Hemp Seed Oil And Biodiesel: Can Cars Run On Weed?

Hemp activist and legend, the late Jack Herer, believed that hemp could save the world. His preeminent work, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, is a treatise on the multitudinous ways he believed that hemp was the perfect plant and could save us from irreversible environmental catastrophe. 




From the back cover: “If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reduce the Greenhouse Effect, and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles, meet all of the world’s transportation, industrial, and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time…and that substance is – the same one that did it all before – cannabis, hemp, marijuana!”

As it turns out, Herer was far ahead of his time, and hemp, under the mantle of prohibition for more than 80 years, is only now emerging from the shadows. Study after study has shown that global emissions are causing extreme weather patterns like polar ice melts, crippling heat and supersized hurricanes, while scientists are sounding alarms that remain largely unheeded by governments.

But there is a solution to growing carbon emissions, one that is now legal to grow within the United States. And that is hemp seed oil, which can easily be converted into biodiesel. 

Hemp and Biodiesel

There are many benefits to using biodiesel as fuel: it is clean-burning and renewable and can be made from recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, animal fats, hemp seeds, and other oil seeds like rapeseed and palm oil. Replacing fossil fuels with biodiesel has the added benefit of reducing dependence on foreign oil, creates jobs, and can help the environment. 

And hemp biodiesel is surprisingly easy to make with hemp seed oil, a few other ingredients, and careful attention. The final product can then be used in existing diesel engines, or combined with petroleum diesel, and still burn cleaner than gasoline engines, with a soot and particle reduction of up to 75%.

Hemp seeds are not the only part of the plant that can be turned into fuel. The fermented stalk can be made into hemp methanol/ethanol, common fuel additives that we already see at the gas station, generally as corn ethanol. 

Hemp seeds

Both hemp seeds and fermented stalk can be used to create fuel. photo credit

The benefits of hemp biodiesel go far beyond environmental concerns. It is safer to transport than petroleum, and has a much higher flashpoint than petroleum diesel fuel. It contains no sulfur – which produces sulfur dioxide as it burns and falls back to our planet in the form of acid rain – and can extend the life of diesel engines because of its superior lubrication properties, without having to sacrifice power and torque. 

For farmers already growing hemp or interested in adding it to their rotations, hemp can be beneficial to the overall health of their farms. Cultivating hemp does not negatively affect current crop lands because of its ability to resist disease. It will grow on infertile land, replenish the soil through a process called bioremediation, and is generally pest and disease-resistant.

Challenges of Hemp Diesel

Despite the obvious environmental benefits to making biodiesel from hemp seeds, large hurdles remain. As it stands now: 

  • Farmers will make higher profits putting hemp seed in the food supply chain, leaving them with little incentive to use seeds for biodiesel
  • The current low level of hemp production cannot keep up with the high demand for fuel
  • Though it is ultimately cheaper to produce than fossil fuel, until more infrastructure and specialized equipment for the hemp industry is implemented, hemp biodiesel will remain a niche endeavor with little ability to make a strong impact
  • There are concerns about biodiesel’s effectiveness in cold conditions.

Now that hemp is legal in the U.S. and barriers to hemp production for the most part have been lifted, perhaps meaningful steps to include hemp products like biodiesel will be taken by lawmakers, the petroleum industry, automobiles makers, and other industries. So, will we see hemp-seed fueled cars on our roads and highways any time soon? Probably not, unfortunately for all of us, but one can only keep hoping and advocating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Hemp Be Used for Fuel?

Yes. Hemp can be turned into a few different fuel substances, such as biodiesel, ethanol and methanol.

Can Cars Run on Hemp Oil?

If that car has a diesel engine, it can run on biodiesel made from hemp. Ethanol made from hemp can also be used as a gasoline additive.

Would you trust hemp fuel in your car? Why or Why not?

Photo Credit: Wassim Chouak (license)

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Is Delta 8 federally legal?

Delta-8 is legal federally, and most state laws don't specifically address it. Due to ambiguities in the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp and hemp products, delta-8 is currently not prohibited by federal law.

What are the benefits of Delta 8?

In the human body, Delta-8 binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Because it binds to both receptors simultaneously, users experience a milder cerebral high. When compared to the effects of THC, users describe a more clear-headed, productive, energetic, and upbeat feeling.

Is Delta 8 or CBD better?

