Over the last year or so, the level of innovation within the cannabis industry has reached staggering heights, showing that the industry is ready to take itself to the world stage.
While we can’t yet review any of these things for quality assurance, we can comment on the innovation factor!
#1) CBD Chewing Gum
There are literally thousands of edible cannabis products available today, but few have been as painstakingly developed and researched as CanChew CBD Gum.
The scientists behind this innovation point out that chewing gum possesses a key advantage over other edibles. Because gum is kept in the mouth, it allows for rapid delivery of CBD to the bloodstream via the mucous membranes without having to traverse the stomach and GI tract.
Now, CanChew Biotechnologies’ child company MedChew RX is conducting several clinical trials into MS-related pain and spasticity and the effects of this cannabis chewing gum at the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands!
#2) Hemp Oil for Frying
Hemp oil typically does not respond well to high temperatures, making it a poor candidate for frying, and better suited as a salad oil. This restricts its overall impact on the market for oil, as people buy a lot more frying oil than salad oil!
But now, scientists have developed a new form that they call High Oleic Hemp Oil, which has the ability to withstand the high temperatures associated with frying, and also has a shelf life seven times longer than that of regular hemp oil.
Standard hemp seed oil fares poorly with high temperatures because it is so high in polyunsaturated fats, which break down rapidly when exposed to heat.
So the scientists bred an entirely new strain of hemp, containing a genetic mutation allowing it to produce high levels of a monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid, with very little polyunsaturated fat. This makes it far more stable, yet still healthy, as oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid that is thought to reduce LDL (bad!) cholesterol.
#3) Affordable Automated Systems for Home Growers
Automation is hardly a new thing in its own right, but for many years, a decent automated system was the preserve of the super-rich commercial grower in the cannabis industry, with very few good options for those on a budget.
The Leaf by Corsica Innovations is a good example of how things are changing on that front. Priced at a very reasonable $1400, this “plug & plant” kit is all the small-scale home grower needs to fully set up, automate and climate-control a simple grow.
Complete with a programmable LED light, HD camera, and smartphone control app, the Leaf will regulate your pH, relative humidity, air temperature, CO₂, water levels, and even the height of your plants. Furthermore, if it detects a deficiency it will automatically adjust nutrient levels to correct it!
Innovation aside, remember that human touch is critical to this plant. It’s still important that you know a thing or two about growing. If something goes wrong with the system, you don’t want to lose your crop.
#4) Hemp Sugars for Feedstock and Fuel
The Colorado-based company PureHemp has found a potentially groundbreaking technique to better extract important sugars from industrial hemp for use in animal feedstock and potentially even biofuel.
Sugars are produced from hemp by breaking down cellulose, the complex carbohydrate that makes up the bulk of hemp biomass.
Up to now, this process involved using harsh acids or similar chemicals, but PureHemp’s proprietary technique makes use of a countercurrent reactor – a highly-advanced piece of equipment that blasts superheated water through the cellulose and breaks it down into its component sugars.
#5) Hemp Plastic for 3D Printing
3D printing has taken the world by storm in recent years, and hemp plastic too has been quietly undergoing some serious improvements in quality and usability; now, the two worlds have collided, and 3D-printable hemp plastic is the result.
Italian company Kanèsis has developed a hemp plastic filament for 3D printing that is capable of producing light, delicate objects of surprising strength and durability. This filament is said to give objects a “natural” texture that is more interesting and attractive than conventional plastic.
Due to its strong and lightweight nature, its makers even believe that it could be a good candidate for making small, light aircraft such as drones!
#6) Hemp Nanosheets & Supercapacitors
This innovation made international headlines a few months back, so it may not be too surprising to many of our readers – but it’s an incredibly, hugely-advanced innovation, so it definitely bears mentioning!
Canadian researchers have discovered that hemp fibres can outperform graphene, the current gold standard for making nanosheets, which are “ultrathin” materials with unusual electromagnetic properties.
These nanosheets can then be used to make supercapacitors, a type of rapid-discharge battery that is vital to renewable energy development. Hemp nanosheets for making supercapacitors make an excellent, and far cheaper, alternative to graphene, and could be the next big thing!
#7) The Hemp Airplane
This is definitely our favorite hemp invention of the last year or so – a light airplane, with all plastic parts made from hemp plastic, and designed to run entirely on hemp biofuel!
75 percent of the plane is made from hemp, including the outer shell, wings, seats, and pillows; the plane will cruise at 210 miles per hour (338 kph), has a wingspan of 36 feet (11m), and will seat four passengers.
While the hemp plane is not finished yet, it is currently under development and even has a Kickstarter campaign.