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Why Choose a Hemp Bag/Backpack?

When it comes to bags you want them to be practical, reliable and durable. Three things you can always expect from hemp. Throw in the fact that hemp is one of the most environmentally sustainable resources and you’ve got 4 good reasons to invest in a hemp backpack, holdall, handbag or shopping bag. If you find yourself thinking “are hemp bags any good?” then you’ve come to the right place for answers!

Environment/Climate

A recent study claims that a cotton “bag for life” style shopping bag or tote bag could be more harmful to the climate than using a standard plastic bag. The reasoning behind this is that a cotton tote bag requires more materials and more energy to produce than a single plastic bag. A UK government report estimates that the carbon footprint of a cotton tote bag is equal to producing ~173 plastic bags. Of course, this does not take into account the fact that the cotton bag will be reused probably more than 173 times, plus the pollution and litter that plastic bags cause to the environment, which is in itself a huge problem. The point is that although a cotton tote bag may seem like the more planet-friendly option, the environmental impact of producing a cotton tote bag is not insignificant by any means.

When you choose a hemp tote bag, a lot of the carbon from the production process is already offset by the hemp plant itself. That’s because hemp is nature’s greatest carbon sink, it absorbs more CO2 in its short growing period than any other crop or forest! Isn’t that incredible? It’s estimated that an acre of hemp can remove between 5-10 tons of CO2 per crop, and in the right climates 2 crops per year can be grown. That’s as much as 20 tons of CO2 per acre of hemp per year. Contrast this with one acre of mature trees, which absorbs around 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year. It’s important to note that we’re talking about mature trees and it can take anywhere from 7-40 years for a tree to reach maturity depending on the species. With these statistics, you can start to see why hemp organic fabric is such a good choice for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and combating climate change.

Are hemp backpacks durable?

Durability/Reliability

Hemp is the strongest natural fibre in the plant world. It has 5x the tensile strength of cotton and 3x the durability. This coupled with the fact that a single hemp fibre can be as long as the plant is tall (sometimes up to 4m in length), means that any fabric made from hemp fibres has incredible strength and durability. Whereas cotton is made from spinning together lots of small fibres to create a yarn, hemp is made from much longer fibres. This means that there is less pilling and less chance of holes forming in hemp fabric compared to cotton.

Bags go through much more wear and tear than you might consider. From the stresses of being overstuffed, to the frequent putting down (often on abrasive floor surfaces) and picking up, to the repetitive strains put on the material simply through the act of carrying the bag loaded with stuff, there are plenty of ways that a bag can wear out. It is now fairly well known that keeping an item that we already own for longer is better for the environment than buying something new. The carbon footprint of producing new items is colossal, and wherever possible we should be reusing items that already exist, or buying second hand to minimise our impact on the planet and the climate. When it comes to hemp, the production of a new bag is offset by the incredible CO2 absorption of the plant itself, and the bag lasts for much longer than other natural fibre fabrics, so it’s a win-win!

What are hemp bags for?

Practicality

Any bag has to be functional and fit for purpose, and we’re privileged to have a huge range of hemp bags available to suit a variety of uses. From small coin purses to huge holdalls, from simple tote bags to hard laptop cases or briefcases made from hemp composites (an alternative to plastics). There is a hemp bag for every occasion, and they’re as sleek and stylish as you might expect from any type of backpack, it’s not just your colourful hippy bags with a big cannabis leaf on them, there are many discreet and professional looking options so that you can show your love for the environment without fear of being labelled as a stoner hippy (yes people do still associate hemp with smoking weed, we’ve come a long way recently, but there’s still a way to go until we change the stereotype in absolutely everyone’s minds). Take a look at a few of the styles below.

Backpack

There are a wide range of hemp backpacks or rucksacks available from small kids versions to large adult versions. They’re highly versatile, great for anyone who is on-the-go and can be used as a school bag or work bag.

Tote Bag

Hemp tote bags are perfect for carrying your shopping home from the supermarket, and are more eco-friendly than a cotton tote. We have a few styles of hemp tote bags available right now on our website.

Holdall

Hemp holdalls or duffel bags are a great choice for storing your gym gear, or taking on your travels. Since hemp is naturally moisture-wicking and antibacterial your bag will stay fresh and clean for longer!

Coin Purse

Some of the smallest hemp bags come in the form of coin purses, wallets and pouches. A hemp coin purse is a great vegan alternative to leather and it’s kind to the environment as well!

Handbag

For your everyday essentials, hemp handbags are the number one choice! These stylish yet understated handbags are practical and show your love for the environment.

Bum Bag

One of the smaller types of hemp bags, the classic bum bag style is highly practical for taking on holiday, to festivals or on days out. Store your valuables without fear of them falling out of your pocket!

Shoulder

Hemp shoulder bags, or messenger bags are a popular choice, and they give a professional look as well. Store your work gear in them, along with your laptop or tablet. Perfect for the commute, or taking to college!

