Construction

Global: Hemp Fiberboard Could Replace Plywood

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Hemp is one of the major cash crops that America was built on, and was used for fiber and other materials extensively until Reefer Madness ended it. Now that hemp is making a comeback in the U.S., new product possibilities continue to increase, and one of the latest is hemp fiberboard, which could replace plywood as a major building material source.

Whereas trees take years to grow, and because deforestation is a major ecological issue now, hemp could prove to be a much better option. Hemp grows in four or five months, and can produce a lot more volume-wise on growing acreage than trees can.

One acre of hemp can produce up to 5,300 pounds of straw, which can be turned into 1,300 pounds of wood fiber. The boards can also be fire and water resistant if they are treated in the right way, and they can provide good insulation from temperature extremes.

Since hemp grows so quickly, it would be an affordable alternative to plywood. According to davidwolfe.com, hemp fiberboard could replace traditional plywood within a few years.

U.S.: House Removes Restrictions Preventing Veterans Access To Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed an amendment to the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon to make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana.

The amendment had bipartisan support and was co-sponsored by Representatives Joe Heck (R-NV), Sam Farr (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Jared Polis (D-CO). It passed by 233-189.

“One of the greatest tragedies of our time is our failure to adequately deal with the needs of our veterans returning home with wounds both visible and unseen," Representative Blumenauer said. "Giving them access to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option to deal with chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions is critical at a time when our veterans are dying with a suicide rate 50 percent higher than civilians and opiate overdoses at nearly double the national average.

United States: Hempcrete - Another Victim of the War on Drugs

This versatile, green building material is banned from commercial production in the U.S.

By Jon Walton, Construction Digital

There is a truth that must be heard! The farcical war on drugs that has incarcerated millions, cost taxpayers billions, and led to the deaths of untold numbers of domestic and international civilians, is also smothering an industry with the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector, one of the largest polluters on the planet.

Hemp, the fibrous material from low-TCH strains of the Cannabis plant, has uses ranging from food to medicine, clothing, paper, and even construction. When hemp is combined with lime, you get a carbon-negative building material with greater flexibility and only 15 percent of the density of traditional concrete. Called hempcrete, this insulating and moisture regulating mixture is hard to come by in the United States, as the Cannabis plant is currently federally prohibited from being used in industrial production.

Hempcrete lacks the compressive strength of traditional concrete, however, and requires an additional framing element to support vertical loads – but its other properties would make it an attractive alternative building material, if not for hemp’s legal status.

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