Difference Between Delta-8 THC and CBD Delta-8 THC may not be as prominent as Delta-9 THC, but it is still among the predominant cannabinoids with psychoactive properties. However, CBD is NOT a psychotropic cannabinoid. While CBD can have better results in the long run, Delta-8 THC can give you a quick fix.

Can you fly with Delta 8?

Is it Legal to Fly with Delta-8-THC? Often, yes! It is legal to fly with Delta-8 when you are flying to and from areas where Delta-8 is legal, as long as the airline you choose doesn't specifically prohibit Delta-8 products.

Does Delta 8 help with anxiety?

Contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. Good for chronic pain and anxiety relief. It does not cause paranoia or increased Anxiety.

Is Delta 8 a controlled substance?

Delta-8 is considered a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) because it is known to cause psychoactive impairment to the consumer.

What is the difference between Delta-8 and Delta 9?

Delta-9 THC is a property of cannabis discovered all the way back in 1964. The primary difference between Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC is that Delta-8 is just a bit less psychoactive than Delta-9. This means that products with Delta-8 THC have a more gradual, and therefore more satisfying, effect on the consumer.

Does Delta-8 become 11 hydroxy?

Although in an edible form, Delta-8 THC can metabolize into a natural chemical called 11 Hydroxy tetrahydrocannabinol. Since 11 Hydroxy THC can only be absorbed through the liver, the molecule's possible psychoactive effects can last up to 6 to 8 hours during digestion.

Does Delta 8 make you sleepy?

According to the NCI, Delta-8 uniquely binds twice with cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system that play a role in sleep by calming down processes like breath, heart rate, and mental activity.

Does Delta 8 Flower get u high?

Delta-8 THC is one of the hottest topics in cannabis right now. It's a minor cannabinoid that can get you high like traditional THC, but much less so. Delta-8 found in small amounts in the cannabis plant and is often converted from other compounds like CBD.

How does Delta 8 affect the body?

5 benefits delta 8 could offer you According to the National Cancer Institute, delta-8 THC can bind to the CB1 receptor throughout the body. These receptors are part of our endocannabinoid system, which helps our body regulate and maintain homeostasis.

Does Delta 8 contain CBD?

Delta-8 is yet another compound derived from Cannabis sativa or the hemp plant. As you likely know by now, this is the same natural origin that CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, and CBC come from, too. Though all of these compounds are related to some degree, delta-8 is closest to CBD and delta-9 (also often known plainly as THC).

Does Delta 8 cause euphoria?

Delta-8 may not produce intense euphoria, but it will take effect pretty quickly. Depending on your mode of intake, of course, the time of impact will vary. If you vape it, you will experience the effects within 1 to 6 minutes. If you use a tincture, you will get the first effects after half an hour.

Is Delta 8 legal in all 50 states?

The Short Answer: Yes. Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products, containing less than 0.3% D-9 THC is legal in all 50 states of the USA. But what if the extract contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC?

Can Delta 8 help you lose weight?

A research study from 2004 concluded that delta-8 helps increase appetite while promoting weight loss. This effect is certainly very unique, and scientists will do even more research on this subject. These effects might be due to the potential benefits delta-8 has on metabolism.

Does Delta 8 give you munchies?

Yes, Delta 8 can make you feel hungry. Delta 8 is an appetite-stimulating analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). Of course this depends on the amount you smoke (vapes) or consume (edibles), but Delta 8 has been reported to stimulate your appetite, in some cases, even more than Delta 9 (marijuana).

Does Delta 8 make you laugh?

Whatever makes you laugh, Delta-8 is a great way to start the fun. In fact, we've developed Delta-8 products because we love to see people laugh.

What does Delta 8 convert to eating?

Delta-8 THC actually converts into delta-11 THC when processed through the digestive tract. Since delta-9 THC also converts into delta-11 THC when eaten, there's no special benefit to eating delta-8 THC. In general, research suggests that delta-8 has about two-thirds of the potency of delta-9.

Does Delta 8 affect your liver?

In the present study, we have demonstrated that Δ8-THCV exerted protective effects against liver I/R reperfusion damage by attenuating tissue injury, oxidative stress and inflammatory response.

Does Delta 8 make good edibles?

Our Delta-8-THC Gummies — Best for Beginners They contain 10 mg of delta-8-THC per gummy, which is a great dose to start your journey into edibles with. It will give you a relaxing buzz, and you can easily increase the dosage as needed. Our delta 8 gummies are made from a broad-spectrum hemp extract.

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