Hard Case

Did you know that hemp can be made in to a hard composite material that can be used to replace plastic? Well now you do! A hemp fibre briefcase is the #1 choice for keeping your technology safe on the move.

Bonus: The Web’s Most Asked Questions About Hemp Bags

  • Are hemp bags good?
    • Quite simply, yes! We thinking they’re the best material for making bags as you know from reading the article above.
  • What are hemp bags for?
    • Hemp bags are suitable for a huge range of uses since there are so many types of hemp bags. Use them as your school bag, work bag, laptop case, handbag, your travel luggage bag, a coin purse, shopping bag or whatever else you can dream of!
  • Are hemp bags durable?
    • Yes! As discussed above, hemp bags are incredibly durable thanks to the fact that hemp fibres are the strongest natural fibres in the world. They have 5x the strength of cotton and 3x the durability.
  • Are hemp bags washable?
    • Yes, you can machine wash most hemp bags, but always check the manufacturers recommendations before doing this. Hemp is also naturally antibacterial, which keeps your bag fresh and hygienic for longer than other materials!
  • How are hemp bags made?
    • Hemp bags are made from the hemp plant, a variety of the cannabis family with low levels of THC that has been cultivated for thousands of years to make fabrics, ropes and much more. Hemp plants are grown in fields and harvested after around 4 months of growth. The bast fibres are separated from the plant through a process of retting (natural) or decorticating (mechanical). Once the fibres have been separated, they are spun together to produce a long continuous yarn. These yarns are woven or knitted together to produce fabrics. The fabric is then ready to be cut and sewn in the shape of a bag. Zippers, buckles, fasteners and other accessories are attached as required, and the bag is quality tested to ensure it meets the standards of the manufacturer.
  • Are hemp bags waterproof?
    • Most hemp bags provide a degree of water resistance, but are not waterproof without any kind of treatment. You can always apply a waterproofing treatment such as Nikwax (which is an environmentally friendly waterproofing treatment spray).
  • What are hemp backpacks?
    • This one seems obvious, but Google tells me that people are asking the question so I’ll do my best to answer it. Hemp backpacks are backpacks (a type of bag worn on the back, usually with two shoulder straps) made from fabric woven using natural fibres from the hemp plant.
  • Are hemp bags good for the environment?
    • Hemp bags are great for the environment! As we detailed above, the hemp plant absorbs more CO2 than any other plant, it improves soil quality, it requires no chemicals and requires far less water and land than other natural fibres such as cotton.
  • What are hemp backpacks made of?
    • Hemp backpacks or rucksacks are made from fabrics woven from the fibres of the hemp plant, a species of cannabis that has been used for making fabrics for thousands of years.

CBN and CBG: Let’s Talk Minor Cannabinoids

We’ve all heard of CBD (Cannabidiol) by now, but what about the other cannabinoids from the hemp plant? If you’re consuming a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CDB oil then you’re usually getting a range of other cannabinoids in small amounts alongside your CBD. These all contribute to the entourage effect, which is the idea that CBD is more effective when accompanied by the other cannabinoids. There are over 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, and we’re just at the beginning of our exploration into how they all interact with the human body.

The great thing about CBD gaining popularity in many countries around the world is that we are now starting to see more widespread scientific studies on the uses and effects of CBD in humans. When it comes to the minor cannabinoids, it is still very early days. Research and studies are few and far between, but as with CBD, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from people using these cannabinoids for a variety of purposes.

Two of the most popular minor cannabinoids are CBN and CBG, but what are the benefits of using these in conjunction with CBD?

CBN for sleep

CBN

If you’re someone who struggles with getting to sleep, has racing thoughts that keep you up at night or has trouble achieving a deep and restful sleep then CBN (Cannabinol) might be the answer in helping you to relax and unwind into a peaceful slumber.

Many people report that CBD helps them sleep, and a 2019 study led by Dr. Scott Shannon found that 66.7% of the participants reported improved sleep quality while using CBD. Combine this with CBN and you’ve possibly got an even more powerful sleeping aid. When it comes to CBN, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence but only one study from way back in 1975 with only 5 participants using CBN in conjunction with THC which claims that CBN may have sedative effects, and it is not known whether the sedative effects were caused by the THC rather than the CBN. So, there’s a long way to go to proving scientifically that CBN has sleep benefits, but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest it does.

In my own personal experience with using a combined CBN and CBD formula, I found that I did indeed feel ready to go to bed earlier than usual, and when I did go to bed I had a noticeably more peaceful and restful night’s sleep than usual. Of course, everybody is different and could have a different experience, but I was very impressed with the effects.

Other early studies have shown that CBN may also help with stimulating appetite, activating the immune system and even protect against signs of ageing. With CBN gaining popularity all the time we look forward to seeing the results of more research into this minor cannabinoid in the years to come.

