The plant that is used to make marijuana is finding a new purpose: A sustainable building material.
Homes are being built that have thick hemp walls in Asheville, N.C., and more are in the works, the USA Today reports (Hemp Homes Are Cutting Edge of Green Building by Wendy Kochs) . The plant fiber has been used in Europe for the past two decades but has been slower to catch on in the United States since industrial hemp has to be imported because it cannot be grown legally here.
Experts told USA Today that the hemp-filled walls in the homes are nontoxic, mildew-resistant, pest-free, flame-resistant, and very energy efficient.
The ground-up hemp can be placed inside wall forms. It can be used to resemble wood, such as fiberboard, wallboard, roofing tiles, paneling and bricks, according to hemp-guide.com.
I know what you’re thinking -- builders are putting marijuana in homes’ walls -- have they lost their mind? Marijuana is the leafy part of the plant. Hemp, however, is the rest of the plant and has been finding industrial uses in everything from paper to clothing. So rest assured, you shouldn't get any drug-induced side effects from these homes.