  • Domestic Fabrics: Home furnishings, carpets, drapes, towels, and blankets.
  • Construction industry: Geotextiles, roofing materials, insulation (thermal and sound), barrier fabrics, adhesives, structural wraps and reinforcements, loss circulation control.
  • Agriculture and forestry industries: Soil and crop protection fabrics.
  • Automotive and aerospace industries: Compression molds and brake/clutch lining.
  • Environmental industry: Filters, membranes and separation fabrics.
  • Manufacturing Industry: Separation, reinforcing and refractory fabrics, awnings, brushes/bristles, hoses, tubing, ropes and cordage.
  • Biomedical industry: Bandages, gauze, sutures, tubing, gowns, masks and drapes
  • Consumer products industry: Disposable wipes and cloths, fabric softener sheets, non-disposable polishing and cleaning fabrics, mattresses, mats.
  • Packaging industry: Canvas bags, wraps, tarps, nets and containers.
  • Recreation industries: Sporting goods equipment such as hockey sticks, tennis rackets, golf clubs, fishing rods and line, tents and boat hulls.

Apparel Textiles

  • Consumer clothing fabrics including denim, shoes, handbags and diapers. Aesthetic appeal and tactile quality are two of the main features of apparel textiles. Apparel textiles are made from the bast fiber of the hemp stalk.

Paper Products

  • Printing paper, newsprint, packaging paper, cardboard, currency, wipes, cigarette paper, technical filters, and other fine/specialty paper. Paper products can be made from the hurd (shiv) and bast fiber of the hemp stalk.

Personal Care

  • Soaps, shampoos and cosmetics. Personal care products are made from hemp oil from the seeds. Learn more about the health benefits of hemp oil and CBD oil in personal care.

Technical Products

  • Varnishes, oil paint, fuel, coating, printing ink, putty, solvents and chainsaw lubricant. These technical products are made from the oil from hemp seeds.

Food Products

  • Oil Products: Salad dressing, margarine and food supplements.
  • Seed Products: Seeds, bird/animal seed, granola, protein flour and beer.
  • Learn more about the health benefits of hemp seeds and seed oil.