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Hemp offers many uses, from food to clothing. It makes great lotion and paper and can even be used as biofuel for your vehicle. So, what about concrete? Can we really build our homes out of cannabis – using “cannabis walls” to create more efficient housing?

One group certainly thinks so. And they’ve already done it: Tav Group, a design and architecture group based in the Haifa district of occupied Palestine, recently designed a 250m2 home with pure social activism in mind. Created using only all-natural and environmentally-friendly materials, it might be considered a house of the future. And the most interesting (and talked about) piece of the home? 

The walls are made of cannabis.

Yes, cannabis.

But it isn’t meant to be smoked or ingested, and couldn’t be if you tried – it’s not a Hansel and Gretel situation for stoners.

This is a photo of a house in Israel that uses hemp-based "cannabis" walls
This is a photo of a "cannabis" house in Israel

Even if, as you can see from the photos above, stones were used in the design.

The group’s aim was to leave concrete out of the equation when designing the home: They used hempcrete, a solid substance made from mixed hemp hurds and hydraulic lime, instead. Developing hempcrete is actually quite similar to developing concrete, i.e., it’s casted much the same way concrete is casted and functions in a similar way. An added bonus (especially in a climate as often unforgiving as Israel’s) is that it provides solid insulation as well. The ingredients of hempcrete keep things cool in ways that concrete never could. Once the hempcrete blocks are in place, a plaster, made entirely of earth-based materials, is used to cover the cannabis walls to keep the house solid and secure.

But while this is the first time hempcrete has been used here, it’s a material that has seen a recent surge in popularity in the United States and elsewhere as both a natural, and sustainable, alternative to concrete.

And this house’s environmentally-friendly features don’t stop there: The home also has solar panels and a system put in place to ecologically source heat, water, and ventilation.

This is a photo of the interior of the "cannabis" house that uses hemp for the concrete walls

The success of this design has allowed the Tav Group to raise the bar for innovative business practices in the industry and set a new standard for environmentally-friendly and sustainable building that will influence architecture and design across the world.

The next time the temperatures rise this simmer, think about the cannabis that could be keeping you cool.

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