Hemp Leaves

CBG

CBG (Cannabigerol) is considered the “stem cell” or “mother” of many cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. CBG is one of the first cannabinoids to be created during the growth of the cannabis plant and during the growing process it breaks down to form other cannabinoids including CBD, THC, and CBC. CBG really is the precursor to many other cannabinoids being formed within the plant, it is where the other cannabinoids begin their life. For this reason, CBG is difficult to acquire, as it generally breaks down before the plant flowers and is harvested. However, there are some strains of cannabis that are naturally more abundant in CBG and these are generally the ones that are used when trying to harvest CBG from the plant. CBG is more expensive to produce when compared to CBD, as it occurs in much lower concentrations and farmers have to harvest plants earlier to maximise the levels of CBG.

There has been very little human research into CBG so far, but there is anecdotal evidence that it may help with anxiety, depression, pain management plus a range of other disorders and ailments. Early animal studies have shown that CBG could help with a huge range of health conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, glaucoma, bladder dysfunction, Huntingdon’s disease, bacterial infections, cancer and appetite loss.

Users report that CBG has a similar effect to CBD, and that taking a mixture of CBD and CBG can have a more powerful effect than simply taking CBD oil alone, even if the CBD/CBG mixture is taken at lower doses than normal CBD oil. Some people report that it helps them to sleep, to recover more quickly after exercise, that it reduces anxiety and unwanted/racing thoughts. It’s important to understand that these are simply the opinions of everyday users, and not a scientific study but it certainly does sound like CBG is helping people already and has a promising future.

Where can I buy CBG and CBN oils in the UK?

If you’re looking to buy CBN and CBG oil then look no further! We have some high quality products available from the well-known brand “Cibdol“. They use clean CO2 extraction techniques to create top quality CBD mixed with CBG and CBN in a variety of strengths. All of their products arre 3rd party lab tested to ensure the quality and safety of the products.

Discover The Benefits of Hemp Tea

Today we’re going to be delving into the benefits of hemp tea, what it is and how to use it but before we do that, let’s have a quick look at a (very) brief history of the hemp plant.

A Brief History of the Hemp Plant

Hemp, as a versatile plant, is known to have a huge number of uses dating back thousands of years. Evidence of hemp cultivation has been found dating back over 12000 years in China. As hemp grows in virtually any climate and soil, it is at everyone’s convenience (note that one does have to hold a licence to grow industrial hemp in the UK). This fact, teamed with the versatility of the plant, and the variety of the end-uses are the reasons why hemp was so abundantly used throughout history.
 
Cannabis became a controversial subject in the early 20th century because it was believed that all types of cannabis carried psychoactive compounds thanks largely to smear campaigns in the USA from other large industries which would be threatened by the prevalence of hemp alternatives. However, it is a myth that all types of cannabis plants are potent in the psychoactive compound THC. Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that is known to carry minimal traces of THC (the UK legal limit is 0.2%), meaning that getting ‘high’ from hemp is out of the equation.
Hemp as we know it today is much more complex than what has been perceived for so long. Up until recently, the stigma surrounding cannabis has been a roadblock to the wider use of this plant for its many benefits. A change of attitude from society and newfound research has acknowledged this plant for its health benefits with many companies utilising its full potential as a food source by cultivating seeds for human consumption, extracting hempseed oil, creating hemp tea, snacks, and many other consumable foods.
Hemp Tea

Types of Hemp Tea

Right, now we’ve got that out of the way let’s dive right into the main subject of this article; hemp tea. There are a few different types of hemp tea available on the market at the moment. The main options being: hemp tea, CBD tea and tea with hemp seeds.
 
Hemp tea is made from the leaves and stem (and sometimes seeds) of the hemp plant, often mixed with other ingredients such as raspberry leaf, turkish balm or mixed fruits. This type of tea comes with a wider range of benefits for your body, not simply focused on the CBD aspect of hemp. Hemp tea does contain CBD, but in lower more natural concentrations.
 
CBD tea is made from the flowers/buds of the hemp plant and contains appreciably higher levels of CBD (Cannabidiol) or CBDA (Cannabidiol Acid) than a standard hemp leaf tea. CBD tea will often be made from 100% hemp flowers, rather than a mix of other parts of the plant and other ingredients.
 
Tea with hemp seeds is simply a regular tea but with the added benefit of hemp seeds in the mix. For example, we currently have two teas from Clipper which feature hemp seeds as one of their ingredients. One is ginger and lemongrass, the other chamomile and tulsi. These teas are great if you are looking for all of the benefits of hemp seeds, in a tasty and revitalising beverage.
Hemp Leaves

What is CBD?

CBD (short for Cannabidiol) is one of 113 naturally occurring compounds which works in harmony with our ECS (endocannabinoid system). This system is an important neurotransmitter widely distributed in the brain and in the body. It is responsible for regulating sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility. Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids when necessary, but the endocannabinoid system can be thrown out of balance without the appropriate nutrition. Low levels of cannabinoids are associated with a variety of health conditions, including migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and seizure disorders. As we all have different levels of cannabinoids in our system at different times, the cannabinoids found in CBD help us maintain that natural balance.

