Talk about construction and you inevitably end up talking about lumber. Lumber has for long been a popular and essential construction material, with concrete taking pole position on the most popular material list. Everything from houses, bridges and even wagons have been fashioned out of wood, and each culture has its own unique products made from wood. However, all that is now being threatened by the skyrocketing price of lumber, and hemp may come to the rescue.
Visit any lumberyard to buy pieces of timber, and chances are you will suffer a case of sticker shock. Using data from NASDAQ as a case in point, the price of lumber almost tripled in 2020. Fortunately for the global construction industry, an ecofriendly alternative to lumber exists: hemp.
Interestingly, most people immediately think of cannabidiol (“CBD”) when hemp is mentioned. This is because the past couple of years has seen interest in CBD skyrocket, and most CBD is extracted from hemp since hemp is federally legal because it has only miniscule quantities of THC, the compound which makes users of marijuana high. Hemp and marijuana belong to the same cannabis family.
Some people are aware that clothing, rope and paper can also be processed from hemp. However, another application of hemp — using it as a construction material — is likely to grow in popularity partly as a result of the rate at which lumber prices are rising.
For starters, the woody fibers found inside the hemp plant can be processed into hemp boards. These boards are similar to the boards made from wood. Hemp can also be made into “hempcrete,” an ecofriendly alternative to concrete. Hempcrete has a number of benefits, including its resistance to pest attacks and superior fire resistance. As awareness grows about these benefits, more people will choose this material over the traditional construction materials in current use.
A barrier that has kept hempcrete in the realm of niche construction materials has been its relatively high cost. However, as the price of lumber inches upward, a point will be reached when parity is attained with regard to the cost of these two materials. At that point, the use of hempcrete is likely to explode as cost will no longer be a barrier.
Considering the fact that hemp grows rather fast, it isn’t hard to imagine that as its use as a construction material becomes widespread, economies of scale will kick in, and the material may become a material of choice in years to come.
As the uptake of hemp in the construction sector grows, cannabis industry actors such as Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT) could see another revenue stream open up from the fibrous residue after CBD and other cannabinoids have been extracted from hemp dry matter.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Grapefruit USA Inc. (OTCQB: GPFT) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/GPFT
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