So what even is a hemp tampon? What is it made of? Does it get you high? Is it comfortable?(Yes, we’ve been asked these questions a ton!) It’s been about a million years since a new material in a tampon came out, so we know you’re thinking “What are these things made of?”. The short answer: Hemp tampons are made from super soft hemp plant fibers that perform as well as the best tampon you’ve ever used, and are fabulous for the planet. But we know when you hear the word “hemp” you’ve got a ton more questions, so let’s get into it!
Why Organic Cotton Tampons Need an Upgrade
Before we get into hemp, we’ve got to look at why we even wanted to use something other than organic cotton in the first place…So. You’ve obviously heard of organic cotton tampons. You did your research and learned that rayon (what most tampons are made of) is actually plastic made from petroleum and you’ve decided that has no place in your body. So you stopped buying your old brand and switched to the best organic cotton tampon you could find. Good for you! We agree–As clinicians, we felt the research behind the safety of conventional tampons was severely lacking. So we changed to organic, too.
But then we learned that even organic cotton tampons have pitfalls:
- Did you know in 2021 there was more organic cotton bought than sold? You do the math…organic counterfeiting is on the rise. Check out this article in the New York Times
- Organic cotton actually doesn’t do much to actively heal the planet–it just uses less bad stuff, not more good stuff! Soil is still left eroded and dead.
- Many organic cotton farms overseas have issues with child labor and slave labor hidden away from the public eye. Auditors have not visited many farms during the pandemic, destroying the reputation of the organic certification.
- Many organic cotton tampons still have synthetic fiber overlays around the cotton core; so the part of the tampon that actually touches your vagina is plastic. It also never really biodegrades.
The Quest for the Best Tampon Ingredients
So obviously as a nurse practitioner and a doctor passionate about the environment and people’s health, we thought, “There HAS to be something better out there.” After tons of searching and years of research, we found the solution: HEMP! Hemp has gotten a bad rap over the past century (that’s a story for another day…), but it’s actually a miracle plant. Its fiber has a million uses, is super great for tampons, and amazing for the earth.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is the plant Cannabis Sativa in Latin. YES, this is the same plant family your Uncle Billy rolled at his last Dave Matthews concert. NO, it is not the exact same plant–it's not “weed” and cannot get you high. Hemp has less than 0.03% THC, which is the psychoactive chemical in Cannabis Sativa. Hemp does contain CBD, which is a compound that can have relaxing effects but is non-psychoactive. Both the THC and CBD are found in the flower of the plant. (PS-We don’t use that part in our hemp tampons! We only use the stalk for fibers.) Hemp is having a new moment after the 2018 Farm Bill allowed it to be grown in the US after an 81 year hiatus and is an amazing crop being used in a variety of ways to heal the earth (carbon capture and soil restoration, anyone?).
So What Are Our Hemp Tampons Actually Made of?
We’re so glad you asked. Our hemp tampons are the first tampons to ever use hemp fiber. We’re pretty proud that our engineers pioneered this amazing technology and we love to shout it from the rooftops! Hemp fiber is known as a bast fiber–like linen. Bast fibers are natural fibers that come from the stalk of a plant, not the flowers or leaves. The fibers are gently separated from each other to form super fine, silky-soft strands that we then blend together with our special Climate Beneficial (™) cotton to form our pillowy hemp tampon!
During the treatment used to separate the fibers, all of the oils are stripped away, the same as with organic cotton processing. This does two things:
1) Takes away any leftover CBD and even any trace THC
2) Makes the fibers absorbent so they perform as well as the leading tampon
All of our special processing and meticulous fiber selection creates strong, soft natural tampons that have passed every health and safety test with flying colors! We don’t need to use any of those yucky plastic overlays like some of the organic cotton tampon brands, or even plastic applicators, because our tampons perform so well and are so soft and easy to insert without an applicator. Plus, being plastic-free means we have fully biodegradable tampons! Our support team of engineers, doctors, environmentalists, and entrepreneurs is constantly blown away by the effectiveness and benefits of our tampons. Not to mention all the love we have from our community of like-minded menstruators!
The Best All- Natural Tampon
Our journey to bring you the best tampon has taken us years to develop and is finally on its way to you! As scientists, mothers, and healthcare providers, we know ingredients matter, and we aren’t about to cut any corners. Our search has taken us on an amazing path, and we are SO glad to finally bring you an eco-friendly, natural, and non-toxic tampon that we are proud to stand behind (and use ourselves). It’s truly miraculous that we start with a plant that’s naturally amazing for the environment, blend it with cotton that is regeneratively healing the soil, and voila! We have the most eco-friendly tampon ever made. It goes beyond just sustainable-our tampon is the first to actively heal the earth. Unlike reusable methods that simply save tampon trash from landfills, with Trace tampons the more you use, the more hemp we plant, and the more hemp we plant, the more the earth heals. MAGIC if you ask us! We are honored to work in reciprocity with the earth in this way, and feel lucky to be the female founders bringing hemp tampons to life! From soil to body, TRACE brings you the next generation of non-toxic, natural period care products to heal people and the planet.