Does Hemp Tea Contain CBD?

Hemp tea can be made from hemp flowers, seeds, leaves and stems. A regular hemp tea contains full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes which create a so-called ‘entourage effect’ and can have broader benefits to health than a pure CBD tea. Hemp flowers are commonly known to possess the highest CBD content, so if you’re looking for a hemp tea with high levels of CBD then it is important to identify if the tea is made from the flowers of the hemp plant rather than the leaves, stalk and seeds.

A regular hemp tea (one that does not specifically claim to be a “CBD Tea”) contains traces of CBD as well as other cannabinoids to create a broader range of benefits. It can often be more potent in CBDA which is a chemical precursor to CBD. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the same way as CBD does, but rather than binding directly to receptors in your nervous system, it works with enzymes linked to them. For CBD to be absorbed more efficiently, it requires other hemp compounds such as CBDa, flavonoids and terpenes which makes hemp tea an all-in-one solution. It is advisable to add fats, such as cows or coconut milk, to help solubilise the cannabinoids in the water for an increased rate of absorption into the bloodstream.

What Does Hemp Tea Do?

Hemp tea is a deliciously soothing way of consuming hemp and all its active compounds. Hemp tea is caffeine free, while being rich in cannabinoids, flavonoids and antioxidants.

Hemp is known to detoxify the body, stimulate the immune system, ease an unsettled stomach, help with insomnia, relieve chronic pain, and more. The benefits of consuming hemp tea are numerous! Here are a few more reported benefits of consuming hemp tea:

  • Reduces nausea

  • Used to symptoms of alzheimer’s disease

  • Stimulates appetite

  • Alleviated respiratory problems

  • Inhibits seizures

  • Reduces pancreatic inflammation

  • Promotes hormonal balance

  • Promotes efficient wound healing

Hemp for Sleep

Does Hemp Tea Help You Sleep?

Hemp tea is often recommended for improved sleep. This may be due to the way cannabis sativa modulates the action of melatonin (Sleep hormone).

Latest research shows that CBD in hemp helps effectively fight against REM sleep disorders. It interacts with receptors in the brain that regulate the body’s daily sleep/wake cycles, similar to the way herbs such as Lavender, Lemon Balm and Camomile Benefits work at improving sleep.

Hemp Tea Bag

Does Hemp Tea Contain THC?

Unlike marijuana, which is a psychoactive cannabis plant and contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp tea contains CBD and other cannabinoids which aren’t psychoactive and, as such, don’t have any side effects. Usually hemp tea will contain a very small amount of THC, as the nature of the product being pure and unprocessed  means that any naturally occurring THC cannot be extracted from the tea, although it will certainly be well beneath the legal limit of 0.2% and so will not have any appreciable effect.

How to Brew Hemp Tea

To make the perfect cup of hemp tea, pour boiling water into a cup and let it cool for around 60 seconds, then take your tea bags or loose leaf tea and infuse with hot water for 10-15 minutes. The longer you let the tea bag or loose tea infuse with the water, the more beneficial compounds will be released. If you’re looking for a bit of sweetness to compliment the earthy flavours, then try a drop of honey in your hemp tea.

Where Can I Buy Hemp Tea?

We sell a personally selected and approved range of hemp teas, CBDA teas and tea with hemp seeds on our website, find them here.

How to Use Hemp Oil

Hemp oil can mean a few different things, and we’re here to explain exactly the differences between the various types of hemp oil. So, when anyone is talking about hemp oil they could be talking about hemp seed oil, CBD oil or hemp essential oil. In modern times, the term “hemp oil” is increasingly used in place of “CBD oil”, whereas in the past it would have more commonly been used to describe hemp seed oil. It could also be used to describe the cannabis oil that is rich in THC, and illegal here in the UK. This is the oil that cannabis activist Rick Simpson championed, and claimed to treat his skin cancer with successfully.

For the purposes of today’s discussion, we’re just going to stick to talking about the 3 “hemp oil” products that are legal here in the UK. Hemp seed oil, CBD oil and hemp essential oil.

Hemp seed oil pouring

Hemp Seed Oil

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is a highly nutritious, protein-rich plant oil derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds are cold-pressed to squeeze out all of the natural oil within while keeping all of the health-giving nutrients and enzymes intact.

Hemp seed oil contains high levels of omega oils including Omega-3 and 6 in the perfect ratio for human consumption. It contains all of the essential fatty acids that are bodies need to function. We cannot create these essential fatty acids ourselves, and so we must look to outside sources to acquire them.

Hemp seeds contain vital vitamins and minerals, along with the essential proteins that we need to function. Hemp seed has been called “the most complete source of nutrition on the planet” because of its incredible mix of vitamins, minerals and proteins.

