Bamboo and Hemp

Two of nature’s most generous of gifts, however there are misconceptions regarding both plants. There are some who like to make comparisons between the two plants. I prefer to exult the benefits of both plants and and am happy to do so at great length.

Both are perceived to be miracle crops and both can be grown very easily.Both hemp and bamboo originated in China and both have been used for many thousands of years.  Both crops have a certain environmental friendliness about them, and both have history. Bamboo was used as a weapon in oriental lands.  Since the 1930s hemp and marijuana were outlawed in the western world, particularly the USA. However there is a feeling that there was as much of a economic exercise for banning and outlawing hemp and marijuana as there was health concerns.

The Positive Reasons For Growing Bamboo and Hemp

Bamboo Forest in Japan

Both bamboo and hemp can be grown easily and organically with no chemical intervention being required.Greater reliance on hemp and bamboo could be a means of saving trees and reversing deforestation. Hemp is grown as an annual plant, bamboo as a perennial. Both plants have edible features. You can eat bamboo shoots, and you can eat hemp seeds.

Hemp is a source of fibre and also a source of resin. This resin has been a source of psychoactive properties with humankind. There are positive outcomes that have been had from medicinal cannabis or CBD. The more fibrous types of hemp has been grown in prairie landscapes, with the more resinous varieties being grown in more mountainous regions.

Industrial Hemp. This contains very low levels of THC and other Cannbinoids

Both plant grow voraciously organically and in doing so capture large amounts of carbon. Hemp can be grown as a rotating crop and bamboo can be harvested from natural forests without disturbing the natural habitat.

Epitome of Versatility

Both hemp and bamboo have versatility in bucket loads and both can be used for a multitude of items. Hemp has been used for thousands of years.Sailors have been making ropes from hemp for many centuries. Hemp grows quickly and easily, and then once reaped can be spun with uncomplicated machinery.

Bamboo has been used as a weapon of conflict for many years, but also it has been used as a material to build furniture or even houses in oriental lands.

Both hemp and bamboo can be used in the production of very fine fibres which are used in the manufacture of underwear, socks, fine quality shirts and dresses along with towels and bed linen.

In the interests of openness, one of the not so pleasant aspects of the manufacture clothing from bamboo is the fact that the process involves the use of caustic soda or lye, not a pleasant chemical. However more environmentally friendly mixtures are being developed for the process.

Hemp is also used in the manufacture of finer fibrous materials, as well as rougher fabrics. More recently hemp mixed with cotton, another natural product has been used to produce similar garments. Hemp is more and more being seen as a magic medicinal product.

In the 1940’s Henry Ford made a car from hemp plastic which was stronger than steel and was even ran on ethanol made from hemp. (I bet that went down well with the oil magnates).

Bamboo has been used recently in the production of bicycles, tooth brushes, spectacles, houseware products and even watches!!

So to Conclude

From the point of view of having a business that seeks to set up a more sustainable way of life, products made from both hemp and bamboo are ideal.

Bamboo is not an alternative to tropical rainforests, (or any kind of forest), Hemp is not a cash crop to be grown in place of the rainforests, as in the case of palm oil. No both are crops to be planted in conjunction with other natural vegetation. Both have the capability to be resources to provide products which can provide a sustainable lifestyle for many years to come the world over.


  1. Hi There,

    Well I never.

    Trust Henry Ford to have the insight and intelligence to produce a car and its fuel source from hemp!

    I must say I was also a little taken aback by the number of items produced from bamboo – okay, a few I knew, but a watch.

    A wonderfully interesting and insightful article.

    Keep up the great work.

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