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Meet the world's first-ever traditionally built hemp wood acoustic guitar

JOI Guitars hemp wood acoustic
(Image credit: JOI Guitars)

Canadian-based boutique guitar brand JOI Guitars has taken a huge stride towards promoting the use of sustainable tonewoods in conventional manufacturing with the release of its game-changing hemp wood acoustic guitar.

Notably the world’s first-ever acoustic to utilize the wood in such a way, the new model underwent an extensive research and development phase before being made, with hemp ultimately being used for the body, neck and headstock.

In order to maintain the integrity of the hemp, which has a tendency to shatter easily when cut into thin pieces, the company was forced to innovate their manufacturing methods, and developed new ways to ensure the wood could be used to build a guitar.

One such innovation adopted by luthier Reuben Forsland included integrating carbon fiber and a Kevlar honeycomb material into the areas that needed reinforcing, as well as testing new flexing and sanding processes to create a structurally robust foundation.

Hemp is considered one of the most sustainable tonewoods currently around, and is dubbed by JOI Guitars as an agricultural diversity plant that gives farmers an opportunity to make a good living.

A statement on the JOI Guitars online store reads, “This guitar embodies the plight of the visionary people, farmers, manufacturing, and craftsmanship, all equally important in creating, with the intention to build a world that embodies healthy values [and] a beautiful blend of technology and tradition.

“This guitar blends the age-old tradition of farming with acoustic guitar craftsmanship, crafted into the world’s first traditionally built hempwood guitar. I feel this work will speak to the heart of the world through innovators, whether that be farmers, musicians, manufacturers and craftsmen.

Greg Wilson, who is the brains behind the brand-new guitar, continued, “Our intention has never been to just create another lumber product, but instead to benefit humanity by providing a viable wood alternative that helps the environment by removing the devastating effects of deforestation.”

To find out more about the game-changing guitar, head over to JOI Guitars (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.