Hemp seed oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, thanks in part to an omega 6 fatty acid known as GLA. Ingesting hemp seed oil is great for joint health, and can help to ease inflammation from conditions such as arthritis. We all know that Omega-3 and 6 are great for your joint health, and hemp seed has higher concentrations of these than a lot of other sources including fish and beef. So, if you’re looking for a natural solution to joint pain and inflammation that is free from side effects, then hemp seed oil might just be the thing you’ve been searching for!

How to Use Hemp Seed Oil

We recommend ingesting up to 5 tablespoons of hemp seed oil a day to get the maximum benefits, but you can always start with a lower amount and work your way up. You can always just administer the oil by itself, on a spoon. Close your eyes and swallow it down. This might not be the most pleasant way of ingesting the oil, but it certainly gets the job done. Of course, if you really don’t like the taste of the oil then you could always opt for the popular hempseed oil capsules, so that you can still get your intake of hemp seed oil, but neatly packaged in an easy to swallow capsule. In this case, just swallow two capsules with some water 2-3 times a day.

There are some more creative ways to get hemp seed oil into your diet. You can drizzle some on a salad or add it to your meals after they have been cooked, right before serving. Whatever it is you’re eating, try just adding a little of the hemp seed oil before you tuck-in. Obviously don’t drown your dinner in oil, but you might find that adding a little hemp seed oil actually brings a new and interesting flavour to your meals. Heating the oil will result in a loss of the nutritionally beneficial elements that we are looking to preserve, so try not to cook with the oil.

CBD Oil

What is CBD Oil?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid present in the hemp plant, it is legal and non-psychoactive unlike it’s cousin THC which is illegal in most countries around the world (but increasingly becoming decriminalized and legalised in various areas of the globe).

CBD oil is mostly extracted from the flowers of the hemp plant, but is also present in every part of the plant. The natural oil is usually extracted using a technique known as CO2 extraction, a safe and chemical-free method also used to decaffeinate coffee. 

Inside our bodies, there is something called the endocannabinoid system, which runs through our entire bodies and interacts with cannabinoids to regulate all sorts of physiological and cognitive processes. It can have an effect on everything from mood, to fertility, appetite, memory, pain and more! CBD is just one of the cannabinoids that can interact with this system to help us to achieve a range of benefits. As well as CBD and THC, there are many other cannabinoids including CBG, CBN, CBC, CBL, CBDa and more. CBD oils often include a range of these cannabinoids which work together with terpenes to provide the effects that many people claim are beneficial to their health and wellbeing.

Now, this is important so pay attention class. If you find what you think might be a CBD oil product, and it is labeled as “hemp oil” and has a “mg” number on the bottle (10000mg for example) then you may want to reconsider your buying decision. Unfortunately there are many scammers out there looking to make a quick buck by confusing the issues of hemp seed oil and CBD oil, and they are often trying to sell you hemp seed oil (with no CBD at all) at a huge markup. Generally CBD oils will specifically be labeled “CBD”, instead of “hemp oil”.

How to Use CBD Oil

The advice for ingesting CBD oil in the most effective way is to simply drop the required dosage under your tongue allowing the oil to absorb sublingually, and then swallowing after 60-180 seconds. Sublingual absorption is the best way to get the most out of your CBD oil, and is widely believed to be the fastest delivery method for the oil. When talking about CBD, we often mention the term “bioavailability”, this is a term to describe how much of the CBD actually enters your bloodstream. Oral ingestion of CBD oil is estimated to have around 6% bioavailability, whereas sublingual absorption has been measured at 13-19% with some results as high as 56%. So if you administer 10mg of CBD oil sublingually, around 1-6mg of CBD is entering your bloodstream, vs 0.6mg if you are swallowing the oil straight down.

Evidence suggests that Vaping CBD would give you even greater bioavailability from the CBD, but that would require a different type of CBD oil than we are discussing today, never ever try to vape CBD oil that is intended for oral ingestion, it’s simply not made to be vaped. Also, not everyone wants to vape and so for thos that want to use CBD oil we suggest that the sublingual method is the best.

If you’re new to CBD then you will want to start at a low dosage, and gradually increase it if you feel the need to. Everyone is different and the effectiveness of any CBD dose relies on a range of variables. From your body weight, to your individual body chemistry and the condition that you are attempting to treat, there are many factors that affect how high of a dose of CBD you will require.

For example, try starting with 20mg per day and assess how you are feeling with that dosage on a day-to-day basis. After a week, assess how you felt and if not satisfied with the effects then increase the dosage by 5-10mg, try for another week, and repeat. Some people find that only a high dose will be sufficient for their needs, whereas others feel that they are getting what they need from CBD oil on a lower dose. It really depends on the individual, so be sure to be mindful of how you are feeling while taking your CBD, and consider keeping a record of your dosages and how you felt each day to help you to guage if CBD is making a difference for you.

Learn more about CBD oil in our guide to CBD here.

Hemp Essential Oil UK

Hemp Essential Oil

What is Hemp Essential Oil?

