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Breaking News: UBC researcher sees future for flax and hemp as particleboard alternative

April 13, 2017

UBC researcher sees future for flax and hemp as particleboard alternative


Wood scientist Solace Sam-Brew envisions a future where Canadian homes are furnished with products made from flax and hemp.

“Both flax and hemp are widely available in Canada, especially in the West,” said Sam-Brew, a recent PhD graduate from the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry. “It’s worth considering their viability as alternative raw materials to wood for particleboard production.”

Particleboards are used in products like countertops, shelves and flat-packed furniture. For her PhD, supervised by professor Gregory Smith, Sam-Brew evaluated the characteristics of flax and hemp residues. She determined their physical and mechanical board properties by soaking and breaking hundreds of particleboards to test their strength and durability.

While Sam-Brew found flax and hemp residues were technically better, she hit one snag. The current economics of manufacturing flax and hemp particleboards in Canada are too high for it to flourish as a competitive material.

Solace Sam-Brew

“The resin, or glue, needed to produce flax and hemp particleboard is a financial barrier,” she said. Resin holds the particles in the board together and flax and hemp products use expensive resin, called pMDI, as the substitute for cheap urea-formaldehyde.

Sam-Brew was able to show in her PhD research that the amount of resin needed for flax and hemp particleboards could be reduced, which would help lower the cost. Substituting lignin, a plant binder, for a portion of the pMDI resin, could also reduce the cost.

According to Sam-Brew, a burgeoning niche market for flax and hemp particleboards exists in Europe. Decades of flax and hemp processing there and the number of companies in business have led to more competitive pricing.

Sam-Brew said the business case for a similar industry in Canada lies in a facility willing to take a chance on the sustainable alternative considering the growing competition for wood residue. Wood residue is wood waste from sawmills and joinery manufacturers, like wood chips, shavings, sawdust and trims, all highly sought after for use by multiple industries, including biofuel, pellet, pulp and paper.

“They’re all fighting over one resource, which can sometimes be in short supply,” said Sam-Brew. “If a company has to travel long distances to collect the wood waste they need to make their products, that costs them money. The particleboard industry could benefit from using non-wood resources if the price is right.”

For now, flax and hemp particleboard production is at a standstill in Canada. But Sam-Brew remains optimistic.

“Flax and hemp particleboards are lighter than wood,” she said. “The downstream impacts of making a lighter product could mean faster production rates and significant energy and transportation savings.”

“The economics don’t look good now, but they could later.”

Breaking News: High Performance Hemp Fiber for Concrete

March 14, 2017

High-Performance Hemp Fiber for Concrete

Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp., a member of CHTA, has developed two high performance hemp fiber products; NForce-ProTM and NForce-FiberTM - developed specifically for concrete, shotcrete and decorative concrete applications. 

Introduced at World of Concrete 2017 in Las Vegas, NForce-ProTMandNForce-FiberTM are manufactured from industrial hemp, the world's strongest and most durable natural fiber, and are engineered to provide exceptional surface quality with maximum crack mitigation, mix stability, and workability in concrete applications. Developed over years of extensive research & development, and verified by independent experts for concrete applications, NForce-ProTM andNForce-FiberTM have already enhanced concrete, shotcrete and decorative concrete projects in Canada and the US; with much positive feedback.

NForce-ProTM and NForce-FiberTM are high-performance industrial hemp fibers engineered for all concrete applications.

Social media links:






Sarah Clowater, Marketing & Business Development

Canadian Greenfield Technologies Corp.

587-226-3894 (M)



CHTA Hemp Promotional Video

February 27, 2017

Naturally Splendid to present CBD Product Line in Japan

February 23, 2017

Naturally Splendid Enterprises, a member of CHTA, will be presenting a wide range of food products at FOODEX JAPAN, the largest annual food and beverage trade show in Asia.

Naturally Splendid will be presenting with Eat Real Snack Foods at JAPAN FOODEX who are participating as Canadian Delegates in the Canadian Pavilion. Naturally Splendid recently completed an acquisition of a comprehensive state-of–the-art packaging line from Eat Real Snack Foods and continues to develop business opportunities between the Companies.  JAPAN FOODEX is indicative of the potential synergies between the companies.

