Hemp paper is made from hemp plants – either through long blast fibers or pulp.
Fiber paper is tough, brittle, rough and thin. Paper made from the pulp is more convenient for everyday needs as it is softer and thicker, making it more durable for regular use.
Hemp paper predates that of wood as the very first paper produced was made from hemp plants.
Hemp is a better material to use for a paper due to its high cellulose level, the chemical in plant walls that helps it to grow stiff and strong, and it’s lower lignin content which makes plants woody. This factor is very high in tree wood and causes difficulties when extracting what is needed to produce paper.
While hemp is mostly used for medicinal products like CBD vape oil for migraines. Nowadays hemp is also a more sustainable and eco-friendly option. As well as being able to be produced quicker than wood paper, hemp paper is actually better quality. Hemp paper was widely used throughout the 1800s for various different documents, books and even currency worldwide.
The popularity of hemp made a steady decline in the 1900s as it became a prohibited material.
The World’s First Paper
Using hemp plants to produce paper originated in China, where hemp fabric would be crushed and thinned.
The first identified paper dates from around 150 – 200 BC, during the early Western Han Dynasty. Hemp paper has since been used all around the world.
Fundamental documents were first written on hemp paper; The Gutenberg Bible, the first mass-produced book; Thomas Paine’s pamphlets which advocated independence from Britain and even Mark Twain’s novels were all printed on hemp paper.
In the 1800s, Russia used hemp paper for the printing of “bank notes, stamped paper, credit bills, postal stamps, bonds, stocks, and other watermarked paper.”
Hemp in History: Used By Our Founding Fathers
The first and second drafts of the Declaration of Independence, produced by our founding fathers, was written on Dutch hemp paper in 1776. In the colonies, the pamphlets that contributed to the spread of revolutionary ideas about independence were all produced on hemp paper.
Forbidden in the 20th Century
Hemp became a prohibited material in the 1930s due to large synthetic textile companies and newspapers. Their work against the production of hemp eventually leads to banning the material.
Ironically the well-established magazine Popular Mechanic was about to deem hemp as a ‘billion dollar crop’ but, by this time, the laws were enforced and all profits that could be made were stopped.
Cbd Oil Adviser can still see this prohibition of hemp as its reputation has never fully recovered.
Hemp can be greatly beneficial to our modern needs – especially during these times of climate change:
- Hemp goes further: 1 acre of hemp produces as much as 4-10 acres of trees over the same 20-year cycle.
- Hemp grows quicker than trees. Hemp stalks grow in 4 months whereas it can take tress between 20 – 80 years
- Hemp paper is more durable than wood paper and lasts longer without signs of aging. Trees only have around 30% of cellulose, which requires the use of toxic chemicals to extract the other 70% from them. Hemp can have up to 85% of cellulose resulting in less waste. Hemp also contains less lignin than trees, only around 5-24% compared to wood’s 20-35%, all of which must be removed before the paper can be produced.
- By using hemp plants to produce paper we can reduce deforestation.
The Issue Of Deforestation
According to the National Geographic, forests the size of Panama (that’s approximately 30,000mi²) are being destroyed every day. Around 97% of the natural forest in North America has been lost due to our consumption and destruction.
If we continue with this same level of deforestation the world’s rainforests will be extinct in a hundred years – taking with them the countless species that reside in them.
As hemp plants grow quicker than trees they really are a better alternative. Despite their best efforts, paper companies that replant fast-growing eucalyptus trees are offering a poor substitute for the wildlife that was there before. These actions are destroying biodiversity.
Extinction of Species, Plants and Natural Life
Deforestation not only destroys the botanical life of our plants but also can lead to the extinction of various creatures.
As their habitats are being destroyed countless creatures are being exposed to hunters and poachers. This process will lead to their eventual extinction. Around 70-80% of the planet’s species reside in these forest areas.
The Center for Biological Diversity estimates that we are losing countless of species at 1,000-10,000 times the original rate with dozens dying out every day. At the rate we are currently destroying these materials and habitats, scientists predict that we will have lost 30-50% of all species by the mid-century.
How We Can Drive Climate Change
As more forests disappear climate change will only quicken.
Forests are a vital element in conserving the natural atmosphere, as they sustain the soil they are rooted in and preserve our air. Trees keep the soil moist and help maintain the natural water cycle by releasing these water vapors back into the atmosphere. Similarly, they convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen and maintain the levels of greenhouse gases.
Without trees and their wildlife, our planet will fall victim to global warming. Our lands will become dry and destitute, an issue that some states have already experienced. By relying on hemp plants once more we can protect our planet from preventable destruction and ensure a safer future.
Where Can You Buy Hemp Paper
Tree Free Hemp
Tree Free Hemp provides hemp-blended paper products from flyers, posters and business cards and well as custom hemp printing services and hemp packaging.
Green Field Paper Co.
Green Field Paper Co has been producing handmade hemp paper since 1992, direct from San Diego, California. They provide everyday products like journals and sketchbooks.
Rawganique offers a wide range of hemp paper products to suit your everyday needs, made in either the US or Canada.