Here at the hemp shop, we sold hemp essential oil for years before CBD was legalised in the UK. Before the CBD floodgates opened this oil was sought out by people for much the same reasons as CBD is sought out today. People have been using hemp essential oil to treat health conditions for thousands of years. Hemp essential oil is a highly distilled essential oil from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. It contains hundreds of terpenes. These terpenes are the compounds of the cannabis plant that protect it from predators and funguses. These compounds are distilled into the Hemp essence to provide a range of health benefits including anti-depressant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.

For a more in-depth look at hemp essential oil, you can read our guide to hemp essential oil here.

How to Use Hemp Essential Oil

This versatile essence is excellent for health and beauty products, cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, candles, and as an additive for foods. Many people warm the essential oil in an infuser for the health giving aromas. You can put a few drops into your bath or add 3 – 5 drops to 10ml of a carrier oil like hemp seed oil or olive oil, for use as a massage oil. Essential oils are used in food preparation – so for example Peppermint Essential Oil is used to flavour chewing gum. Apparently 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil is the equivalent of 70 cups of Peppermint tea!

Hemp Essential Oil is powerful and concentrated. Never apply it directly to skin (or hair), and never ingest it in its pure form.

So there you have it, those are the 3 kinds of hemp oil that are legal here in the UK. If you’re shopping for hemp oil, then you will want to make sure that you are getting exactly what you’re looking for, so instead of searching for “hemp oil” we suggest using the more precise terms of “hemp seed oil”, “CBD oil” and “hemp essential oil”.

You can buy all 3 types of oil right here at the hemp shop...

Is Hemp Fabric Waterproof? (How to waterproof hemp fabric)

There are many wonderful hemp fabrics available these days. Here at the hemp shop we’re proud to have the UK’s largest range of sustainable hemp fabrics, and since we’ve been selling them for 25+ years, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

Is Hemp Fabric Waterproof?

If you’re asking the question “are hemp fabrics waterproof?” then the answer is no. At least, not to the modern standard of waterproofing. If you get the angle right, due to the tight weave in a Hemp Canvas fabric and that the fibre itself swells and thereby creates a block to the rain coming in, you can keep dry underneath. Just like the hemp fabrics that covered the wagons that went west across the USA, or the tents that kept the troops dry in any engagement over the last 1000 years or indeed the very best examples are where hemp was used as the sealant of choice for plumbing the world over until PTFE tape was created and that all hoses used for fire-engines and in offices/hotels were made from hemp. So, there is a way of keeping dry with just natural hemp fabric.

Hemp is a highly absorbent fibre, and to bring it up to modern waterproofing standards it needs to be treated with a waterproofing agent to become water resistant. A tightly woven hemp canvas may keep out the water for a brief period, but will become saturated fairly quickly. If you’re thinking of using hemp fabrics to create a waterproof jacket, or perhaps you’re making a waterproof hemp shower curtain, then you will want something that is reliable and 100% effective.

How do I Waterproof Hemp Fabric?

There are a few different ways to achieve waterproofing for organic fabrics such as hemp. They range from natural options, through to more synthetic techniques. Let’s start by taking a look at the natural option; beeswax.

Beeswax

Beeswax

Beeswax has been used for a variety of uses for thousands of years. Created by honey bees, the wax When melted on to fabrics, it creates a barrier that makes the fabric waterproof. You can quite easily waterproof your fabrics using beeswax at home with just an iron and some greaseproof/parchment paper. If you’ve bought a block of beeswax, then grate it into small chunks. You can also buy pre-grated beeswax, which cuts out this first step. Then get your iron really hot, stick it on the highest setting and let it heat up to full temperature. Put down one sheet of greaseproof paper to protect your ironing board, and then lay out your fabric on top of the paper. Sprinkle some of the grated beeswax on to the fabric and then place a second piece of greaseproof paper over the top. Next, take your iron and run it across the top of the paper until the beeswax melts and absorbs into the fabric. You may need to add more gratings on top of the fabric to cover any missed spots.

Another way to apply beeswax is to melt the entire block in a container within a pot of hot water on the hob/stove, and then simply apply the melted wax with a brush using small firm circular motions.

Pros

  • Natural
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Easy to apply yourself

Cons

  • The wax may re-melt in extreme heat (>65°c)
  • Not vegan friendly

So there’s one natural option for waterproofing your hemp fabric, now let’s take a look at a man-made solution; Nikwax

Nikwax Waterproofing

Nikwax

Nikwax is a synthetic waterproofing spray that is based on the polymer 10x.10i. It is highly effective at waterproofing fabrics, and comes in an easy-to-apply spray form.

This elastomer based waterproofing agent is non-toxic and does not harm the environment. Furthermore, the company takes their responsibility for protecting the environment seriously. In 2017 they were able to announce that they were the first outdoor company in the world to balance their carbon emissions from their entire operation dating back to the very start of the company, 40 years prior. They’ve also worked with the World Land Trust to offset their carbon emissions by planting trees and preserving natural environments for wildlife to flourish.