According to Agriculture and Agri Food Canada :

- Japanese packaged food sales were valued at US$158 billion in 2015, and are anticipated to reach US$164.2 billion by 2020.

- Japanese consumers are renowned for placing enormous importance on consuming food that is both safe and of  high-quality, and they perceive Canada as a country that produces food with these characteristics. Japan is a trendsetter in many areas, and it can be a very useful gateway to other markets within Asia.

The full story is at this link:

Hemp Farmers & Doctors call on Health Canada to change regulations

February 22, 2017

BREAKING NEWS:  Hemp Farmers and Doctors call on Health Canada to change regulations

This report by Christina Succi of Global News outlines the need for change  in regulations governing industrial hemp in Canada.

The Most Powerful Plant on Earth?

February 20, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Dr. Lin-Ping Choo-Smith: Composites Innovation Centre, Biomass Quality Network Canada (BQNC) & FibreCITY

February 10, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Chad Ulven: Hemp Plastic: 3D Printing & Other Applications

February 9, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Paul Benhaim: Social License & Hemp

February 8, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Stefano Amaducci: International Updates - Italy

February 8, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Dr. Steve Laviolette: CBD Research

February 8, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Larry Marshall: Troubleshooting Harvest - Aeration & Storage

February 8, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Dr. Jan Slaski & John Baker: CBD & Other Cannabinoids

February 8, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Producer Panel Q & A: Organic Hemp Production

February 8, 2017

Convention 2016 Presentation - Daniel Kruse: International Updates - EU

February 8, 2017

Newcap Ag Report Feature

May 16, 2016

 Newcap TV features the AITF Vegreville Hemp Decortication Plant, along with interviews  with an experienced hemp grower and the President of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

Hemp Fashion Show

November 12, 2013

Cotton or Rayon - what’s your fabric of choice? How about hemp! Industrial hemp textiles are slowly gaining acceptance with a new following among designers and consumers in Canada.

The 90 Second 'Low Down' on our booth samples!

November 10, 2010

Watch Sean, our Western Sales Manager as he gives a quick overview of the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils we sample at various consumer shows across North America!

CBC Steven and Chris Show

June 28, 2010

Steven and Chris cook with hemp.

CBS Martha Stewart

June 28, 2010

Martha Stewart talks about nutritional seeds.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils

October 14, 2009

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the largest vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba our market reach extends across North America and into Europe. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils strives to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices, and to support sustainable agriculture. Natural, healthy and sustainable – that is Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils.

World Famous Professional Skater Bob Burnquist talks about Manitoba Harvest

June 17, 2009

At this ASEC event, Bob Burnquist lets you know what he thinks of Manitoba Harvest. San Mateo Whole Foods Market in California.

Manitoba Harvest on National News

June 16, 2009

CBC National News comes to visit the Manitoba Harvest facility September 2007.

Homegrown movie from Manitoba Harvest

June 16, 2009

A sweet video we made in 2005.

OldBuilders Hemp House

April 8, 2008

The First completed hemp building in Ireland, Clones, County Monaghan

Owner: Marcus McCabe, environmentalist and proprietor of Ecoflow Reedbeds
Builder/Construction Manager, jointly: The Oldbuilders Company and Eco Habitats
Ecological Consultant: Professor Tom Woolley, of Queens University Belfast
Designer: Henry O'D Thompson of The Oldbuilders Company
Lime mortar Consultant: Ed Byrne, The Traditional Lime Company
Other acknowledgements

This small hemp building is built similar to a standard timber frame house with a mix of hemp shiv and hydraulic lime structured around the timber. Finish is with a Lime rendering inside and out. Such building methods have the ability to be CO2 negative for the construction and result in a healthy breathable energy saving home. This 42 sq meter building is to be used as office space. For further information please contact Eco Habitats on 07842276.

Hemp in Building Materials

November 6, 2006

Hemp can make a cement–like substance that is stronger & lighter than traditional cement.