Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on this planet. It is technically a weed, so it grows extremely quickly, needs very little water, and doesn’t require pesticides. Hemp has the potential to solve the deforestation crisis since many of the items that companies make from trees they can instead make with hemp. People are chopping down trees faster than they can be regrown, and hemp provides a promising alternative. Here are five products that can be made of hemp that you may not have known about.

1. Dog Treats

Hemp dog treats are becoming increasingly popular for their CBD content. CBD has the potential to treat many common ailments that both humans and dogs suffer from. While it may be hard to get your dog to take CBD oil, they won’t say no to a tasty treat. Hemp dog treats can help alleviate joint and muscle pain, nausea, and anxiety in your furry friend.

2. Milk

Hemp milk is a nutritious alternative to dairy and comes from hemp seeds. Hemp milk contains more calcium than dairy milk, high protein levels, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. For those who consume a plant-based diet, it can be hard to get those omega fatty acids, and hemp milk contains them at a 1:3 ratio, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and supports heart and brain health. Hemp milk is delicious in smoothies or with cereals.

3. Clothing

Hemp produces a natural fiber that is extremely strong and durable. It comes from the stem of the plant and is used to make fabric that companies can then incorporate into a variety of types of clothing. Making clothing from hemp is not new, and many cultures have been using it to craft textiles for thousands of years.

Clothing made from hemp often begins stiff but gets better with age. It’s light and breathable and doesn’t wrinkle, so it is perfect for travel-wear, or for wearing on a hot day.

4. Fuel

For each hectare of hemp, it is possible to produce more than 800 liters of biodiesel every year. On top of that, the stalks can be processed into methanol for use as fuel. It’s both a renewable and sustainable fuel option that could help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and positively impact the planet. On top of that, food crops like wheat & corn are currently used for ethanol and could be replaced by hemp, which grows in lower-quality conditions and allows food crops to stay in the food market.

5. Sports Cars

While they may not be producing full lines of this model, the body of the Renew Sports Car contains 100 pounds of hemp leaves. With three layers of the tightly woven fibers, sealed with hard resin, the body is lightweight but solid. Since hemp grows so quickly and easily, it’s a renewable resource that may become part of the future of the automobile industry.

Beyond the uses listed above, you’ll find hemp in soap, beer, sunscreen, paper, and more! It’s both a superfood and a building material, meaning that the sky is the limit when it comes to what hemp can do.

— Featured photo by Flickr user Leslie L, Creative Commons