Pros

  • Highly effective

  • Non-harmful to the environment

  • Breathable

Cons

  • Made from synthetic polymers (plastic), so not the best if you’re looking for that all-natural waterproofing solution.

There are lots of other options to waterproof hemp fabric, but these two are our favourites. The one that you choose will ultimately depend on your values, needs and end-use. You may want to try out a few different options on some sample swatches before you commit to one waterproofing solution over another. We suggest picking up A5 swatches of any of our hemp fabrics, and do your own waterproofing tests.

5 Hemp Foods To Boost Your Immune System & General Health

What are Hemp Seeds?

Hemp seeds are the small brown seeds from the industrial hemp plant, a species of Cannabis with less than 0.2% THC (the psychoactive component known for getting users high). Hemp seeds only contain miniscule amounts, we’re talking in the region of 0.06 parts per million of THC, so you will never in a million years get ‘stoned’ from eating hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They have a rich nutritional profile, with health-giving benefits. High in protein, fibre and containing a long list of vitamins and minerals, the humble hemp seed could be the answer to boosting your immune system without taking extra supplements. Not all hemp seeds are created equal, and the seeds with the highest nutritional profile can be found in all Hempiness hemp foods, which we just love here at The Hemp Shop.

Hemp Plants Growing in a Field

What are the Benefits of Hemp Seeds?

The benefits of hemp seeds are wide-reaching. They’re high in fibre, protein and healthy fats as well as having a great list of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to maintain healthy function, and a healthy immune system. Eating a balanced diet, with all of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs is critical to maintaining a healthy immune system. Adding hemp seeds to your diet along with a balanced mix of foods is a great way to stay healthy and keep your immune system in tip-top condition.

Let’s take a look at a list of the nutritionally valuable elements that you are ingesting when you choose to eat hemp seed and their various benefits…

Protein

Hemp seeds are high in protein, and these come in the form of essential fatty acids, otherwise known as polyunsaturated fats, amino acids, or omega oils.

Hemp seeds are high in Omega-3 and 6, as well as the full range of amino acids required by our bodies for normal function. These essential fatty acids are not produced by our bodies naturally, so we must seek them from outside sources. Hemp seeds have all of the essential fatty acids that we require, and they contain Omega-3 and 6 in what is known as the “perfect ratio” for human consumption, meaning that our bodies can make the most efficient use of them. They also contain a fatty acid known as GLA or Gamma Linoleic Acid, which has been associated with benefits including improving heart health, joint pain, arthritis, PMS, cholesterol levels, brain function, skeletal health and maintaining healthy skin and hair.

Vitamins

You will find vitamins E, A, D, K and all of the B vitamins (excluding B12) in hemp seeds, providing a rich variety of benefits to health. 

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, protecting our cells against free radicals, which may play a part in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. 

Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining your body’s immune system. It’s involved in the production of white blood cells and a deficiency in Vitamin A can increase your risk of infections and delay recovery when you are ill. 

Vitamin D is highly important for the health of our immune systems. It’s famously the one that we get sunlight, but a deficiency in Vitamin D leaves us susceptible to cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and cancer. 

Vitamin K is needed for the body to produce the protein in our blood that allows it to clot when required, and for bone metabolism. A Vitamin K deficiency can lead to increased clotting time, so if we get a cut it will bleed for much longer. 

B vitamins have a direct impact on our energy levels, they are the building blocks of our bodies and help with cell health, muscle tone, heart health, hormone production, cholesterol, appetite, red blood cell growth and more.

Minerals

When it comes to minerals, hemp seeds have you covered with a great range of healthy minerals that benefit our bodies. 

Phosphorus contributes to building bones and teeth, also building proteins that grow and repair cells and tissues. It plays a role in processing carbohydrates and sugars. It also has a role in the nervous system, kidney function, muscles, and heartbeat regulation.

Potassium is an electrolyte, conducting electrical impulses through the body. It assists in several bodily functions including blood pressure, water balance, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rhythm and pH balance.

Magnesium is needed by every cell in our bodies. It is one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies. It helps to turn food into energy, creates new proteins from amino acids, creates and repairs DNA and RNA, contributes to muscle movement and nervous system regulation. It helps to fight depression by playing an important role in brain function and mood. Magnesium also has benefits against type 2 diabetes, has been shown to lower blood pressure, and can help prevent migraines.

Calcium helps to build and maintain strong bones. Our heart, nerves and muscles also require calcium to maintain normal function. Our bodies do not produce calcium on their own, so it is important to get it from outside sources. For those who avoid dairy products, hemp seed is a good alternative source of calcium.

Iron helps with many vital bodily functions including energy levels, gastrointestinal processes, the immune system and regulating body temperature. Deficiency can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, pale skin and breathlessness. During pregnancy more iron is needed as red blood cell production increases, and low iron intake during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.

