Many words can describe hemp, but “versatile” is the most powerful way to state that the substance can be used to replace many materials and in many cases, improve upon them. Hemp concrete has been experimented with for some time now, and finally it will be getting some recognition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing, China.
The first shipment of hemp was sent by Canadian Greenfield Technologies’ NForce-Fiber, located in Calgary, Alberta, last week. According to the Calgary Herald, the hemp will be used to reinforce concrete that is necessary to build the Xiaohaituo track, which is located close to Beijing. The track is said to be used for winter Olympic bobsledding and luge competition.
The use of hemp in creating an Olympic arena will not only help reinforce the concrete, but will reinforce the proof that hemp has many uses. Vice President and General Manager Stephen Christensen takes this success as a win for hemp. “I thought we’d be successful, but there aren’t a lot of concrete projects like a bobsled track,” he said. “We’re getting some international acknowledgment.”
The Canadian-based hemp was tested with the potential for Olympic use in Vancouver in 2017, where the plant was verified as a stronger material compared to “standard concrete reinforcements” like plastic or glass. “They tried doing it without fibre and got quite the number of cracks and came back to us,” Christensen said. “They’ve got very stringent quality control.”
Canadian Greenfield Technologies currently employs 11 people who started researching hemp and its usefulness in gardening, for food preservation, in beauty products and cat litter.
Hemp cultivation is being considered across the board in multiple states and countries. It’s being used as a reliable source for textile creation, soap and body products, aircraft body exteriors, and now, honored as a building material for the winter Olympics. The possibilities are endless when we consider what the future holds for hemp.