What is Hemp Paper?

For many years, people have known paper to be made out of wood. However, paper can be manufactured from many different materials, including hemp. In fact, using hemp fibers to make paper actually predates using wood pulp, even though paper made from hemp has only recently regained its position as a more preferred, sustainable option. What is hemp paper, and what is hemp paper made of? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

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What Is Hemp Paper Made From?

Hemp paper is a type of paper that consists of fibers and pulp harvested from industrial hemp plants. Much like paper made from wood pulp, hemp paper can be used to make everything from paper bags and tubes to rolling paper and wrapping paper. However, hemp paper has many significant advantages due to its sustainability, strength, and composition.

What Is Hemp Rolling Paper?

Hemp rolling paper is simply paper made for rolling tobacco or cannabis for smoking. Hemp paper used for smokable products has been common for centuries, especially in some European countries like France.

How to Make Hemp Paper

Hemp paper production begins with the separation of hemp fibers using equipment such as a decorticator. The hemp fibers are then pulped using a pulping machine and mixed with water to form a pulp slurry. From here, the slurry mixture is processed, pressed, and dried to create sheets of hemp paper. Finally, the paper undergoes finishing processes before being ready for commercial use.

The History of Hemp Paper

Hemp paper has a long and storied history that dates back over two millennia. Papermaking is often credited to Cai Lun around 2000 years ago, but it was hemp paper that paved the way for this innovation. Hemp clothing and fishing nets were already being repurposed for rudimentary paper production before Lun standardized paper-production processes.

In Europe, hemp paper made its debut in the 13th century and gained traction in Germany by the 14th century. It wasn’t until the 19th century that wood pulp became the dominant material for paper production. However, in Russia, at least one paper mill bucked this trend by utilizing hemp as its primary papermaking material.

The 20th century saw renewed interest in hemp paper, particularly in the United States. In 1916, scientists Dewey and Merrill demonstrated the feasibility of hemp pulp for papermaking due to the favorable qualities of hemp fibers compared to traditional wood pulp. Unfortunately, regulations in the cannabis industry stunted the growth of hemp paper’s popularity and accessibility in the U.S. for several decades. Today, however, relaxed regulations have brought hemp back into the spotlight as a not just feasible but more viable paper-making material.

What Does Hemp Paper Look Like?

Depending on how the hemp fibers are processed, and the specific methodologies used by the producer, hemp paper can take on a variety of different appearances. Many companies make organic or unbleached hemp paper, which can have a tan or medium brown hue. Some of the more artisanal varieties of hemp paper may also not have a smooth texture. However, this is not a hard and fast rule or what all hemp paper looks like. For example, Mill26 Hemp Paper Bags look much like other paper bags. They have a smooth texture and thin composition despite their impressive tear resistance.

Is Hemp Paper Better?

In many regards, yes, hemp paper is better than paper made of wood pulp. A few reasons why include:

  • Environmentally friendly: hemp grows quickly and requires fewer resources than trees
  • High cellulose content: efficient for paper production
  • Low lignin content: reduces the need for harsh chemicals
  • High-quality and durable paper
  • Efficient recycling process
  • Reduces deforestation and promotes biodiversity
  • Lower environmental impact overall
  • Naturally resistant to pests and diseases
  • Can be grown on marginal lands
  • Supports sustainable fiber production

Why Don’t We Use Hemp Paper?

Hemp paper fell out of favor largely due to regulatory actions on cannabis that unfairly affected industrial hemp. However, several other challenges have hindered hemp paper production over the years, such as production costs, lack of hemp processing equipment, and even simply lack of knowledge. However, due to the sustainability qualities of hemp compared to wood and a greater effort to be environmentally conscious, some companies like Mill26 have taken the initiative to bring hemp paper back to life.

Mill26: Explore the First 100% Hemp Paper

At Mill26, we produce hemp paper products because it makes good sense, for the planet, for efficiency, and overall customer satisfaction. As the world’s only 100% hemp paper producer, our collection is second to none and well worth exploring. Be sure to explore the full collection of Mill26 hemp paper products.

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