Manganese is only required in small amounts by our bodies. It is beneficial for bone health, it’s a strong antioxidant and may reduce disease risk such as heart disease and cancer. Manganese helps to reduce inflammation, making it great for joint health and relieving pain from arthritis. It plays a role in blood sugar regulation and studies have shown that people with diabetes have lower manganese levels. It plays a role in a healthy metabolism, allowing other nutrients to be absorbed more easily by the body and is essential for healthy brain function. Manganese has also been found to contribute to good thyroid health, as well as aiding in wound healing by playing a role in collagen production.

Zinc is the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, and helps our immune system and metabolism to function normally. It’s important to wound healing and has an effect on our taste and smell receptors. It aids in metabolism, nerve function, digestion and a huge number of other processes. It is of vital importance to the creation and function of immune cells within our bodies. It’s an anti-inflammatory, and may reduce the risk of some age related diseases.

Copper is an essential mineral for the body. Alongside Iron, it helps in the production of red blood cells. It also helps to form collagen, aids in iron absorption and plays a role in energy production. Copper helps to maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and immune function. A copper imbalance has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and low copper levels are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. A lack of copper in the diet can lead to a deficiency of white blood cells which fight off infection.

Hemp Seeds on Carrot Cake

5 Hemp Foods To Boost Your Immune System & General Health

Now that we’ve broken down the different proteins, vitamins and minerals in hemp seeds, let’s dive into our list of hemp foods to boost your immune system. There are lots of different ways to get more hemp into your diet, and you can find everything from hemp breakfast flakes to hemp chocolate bars but today we are specifically looking at a range of raw and unprocessed hemp foods from Hempiness. We believe Hempiness to be the finest quality organic vegan hemp foods supplier out there, and that’s why they are our preferred brand for top quality organic hemp foods, with eco-friendly packaging.

Hemp protein powder in a bowl

Hemp Protein Powder

Chuck it in a smoothie, use it in your baking or simply stir it into your meals. Hemp protein powder is a great source of vegan nutrition, and provides a super plant-based protein boost to your diet. Choose an organic high quality product such as Hempiness Hemp Protein Powder, and you will be benefiting from all of the good things that hemp has to offer!

Hemp Seed Flour

Hemp Flour

Produced by milling and sifting Hemp seed cake, which is produced after crushing Hemp Seeds for oil. Hemp flour is another fantastic source of protein, omega oils and fibre you can combine into any bread, cake or smoothie recipe. It is best used alongside your normal flour, and you can substitute as much as 50% of your normal flour with hemp flour to gain all of the benefits of hemp in your baking! Here at The Hemp Shop we recommend Hempiness Premium Organic Hemp Flour, made from only the finest European grown hemp seeds.

Hemp seed oil pouring

Hemp Seed Oil

If you ask us, hemp seed oil is an essential addition to any kitchen. It is a great replacement for olive oil in your pantry, and is best consumed raw (unheated) to preserve all of the nutrients and enzymes in the oil. You can cook with the oil as well and it is super tasty, but it diminishes the nutrients contained within it. High in protein and especially high in Omega-3 and 6, this health-giving oil is perfect for drizzling on salads, making your own pesto, using in stir frys or soups, cooking roast vegetables and more! Once again, our top choice is from the Hempiness organic hemp foods range, try their Premium Organic Hemp Seed Oil today.

Whole Hemp Seeds

Whole Hemp Seeds

If you’re looking for extra fibre in your diet, then adding some whole hemp seeds to your meals is the way to go! Hempiness Premium Organic Whole Hemp Seeds have 30.6g of fibre per 100g, the recommended daily intake is 30g of fibre, and most of us only manage to get around 20g a day, so adding a few whole hemp seeds to your diet is a great way to increase that critical fibre intake.

Try mixing hemp seeds together with other nuts and dried fruits to make yourself a healthy and energy-giving trailmix. You can add them to baked goods, sprinkle them on a salad. Or press them at home to make your own hemp milk.

Hulled hemp seeds in a bowl

Shelled Hemp Seeds

Shelled hemp seeds, otherwise known as hulled hemp seeds, hemp hearts, hemp nuts or hemp nuggets are simply hemp seeds with the shells removed. This leaves the deliciously and slightly creamy textured interior of the seed, which is great for adding to pretty much any meal! 

Add them to your muesli, cereal or yoghurt at breakfast time, stick them on a salad for lunch, sprinkle on top of your soup or throw them into a sandwich with your favourite ingredients. When it comes to dinner, shelled hemp seeds can be used to top-off almost any meal. Put them in mashed potato, add them to burritos, sprinkle them on nachos, stir them into a stew, the possibilities are endless. But wait, there’s more! They also make a great addition to sweet dishes, desserts and baked goods. Use them in cakes and cookies, or sprinkle them on an ice cream sundae.

Try the Hempiness Premium Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds, for a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal!