When hemp is grown for CBD, it’s the plant’s flowering buds that contain most of the cannabinoid. It’s these CBD-rich buds that end up in our stelo™ or packaged as smokable hemp.
Hemp flower may be the most prized piece of the harvest for some cultivators, but it’s not the only usable part of the plant. Hemp is one of the most sustainable cash crops grown in the country, and every piece of the plant from the hemp seeds to the fibrous stalks can go to good use.
What is Hemp Biomass?
In hemp processing, once the buds go through extensive trimming, there are still stalks, sugar leaves, and excess trimmings left over. These excess materials don’t just get tossed out; they get combined into what’s referred to as hemp biomass.
What Does Hemp Biomass Look Like?
Just like the buds, the organic material that will become hemp biomass must first be dried and cured. Once the drying process is complete, the stalks and leaves get shredded into small pieces to make packaging simpler. The final product looks like something in between dried oregano and grass clippings—a green mass of shredded and desiccated hemp material.
What is Hemp Biomass Used For?
So now that the hemp biomass processing is complete, what can you do with it?
Hemp biomass has a myriad of different uses in the hemp market, and ultimately what the plant was originally grown for will determine how its biomass is used.
For example, the biomass that comes from hemp plants bred for high CBD content will also have a higher percentage mg of CBD per dry weight. While not being nearly as cannabinoid-rich as the buds, this organic material can still contain a significant amount of CBD. Unlike hemp CBD flower, biomass wouldn’t be very pleasant to smoke with all the bits of stems and stalks. However, it is a cost-efficient way for extractors to get hemp-derived CBD for things like tinctures and concentrates since the CBD hemp biomass price is, on average, much lower than a comparable amount of hemp flower. Once the CBD has been extracted into a concentrate, it can then be used in products like CBD-infused moisturizers or CBD hemp gummies.
Industrial Hemp Biomass and Its Uses
Hemp isn’t just grown for cannabinoids. Its fibrous stalks are also used in textiles, paper making, and rope making. Hemp grown for these purposes is known as industrial hemp and doesn’t contain very much CBD at all. The biomass that comes from industrial hemp doesn’t include sugar leaves or bud trimmings and has its own unique uses.
One popular use of industrial hemp biomass involves putting the organic hemp material through a retting process where moisture is added to the material so that it can be separated into fibers. These fibers are then used to make clothing, canvas, sails, paper, and all sorts of things.
Believe it or not, industrial hemp biomass can also be used to make fuel. The biomass is shredded and then undergoes a process called cellulolysis, where the plant material is converted into ethanol. Hemp biofuels could drastically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help society move towards a more sustainable future.
Industrial hemp biomass can be formed into one of the most eco-friendly, state of the art building materials around—hempcrete. Making traditional concrete releases tons of c02 into the atmosphere. Hempcrete not only eliminates this toxic process, but it’s also an incredibly insulating material meaning buildings constructed from hempcrete would require less total energy to maintain comfortable temperatures.
Where to Buy Hemp Biomass
For the most part, hemp biomass is sold wholesale to manufacturers and extractors. However, If you’re interested in finding hemp biomass for sale, a quick google search will turn up farms growing hemp in your area. Contacting them would be a good place to start, though keep in mind hemp biomass is generally sold in large quantities.