Hemp wick is wonderful because it has so many uses! It’s multifunctional, just like its mother plant, the ubiquitous cannabis sativa, which produces everything from protein-rich foods to CBD. The utility of hemp wick, likewise, didn’t fall far from the stalk, and it can similarly be used for multiple things, well beyond just candles!
Of course, smoking enthusiasts buy hemp wick to use in place of a lighter, preferring to spark their herb with hemp as opposed to butane or lighter fluid. Most smokers who use hemp wick say the taste (or lack of taste, really) is superior to a regular lighter as it doesn’t alter the flavor of herb.
Trendy smokers also often feel that hemp wick burns cleaner with fewer carbon emissions than standard lighters, and believe fewer chemicals are inhaled when smoking with hemp wick, thereby making it a healthier choice. There is also flint dust in traditional flywheel combustion lighters which no one should inhale.
Best Hemp Wick
The best hemp wick is tightly rolled and evenly coated in wax (usually beeswax) for an even burn that’s lower in temperature than gas lighters. A lower temperature can mean a smoother, cooler hit of a pipe.
Hemp wick can be sold in increments as small as inches or as large as hundreds of yards. While many people wrap their wick around a lighter as never to be without it for a smoke sesh, there are many products sold that help you handily hold hemp wick at the ready without a lighter.
The trendiest of hipsters will light their hemp wick with a candle and just pocket the lighter altogether for emergencies. This way there’s never a worry about inhaling butane or lighter fluid or other noxious chemicals present in lighters.
Hemp wick is certainly popular in the smoking circle which is why big companies like RAW and Humboldt Farms produce their own organic lines of hemp wick. But hemp wick has actually always been popular, just not in the smoke sesh sort of way.
Hemp Wick, A History
Hemp wick, or cording, goes back so far it predates history! It even helped make America a superpower. You read that right, hemp heads, cannabis made America great in the first place!
Cannabis sativa (aka hemp) was one of the main cash crops grown by Colonial American farmers. It was used to make countless products like the cording wick comes from, including the string Ben Franklin tied a key to for the famous electric kite experiment.
Balls of hemp wick are made possible because of hemp’s long, strong fibers. They are ideally suited for being grouped together and twisted to form thread. Multiple threads are then twisted together to form cording, cording twisted together to form twine, twine twisted to form rope.
It was hemp rope which was the rigging of the American Colonial Navy. Rigging was critical to ruling the seas, which was critical to fighting off the British. The British used the same hemp on their ships, but America grew their own while England imported.
The cannabis crop’s strategic importance won America its freedom. England could never have been defeated without hemp. It was so important that early farmers were ordered to grow it. It was the strength of hemp that wove the strong fabric of America.
Hemp made whole civilizations great. It’s been used around the globe since before books. You know how we know? Because some of the first books were about how to cultivate hemp. The paper of the books? That’s right, hemp.
According to the Old Testament of the Christian Bible (also called the Torah by the Jewish faith), hemp is tangentially referred to as a gift from God in the first book, Genesis 1:11, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed.” Anyone who’s ever bought Mexican dirt herb in summer in Texas in the 80s can tell you, that’s cannabis. Seeds galore.
Durable and Sustainable
The fact that hemp wick has been around forever proves the most wonderful point about the plant from whence it comes; it’s environmentally sustainable and considered a better choice for a multitude of products, especially herb, because of it.
Cannabis is incredibly fast growing, reaching maturity in a matter of months, not years. Unlike a forest full of trees which take decades to achieve maturity, a grove of hemp also uses very little in the way of nutrients, space or even water.
Cannabis sativa is so biodiverse it can grow in almost any environment too, from deserts to deltas.
So why was this ubiquitous plant ever shunned in the first place? Well, there are many theories, but the long and short is bureaucracy. This included politics and probably corporate business interests too.
Suffice it to say cannabis sativa was lumped into one product and made illegal due to the drug-inducing qualites the female buds of the plant produced. Hemp was treated just like bud because they come from the same plant. The fact that there are multiple uses of cannabis was completely ignored.
After becoming illegal to grow, hemp products had to be imported. What the government and small minded politicians didn’t understand is that hemp has a universal truth about it too obvious to ignore.
Anyone who grew cannabis knew it was hearty. Anyone who smoked bud knew it wasn’t dangerous. Anyone who wove hemp thread knew it was strong. Anyone who wore hemp clothes knew they were durable. And hemp wick? That stuff is strong and burns slow so it’s practical and can be used and reused.
So much effort, money and energy was used to convince people cannabis was a danger, and industrial hemp was caught up in the hype. The hilarious hysteria of tea-totaling holier-than-thou prohibitionists created underground counterculture warriors. We wore hemp armor and lit the torch of freedom with hemp wick.
Those are flowery sentiments for something so simple. But it’s the simplicity of hemp which makes it so strong from wick to rope. It’s undeniable usefulness makes it a sacrament and a blessing in almost every aspect of life.
Hemp Wick Uses Beyond the Bowl
So, what can you do with hemp wick? Yes, it can wick candles. Hemp wick is covered in wax, oftentimes beeswax for organic purposes, so it won’t burn away too quickly, ideal for wicks. But because hemp wick comes in long strands that can be several feet long, it’s also great for lighting candles (especially inside glass jars when the wick is way low).
Hemp wick is also used to light incense, gas camping stoves, fireplaces and anything else that could light using fire. Being much longer than your standard match though, hemp wick is often a safer, more practical choice.
Hemp wick’s all-natural fibers make it popular for creative ideas too. Its rich, brown color and fibrous strength give it a lasting organic appeal. It can also be used for jewelry making from the cord that holds strings of beads to the woven jewelry itself. Hemp is also a popular choice for macrame as it knots well and holds its shape with its wax coating.
Hemp wick and hemp cording (which are basically the same except for the wax coating) are also used in all kinds of paper crafting. The natural fibers look great on greeting cards, packaging, signs and hang tags. Hemp wick is also a popular choice of scrapbook artists.
Hemp wick’s natural nature make it a natural, for, well, nature! It’s used in gardening quite a bit to hold plants to stakes. Its wax coating and natural durability means it holds up to the elements well too. Hemp wick can even be used to lash trellises together for the ultimate in happy, organic gardening.
Hemp is such a beneficial product with such rich history that it’s bound to have other uses. Anything string could be used for, you could probably use hemp wick. Still, as any savvy smoker will tell you, the best use is lighting up kind for peace of mind.
Happy lighting and abiding!