Making a hemp brick

So bumped into a legal cannabis grower investor, not smoker yesterday. And he has thrown a bone to this dog and wants me to build a pump house at his cannabis farm, using hemp bricks. So quite excited at the opportunity as its something I already offered them as they are supposed to be burning their stems after harvest.

Its a small sideline project for me as its not a money maker. So hopefully I will be on my way this week to start mulching old, retted cannabis stems. Anyone on here ever done this before, any suggestions, I am by no means a builder, but have messed around with hemp bricks before.

" Use four parts hemp hurd with one part lime binder and then one part water. Added all together they form an incredibly durable material. It’s also easy to make and can be made in almost any shape. The end result is something that is similar to a pressboard, and far stronger than it feels."

I was very fortunate to be introduced to hemp bricks right at the beginning of my cannabis activism journey and really want to end off with something built hemp bricks. Africannabis is a longtime south african cannabis activist and some of you might know him from the states where he worked and studied several years ago. Here he is pushing the envelope of yet another screw up by our government who has been “researching” hemp for over 20 years, with nothing to show and millions of dollars down the drain. Funny enough that picture was taken within 1 mile from where I stay. The sad crop was stolen by locals and then the secure fencing was stolen to!!!

Moral Fibre

Remember hemp? Dagga’s non-narcotic cousin, the wonder plant that was going to alleviate rural poverty, stimulate small enterprises, provide jobs, houses, textiles, paper, food and possibly even save us from global warming and the oil crisis?

Well, that’s what we were told when the government launched the National Hemp Initiative back in 1998.

So where are all the fields of waving weed? Source


My second patient is a pro actually!! He does a eco tourism gig where he shows ppl how to build eco friendly micro dwellings foundation is made with clay and fibers hemp would be best I’m told. I’ll see if I can hook u up w his email address, he’s a super smart british fella you will like him right off the get go! He makes great crafts and is a research pro


That would be great @hoppiefrog . Thank you. I just spoke with someone in the know and think I have bitten off way more than I can chew in reality. But still going ahead and doing a feasibility study first. But sounds like their are alot of stumbling blocks like moisture cotent, removal of the hemp bark, the right recipe mix and finally my mate said I would not have enough raw material to do the job, but did give me some tips, tricks and work arounds. He has also given me a couple numbers and names to call to get advice. So full steam ahead.

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You may do good to blend your fibers with another acceptable plants fibers if you are short on hemp fiber

I believe fresh stalk soaked in water then beat with a wood paddle to remove bark and expose and treat fibers for use is how it’s traditionaly done

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I think I might be beating myself with a wooden paddle before I have made a brick. Its a big process to separate the outer bark from the inner hurd!!! A friend sent a link to this machine for easier processing, 2 tonnes an hour.

Another smaller scale machine made in Latvia seems like a possibility. Kristaps Eglitis, developer of the HurdMaster MD 1000 micro decorticator, and the story of how this groundbreaking technology was created. The HurdMaster is intended for small farming and processing operations and for CBD and marijuana producers who want to capitalize on leftover stems. The machine is designed for separating the cannabis stalk’s woody inner core (hurd, shivs, shives) from the exterior bast fibers.

I did find this video on the process of making hemp bricks. How to build with hemp, Mario Machnicki takes questions and shows those attending a workshop promoted by Hempfully Green in Brattleboro Vermont on August 17th how hemp lime construction is carried out.

This was just an awesome video showing a farmer messing around at home with glue, shiv ( hurd ) and fibre.

And then I smoked too many joints and thought, hells lets just make paper and some rope.


Spent the afternoon sorting stems and sticks. Just over a 100 dried plants with roots waiting for me. We have realised this project is going to take longer than we thought, but glad to say I am willing to do the time. I have cleaned all the dried side branches of the stem and separated all the stems from the root balls. 50 plants to be exact and 50 to go. Sorry did not get good pictures during the day, but next time there are going to be lots.

Where the plants grow

My working area sorting the stems

Finally, after a couple hours work with 2 hands, we have 50 plants sorted, ready for the natural retting process.

50 Root Balls


@chrisj making any progress on this? I have been pondering on this idea seeing how the wood shortage or inflation has made building materials skyrocket.

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Hi @dillydilly

Thanks for the reminder. Yes, I have completed the processing of the stems. They have been naturally retting and I need to go and collect them so I can start figuring a way to start processing them before the hurd starts rotting. The biggest issues I have found so far with this project is the manual labor required to process the stems, aswell as access to enough biomass to make it feasible. 125 stems every couple months is not going to be enough! Check for links and videos at the beginning of this topic for machines that can do the work for you.

I stumbled across a company in Kentucky that makes all sorts of lumber biproducts with hemp but they have 40,000 acres of hemp apparently. They haven’t hit the market with any of there products yet because they are still testing there products. They claim it’s stronger than oak. Curious how much plant material is needed to make a brick or 2x4


The benefits of hemp brick are massive, most importantly fireproof and also very good insulation. I am still in the process of making a brick, but quiet bleek as to how it reduces as you process it. I rate ,without experience, 125 plants, processed, is only going to make a couple bricks if we are lucky. That story of 1 Ha of hemp can build you a house is pipe dreams.

Hemp could be the ideal basis for long-term, off-grid sustainable communities, as just one hectare can yield enough hurds for a 135 m2 (1,450 sq ft) house. It can also be grown at or near the construction site to save even more on transportation costs! Source

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I thought the same thing. Keep us updated!

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