What is Hemp Biomass & CBD Biomass (Definition): Uses, Benefits & What it Looks Like
What is Hemp Biomass?
Hemp biomass is defined as the excess biological material left behind after certain flowers or plant-life are cultivated. This may include plant parts such as leaves, stalks, petals or seeds. These parts, which some may view as garbage or compost material actually have significant use!
Is CBD Biomass the same as Hemp Biomass?
While hemp biomass is typically cultivated for large-scale, industrial processing, CBD biomass is harvested for smaller extractions and byproducts which are often used in CBD products, including tinctures, such as CBD oil, edibles and topical solutions. As a result, hemp biomass tends to require a larger operation, including heavy machinery to harvest and trim the crops.
What is Hemp Biomass used for?
Biomass hemp can be used for a wide range of purposes. Industrial hemp biomass helps create fuel, fiber products —such as hemp bulk bags — as well as health remedies and even food!
Using hemp biomass, there are certain types of fuel that can be extracted and in turn utilized. The first is hemp biodiesel, which, through a distillation and extraction process, is taken from hemp seed oil. Once extracted, hemp biodiesel can be used in any conventional diesel engine. In fact, research done by the University of Connecticut showed that hemp had a 97% conversion rate into biodiesel and passed all its lab tests with flying colors!
The second type of fuel is hemp ethanol/methanol, which comes from the fermented stalk. Because hemp is so cost-efficient to grow and is an abundant source of easily extracted, natural fuel, it’s quickly becoming a go-to sustainable fuel alternative.
The stalk of a hemp plant can be cut down and used to make a variety of fiber products. The stalk consists of two parts: the bast and the hurd. While the bast is woven into fiber to make rope, fabrics, paper, insulation and other building materials, the hurd (or the central part of the stalk) which is made up of tough cellulose fibers, can be used to make natural plastics, packaging materials, bedding, and auto parts.
Much like biofuels, products made from hemp are minimizing waste and increasing the usage of sustainable materials. FIBC bulk bags, for example, are now being made using hemp fibers, reducing the use of plastics which end up in landfills.
The oil extracted from hemp is used in many types of beauty products. The hemp seed is rich in omega fatty acids and is often blended with other oils to create tinctures or remedies for a range of ailments, from cradle cap, psoriasis, and acne to hypertension and high cholesterol.
Meanwhile, CBD or cannabidiol oil, which is extracted from the hemp flower, is used with THC or alone to treat issues such as anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. The hemp flower is also rich with terpenes, a compound which stimulates sense of taste and smell, and can also have a calming effect and provide pain relief.
What are the benefits of hemp biomass?
Now that we’ve reviewed what hemp biomass is and what it can be used for you may already have a pretty good idea of how beneficial and versatile this product really is, but let’s review some of the most impactful aspects of hemp biomass.
From hemp fuel to fibers, different types of biomass can help meet large-scale industrial needs while also minimizing carbon footprint and replacing wood and plastics. In fact, lumber is becoming increasingly harder to come by and the environment is suffering from dangerous levels of deforestation.
Did you know an acre of hemp will produce as much paper pulp as 4 acres of trees? In recent studies, biomass experts have also found that one and a half to three and a half million acres of hemp would replace all of Canada’s fossil fuel demands. This would reduce the reliance on wood burning fuels while also producing a wide range of other industrial products from the same plant.
It may even sound a bit cannibalistic, but the cannabis industry can even use hemp fibers to create bulk bags for transporting hemp biomass, and is a wonderful all-around option for shipping companies!
Abundant Source of Nutrients
Not only does hemp biomass include healthy, unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, it’s also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. As a nutritional powerhouse with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, protein and fats, hemp biomass can be used in a wide-range of products to improve health and overall wellness.
Hemp farmers from Kentucky have reported that hemp was grown on the same plot of land for 14 consecutive years and did not deplete the soil or suffer any reduction in yield. And, unlike many other types of crops, hemp is considered very economical, requiring almost no pesticides. It’s also extremely drought and UV-resistant.
During periods of famine in the 1800s, hemp was a go-to source of protein and fat when other crops failed due to extreme weather.
What does hemp biomass look like?
The hemp plant consists of short, green, fern-like leaves, seeds, a hardy stalk and hemp flowers. Hemp biomass itself includes only the stalks, stems and the leaves. When the plant material is pulled apart, hemp biomass could easily be overlooked as yard refuse.
How long does hemp biomass last?
While the crop itself is not sensitive to heat, harvested hemp biomass is susceptible to temperature fluctuations, humidity and ultraviolet light, which is why many harvesters will tie the mass into bales and wrap them with plastic. While bales are good for short-term storage, in order to store biomass for longer, they must be separated, deseeded and pelleted. Pellets of biomass will keep for about 18 months.
What is the difference between hemp biomass & hemp seeds?
Seeds are a component of hemp biomass and are harvested from the flowers. Hemp plants that are pollinated naturally will produce both male or female seeds and are considered “non-feminized.”
Seeds which are procured for CBD products are typically seeds which have been modified to produce female plants.
Where is hemp biomass found?
There are several industrial hemp companies which will sell hemp biomass by the pound, which can often be ordered online. Local hemp farms or bulk CBD distributors are also go-to sources for hemp biomass.
Is hemp biomass worth it for industrial use? Our conclusion
The sustainability reasons alone make hemp biomass and the hemp industry as a whole an attractive resource for industrial purposes. From fueling machinery, to transporting bulk materials to developing more high-quality, eco-friendly products, hemp biomass might just be the secret to maintaining our industry while also protecting the planet.