The Environmental Benefits of Growing Hemp
“This article was written by CannaList EU – Events, Trends & Conversations in the EU Cannabis Community”
Hemp is an extraordinary plant that has many different industrial purposes. You have likely come across the term “hemp” before, but you may not understand exactly what it is and why it is so useful. For example, did you know that industrial hemp has been proven to absorb more Co2 per hectare than any forest or crop?
There are many ways that industries can incorporate hemp into their services. Not only does hemp lend itself well to industrial processes, but the plant is even environmentally friendly! By switching over to hemp, companies can do their part in creating a greener world.
This article will discuss the environmental benefits of growing hemp and look at what hemp is and what the plant can do.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp is the part of the cannabis plant that contains less than the legal limit of 0.3 % THC content.
Marijuana and hemp are different from each other despite coming from the same species. The part of the cannabis plant that creates the “high” effect is marijuana. This part of the plant contains a THC content that is higher than 0.3%.
Hemp and marijuana have different uses as a result of their different effects. Industries can grow and cultivate hemp plants to create an endless list of products like broad spectrum CBD. Hemp also grows quickly, taking only about 3-4 months to mature.
Eco-Friendly Benefits of Growing Hemp
Not only is hemp easy and fast to grow, but industrial use of the plant can lead to a healthier planet all around. There are numerous benefits to growing hemp.
Fewer Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are damaging to our planet. The use of oil, gas, and coal all release harmful air pollutants that create environmental problems over time.
However, using hemp on a large scale can seriously reduce the use of fossil fuels in society. Hemp requires less harmful machinery to plant and harvest. Not only that, but we can use hemp itself as a biomass energy fuel.
Biomass fuels are renewable energy sources that stem from organic materials. The large majority of biomass fuels are either animal waste or woody fuel. While biomass fuels create a significantly smaller amount of energy than fossil fuels, they are a lot less harmful.
Industries can grow hemp plants specifically with the intent to harvest them to create biomass fuel. Because hemp can grow so quickly, hemp can potentially be a sustainable energy source if enough corporations use it.
Biomass fuels are not a new concept at all. In fact, up until roughly the 1800s, biomass fuels were essentially the only energy source in the United States.
Slows Down Deforestation
In short, deforestation is the act of cutting or removing a large area of trees and wildlife.
While this process has largely negative connotations, there are some natural causes of deforestation. For example, forest fires and certain insects can cause many trees to die or be removed.
However, most of the deforestation that occurs in the world results from humans and industrial machinery. Industries will use the trees that they cut down to create the thousands of products we see in-store regularly.
However, replacing the act of cutting down trees with growing hemp can seriously slow down deforestation. The rainforest, as much as we want it to be, is not a renewable resource. By cutting down forests on such large scales, the planet is suffering, and animals lose their homes.
Replacement for Paper
Paper products are notorious for being harmful waste to the planet. A lot of standard products that feature paper packaging or materials are not safe to recycle.
While the obvious solution to solving paper waste is to recycle, it’s not that simple. Not every kind of paper lends itself to being recyclable. At the same time, the mere production of paper from paper mills takes a horrendous toll on the environment.
But growing hemp to create a paper replacement can help cut down the use of harsh chemicals. Hemp paper is also a lot more recyclable than standard wood-pulp paper. In addition, the process of creating hemp paper requires a significantly less amount of chlorine and sulphur-based chemicals.
But wood-pulp paper is far from the limit of what hemp can replace. Hemp can replace a lot of products, materials, and energy sources that we rely on today.
Brings Soil Back to Life
Being environmentally conscious tends to go hand-in-hand with benefiting the agricultural world. Along with being good for the environment, growing hemp can also help our soils and crops.
Hemp plants can revitalize the soil simply by directing nitrogen and carbon from the air into the ground. As hemp plants create biomass, the plants can turn any old soil into a nutrient-rich place to grow plants.
Similarly, hemp plants can also remove unhealthy toxins from a contaminated area. The toxins soak into the plant themselves, leaving behind healthier soil.
Weeds are often less of an issue in crops that feature hemp. However, hemp does not create an environment that is particularly healthy for the growth of weeds.
Other Agriculture Benefits
If you haven’t caught on by now, hemp is essentially a superhero of a plant.
In helping change how we work in the agriculture industry hemp can also aid in helping the planet. Unfortunately, despite working directly with the earth and its livestock, the agriculture industry can produce damaging effects.
These harmful effects can go down with a few large-scale hemp replacements.
Another great farming benefit for growing hemp is that the plant is pretty pest-resistant. While people once thought hemp to be entirely avoidant to pests, we now know that is not true. However, hemp plants do require fewer pesticides in general.
Lowering the number of pesticides and chemicals within crops can significantly benefit the planet and the agriculture industry.
Growing hemp can help both the environment and the agriculture industry. The industries that produce hemp can utilize every part of the plant to create endless products.
We can substitute many of the things that we use in our everyday lives for a similar product that comes from hemp. In addition, the production of hemp is swift and sustainable.